Wednesday, August 26, 2009


DISCLAIMER: I always feel the need to put a disclaimer in these types of posts. I am not, in any way, discussing any situation or person in specific in this post. I actually starting thinking about this topic while watching a television show, and it expanded when I logged on to Facebook and saw an interesting "comment" made on a wall post. These are simply my general thoughts, and not to point fingers at anyone.

What is it with people constantly competing with one another? I'm not a very competitive person. In everything, I always seem to just know that there will always be someone else better. I remember being taught by teachers to do MY best and not to worry about others. There will always be someone better. Someone faster. Someone smarter. Someone prettier. Someone sweeter. Whatever the case may be, it's out there.

I never worried about it. I have never seemed concerned with what others could do that I couldn't. Sure, I tried to learn from them to improve myself, but I never felt the true need to surpass someone else's accomplishments. I made my own goals. I stuck to my own plans, and I didn't care who had my same plans and did them better. For the most part, I've been content with my own life. Sure, jealousy and selfishness captures me just like it does everyone else. Once in a while, I catch myself wrapped up in other people's lives, and compare them to my own. Then I remember: We are all on different paths.

I look at my two best and closest friends and see just how different our lives will be. I'm already married, settled with my love and puppy. One is off to an incredible journey of graduate school to study law, and the other is off to New York for a fabulous adventure of making it on Broadway. Does this really make one of us better than the other two? Of course not. It makes us different. We all had different paths we wanted to take. Different accomplishments. Different lives. And I think these differences are what makes us such fantastic friends. We are able to support each other in a way that isn't competitive.

I never felt the need to compete in academics with my friends. Maybe I should have, and then I could have graduated with that 4.0 instead of a 3.5 in high school haha! I can't say that I did my very best in high school. I did just enough to keep my parents satisfied. School wasn't important to me then, but my dancing was. I pushed myself in my dancing. I did well. Sure, I had crappy performances and bad days in class like everyone else, but I was good. There were girls in class better than me, much better. I always just pushed myself to doing the best that I could possibly do, and that always kept me content. I guess you could say that I chose to compete with myself, not others.

I continued competing with myself and not others on into college. Academics became much more important to me, and I began to work harder. I can honestly say that I have no idea if I ever had the highest grade in the class, or the lowest grade in the class on any given assignment. I didn't care. I always pushed for a better grade than I got the last time. In my department, a lot of teachers post grades outside their office doors according to the last 4 digits in your social security number. I always walked by, looked at my grade, and moved along. I never stood there to analyze other scores to see how I measured up. If I was pleased with my performance, then there was no need for me to know how others did. I always competed with myself, and finished my education very pleased with the results.

I see competition in so many aspects. I obviously see it at work, since I'm in a sales position. There is competition among companies, to gain the most customers of good quality. There is competition among agents within our company, to sell the most. There is even competition in our little office, pushing each other to sell the most.

I also seem to find it in so many little areas of life. Sometimes, we even compete in the negative areas of our lives. People always seem to think that they have it the worst. Let me explain by a completely fabricated scenario:
Person 1: Man, I had a terrible day today. I was so busy at work, and I have the worst headache. I'm just ready to head home.
Person 2: You think your day was bad? Try living in my shoes. We were SLAMMED at my job, I have a headache, and a stomach virus. And when I go home, I don't get to rest because I have a big project that I have to do for school. Once I finish that project, I have a huge test to study for.

I know you are laughing. You've seen this happen before. Maybe you have even done this before. Of course, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. I'm a huge lover of board games and card cames, and always play to win. FUN competitions are great, and can create a lot of laughter.

We (myself included) would be such better friends to others if we could learn to listen to their problems without bringing up our own in attempts make their problems seem obsolete. Regardless of what is on my mind today, it is not as imporant or severe as what is on someone else's mind. When that person wants to share what's on their mind, we should put aside our own thoughts just for a few short moments. Let's make others feel important, and that their lives are worthwhile as well. Why are we always competing in everything else? Why do we always find it necessary to prove to ourselves and others that we are the best? Why can't we just be our best selves, and let that be enough?


katie + bret said...

I am right there with you chica. I have never been one to compete. Even in things as simple as board games, if I lose, oh well, I had fun. Ha, I am probably the ONLY person in my family like that though!

Sometimes people believe they aren't proving their "worth" so to speak, unless they are the best at everything... I think others don't realize what they are doing.

::shrug:: I will compete with myself, you can compete with yourself and we will see who is better that that! ;) just.joking.

Shannon said...

uh oh. I hope I don't do this. I don't know. Maybe sometimes we do/say things and don't realize it? but I will say that being a military wife is way competitive. BIG time. on who has the best marriage, who got the best base, whose husband comes home the fastest, who has it the worst.. it's nonstop.

PaigeR530 said...

I promise Shannie, I wasn't talking about anyone specific! :)Does it bug you when all the military wives compete like that? That would drive me crazy!!

Katie said...

I so agree with, A TONNN....

Anonymous said...

boooooo. I hate hate hate competition. what ever happened to having fun and living life?

Annie said...

i love this post, totally agree with you.

i have 2 best friends that are totally different as well, one lives with her bf and another girl and another is married with a baby, i feel like i'm kind of in between. as we get older i feel like we grow apart in ways because our lives are different but i know those girls will always be my best friends, forever! ;)

i hope this military life is not competitive. that would be hard to deal with. i agree with katie, some people just feel like that have to be the best of the best at everything and have the best of the best. those people will never be satisfied with their lives though.

Katie said...

paige, thanks for your comment on my post--you're so kind and I'm sooo glad we've met eachother!

Lyr said...

I can’t believe I missed this when going through my dashboard. What a fabulous post you have written. It touched me deeply and hit a spot in my soul that made me feel a bit ashamed. I have been this person… always wanting to be someone unique in one area that I can thrive in. Yet I always feel that someone is going to come in and do it even better. I feel that no matter what I do I will always be the last one standing… The last one picked, being the “Average Joe” I’ve always seem to be.

Shamefully, I’m admitting to you that I am one of those people who constantly compete. It’s an internal battle I continuously struggle with, and most of the time it’s just competing with myself! I’m not proud of it and it’s so ungodly of me, but I have found the root to be that I struggle with low self esteem. When I try to find a path that best fits me, I find that other want to try that same path. I feel like something has been taken away from me. Hey… I’m bearing my soul and complete weakness to you. I know crazy, right?! I am crazy… but I think that when people compete with one another they are trying to only prove something to themselves.

I know that it’s the enemy just telling me lies. I know that God doesn’t see me that way at all and know that I am VERY unique. But for some reason I can’t get past feeling inadequate to everyone around me. I have come a long way. I use to do this all the time with every one I saw, but now I tend to do it just with myself. I also think that I have grown a lot in my walk with God and He has shown me who I truly am. Though I still struggle with it, I know that God keeps teaching me new things and I believe that someday I won’t need the reassurance form anyone by my Jesus.

Dude… SO CONVICTED right now!!! Great POST love! ;)

Lyr said...

I just realized that I was the only chick that admitted to being one of these “types” of people on your comments. I feel really stupid now. I know a TON of girls that do this. See… low self-esteem coming into play; oh well, I know I’m imperfect. What can ya do! ;)