My brain is all over the place today! I have so many topics swirling in my brain that I want to share/talk to you all about. I suppose one day I should sit down, organize all those thoughts, and make some sort of calendar. Eh..maybe…one day. 😉
The one major thing that I’ve had on my mind lately is COMPETITION.
I am a big sports person. Growing up I played competitive basketball throughout elementary and high school. I also played volleyball all throughout high school. We made it to the state semi finals 3 out of my 4 years. I tell you all this not to brag, but to show you how competition has always been a big part of my life.
I am also a competitive person by nature (thanks dad). Let me give you an example: I haven’t upgraded my phone yet (I was due for an upgrade in October), and neither has John. He’s waiting for the release of the iPhone 6 (May/June). So, what’s the big deal? Why haven’t I upgraded? Because I don’t want to get the iPhone 5s, only to be upstaged by my husband who will get the iPhone 6. If he can wait, so can I.
Do you see? Competitive.
Today, I want to talk to you about the pros and cons of competition.
There are countless pros to being a competitor.
- I made good grades in school because I wanted to be the best, or at least at the top of class.
- I don’t let anyone outwork me (unless it’s in like, a pickle eating contests…you can win 😉 ).
- I got my current job because I was persistent, didn’t give up, and competed for the job I wanted.
- I save money because it’s a competition to save more than the next person, or more than I did before.
- Competition makes me a better employee. I often find myself trying to come up with new, inventive lessons and activities for my kiddos in order to compete with the other things I see teachers doing in my job, or on various websites.
- Staying in shape is made fun through competition. I love the thrill that comes from pushing myself, and out-achieving the next person (not in a prideful way, mind you)
- It helps keep your eats in check.
- It prevents complacecy.
- Competition can add fun into the mundane tasks in life.
- Competition can drive you to be YOUR best in almost every aspect of life.
There are some major cons that come from being a competitor. In fact, I believe my competitive nature is partly to blame for the development of my eating disorder.
For me, the biggest problem arises when I compete with myself and when I compete with others inside my head (aka: they don’t know we’re in a competition with each other, but we are. ;-))
Competition is bad when:
- You compete with yourself to see if you can eat less than you did yesterday.
- Competition drives you to run longer or exercise more, even when your hurting. You want to do more than you did yesterday, or out do that person next to you (they are, of course, in this competition with you, even if they don’t know it)
- You compete with those around you..unbeknownst to them, mind you…to eat less or eat “better” than they do. And you get a sense of pride and joy from that fact!!! It makes your day better.
- Competition makes you stay at work longer because you’re trying to be the best. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, but when it keeps you from family or from rest that you need, it’s wrong.
- You don’t know when enough is enough.
- Nothing is ever good enough, because the competition never ends; it’s on-going. Each day, you need to do more, eat less, exercise more intensely, etc. than you did the day before.
- The finish line is out of reach, undefined, or non-existent.
- You cannot rest because if you do, you won’t win that imaginary competition.
The good news is, friends, that we don’t have to compete!
I am enough. Jesus Christ died for me just as I am. Should I strive to be my best self and live as Christ? YES.
But, that doesn’t mean that I need to hold myself to unrealistic expectations. That doesn’t mean that I have to be perfect.
Being your best means resting enough so that you CAN do more. Being your best self means that you enjoy the blessings you’ve been given…even when that means skipping a workout to cuddle on the couch with loved ones.
So, my challenge to all of us today is this:
Be you. Let go of the crazy competition going on inside of your head. Take advantage of the blessings you’ve been given.
Don’t miss out on those blessings and life-giving opportunities because you’re too busy trying to win at life. Because, while you’re busy trying to win at life, you’re really losing; others are out there enjoying life and soaking it all up. Meanwhile your slaving away, and missing out.
Yikes! That got lengthy. But it is a topic that has been on my heart, and I felt the need to voice it.
If you can relate, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you can’t…well, good for you! I’d love to hear your advise on living a life of contentment.
Ps. No work for me today or tomorrow! School has been cancelled due to this crazy winter storm headed our way. A break mid-week? I’ll take it!
1. Do you struggle with the cons of competition?
2. What is a “pro” of competition in your life?
3. What are your favorite snow day activities?!