The Competition is You
A few days ago I attended our departmental cookout. It was the first we ever had and it was a lot of fun. It was a way for those that didn’t know each other to get to know one another and it was also a form of team building, whether anyone seemed to realize it or not. There were games and various competitive sports played. One in particular which I love to play was volleyball. Now granted, I am not a professional volleyball player and neither were those I played against. Granted, some may have been on various volleyball leagues, but they weren’t paid professionals. Therefore, how would anyone be intimated by any of them? Yet, some people did seem to take it to that level of feeling as if they were professional players. That’s when I noticed how competitive it had become.
My goal that day was to have fun. Yes, it’s a game and in every game there is a winner, but there is also a loser. However, in the scheme of things, it’s a game! It is not your life, or your lively hood, it doesn’t define who you are.
After the game was over, I noticed how some people that didn’t play as well as others, felt bad about their performance. Granted, I could hardly blame them the way those that took the game very seriously, kept repeating how disappointed they were that their team had lost. It kind of reminded me of when my ex-husband and I would attend parties and play cards against other couples and if we would lose he would end up looking like a sad puppy for the rest of the night. Obviously, he took it way more seriously than I did. I am all about the fun and trash talking, he was about competing. To me it’s like dancing, I love to dance and my ex-husband had no rhythm, so he hated when I would ask him to dance. I didn’t care about who was looking at him, but he did. I would have to remind him that it’s just dancing, just move your body and have fun with it.
My point here is that sometimes without realizing it, we can make others feel uncomfortable or less than, just because they may not be as good at something as we are. It can also cause others not to participate in certain activities. What we must realize is that the only person we should be competing against is ourselves. Even when the competition seems fierce, realize that you are only ever competing against yourself. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to a colleague, neighbor, friend, or famous personality, stop! There’s no need. You are different, with different strengths – strengths these other people don’t possess. Instead of feeling down on yourself for not being as good as the next person, take a moment to reflect on all the astounding abilities you have and to be grateful for the gifts that are only yours.