Peggy Carter is kind of who I want to be when I grow up. I have a bookmark of her tacked to my wall, with the quote “I know my value” across the bottom. Even when nearly everyone around her professionally treated her like a less person, she did not give up on herself.
I am not sure if I was born a competitive person, or if it was later ingrained into my brain. To an extent, the determination and drive that comes with a competitive personality can be a good thing. There are certainly times that I have achieved more because of my need to feel competitive.
The problem is when you make a lot of things a competition, you don’t always win. Failure stings a bit harder. You tend to want to give up if you don’t do your best and beyond, every time you try. Or if someone just happens to do better than you did.
The problem with this kind of attitude, it’s a losing game, no matter how many times you think you’ve ‘won.’
In this life, there should really only be one person you are competing against. Yourself.
This is a concept I am definitely still working on. There are times I have to remember that as long as I did better than past-me did, strived a little harder, did a little more, that I’m winning.
There are also ways to take the competitive nature out of a competition. In her book “Yes, Please!” Amy Poehler talks about the “Pudding” and how we all want it. For her, the “pudding” was an Emmy award. So Amy made a game of it, to take the sting out of not getting that yummy, delicious pudding. She got all the women who were nominated in her category to do bits and make funny jokes. She saw them as her friends and teammates, instead of her competitors.
I think this is a great attitude to have, to see those around us as our teammates, rather than adversaries. If your friend gets their book published? Cheer them on. Gets a raise at a job they love? Be excited for them. By recognizing the worth in others, rather than tearing them down in a misguided attempt to make yourself feel better, you’ll find that it is a lot easier to recognize your own worth as well.
You have value. When that little green monster climbs into your brain and tries to compare you to someone else, try to drown out that little voice by saying “They’re doing great! I’m working hard too. I’m going to reach my goals too.”