“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms ” – Unknown
I was recently asked the question “who are your competitors” I didn’t think twice, I quickly answered. “I only compete with my past and future self.” It has been a bit of a mantra the past year, and I was thankful that I had fully integrated this life lesson.
Competition is deeply embedded in the world we live in. We are bombarded by messages and images that keep us competing with people around us. Back in the day, there was a saying, “keeping up with the Jones’.” Social media hasn’t made it any better. We watch people post the “perfect” pictures of their “perfect” relationships, “perfect” families, and their “perfect” lives. We feel terrible when we see people #winning because it feels like we are losing when we compare ourselves to them. Well, I don’t buy that. While I will admit, I have felt a tinge of envy in the past, watching people do the things I felt my heart desired to do, or be, or have. Life is not about watching other people’s lives and trying to pick apart their joy. When someone wins, it doesn’t mean you lose. We are not in competition with one another. Life is not a competition as we have come to believe. Yes, my friends, your whole world has been a lie.
Comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt.
Comparison and competition not only rob us of joy, but they rob us of our purpose. We are designed uniquely with gifts and talents, passion, and purpose. There is not one person on the planet that can do precisely what you do the way that you do it. When we are competing with someone else, we are attempting to fit ourselves in a mold that we were never designed to fill.
We are spiritual (non-physical) beings living a human (physical) experience. When we took this incarnation, we knew our purpose was to expand into a more refined version of ourselves. We knew this physical existence was going to present tons of challenges for us, and we were up for it! Our goal was to reach our highest potential and bring good to the world around us. You didn’t come here to be like someone else, you had a goal, a mission. You had something unique to bring to the world, something that could only be accomplished through you. Your steps were purposefully planned in the divine realms. It is a beautiful journey that you came to walk out. Why squander it working toward something you never intended to be.
Part of the challenge is overcoming the contamination of this physical reality. Everyone and everything tells us what we need, what we should do, what success looks like. That there is a lack of good and that life is happening to us, not FOR us. If we continue to listen to that mindset, we can begin to live a reactionary caught up in the flow of the lazy river of life. We will float aimlessly to “checkpoints” carved out for us, hoping, wishing, praying that we can somehow manage to bump our way to pass the person in front of us. We were never designed to sit back in our earth suit and innertubes and wait for life to carry us about. We came to learn how to walk in the full knowledge of who we are and focus our energy and our efforts towards bettering ourselves and making a difference by fulfilling our unique purpose.
There is a whole world that is waiting for you to bring good that only you can bring. When you awaken to this, your true nature, all perceived lack, limitation, and sense of trivial competition fade away. Look at people who have achieved greatness, who seem to be ever reaching for their highest potential. You will notice that they do not concern themselves with being better than someone else. They are focused on becoming the most excellent version of themselves.
When we take our focus off ourselves and we focus on others, we are already defeated in our minds. That is the nature of the competition, it is a mind game. A game we were never designed to play and one we certainly will never win. When we focus on someone else, it gets in our heads. It messes with our self-confidence, and it shifts our focus, energy, and our efforts towards them. It is a sure-fire way to reduce your speed in the direction of your personal best.
I struggled with the idea of telling this story. If you are reading, it became relevant. I have always loved to sing, it always made me feel empowered. I’d sing anywhere for anyone anytime from the age of about 3. I was confident that it was a gift I was given, but not in a pretentious kind of way. I just knew I was born to sing.
There was a girl I grew up with, we didn’t have the word for it at the time, but you could totally say she was my frenemy, or at least I made her be. It didn’t start out that way, the trouble began when people began to compare us to one another, and I internalized it. We were born 9 days apart. We both sang, we both acted, we liked the same boys, we both threw shot put and discus. It was evident that we were both good at the same things, and it slowly but surely began to infuriating to me.
In High School, we both had been chosen to participate in the South Jersey Choir, which was also a very competitive honor. The next step was to audition for all-state. She and I, along with about 5 other people, auditioned, and only she got in. That moment broke me. If I had been focused on achieving my personal best, I would have taken the judges’ critique and worked on my skills and tried the next year like everyone else did. But I was so focused on the competition between her and me that I began to feel defeated. I can, without a doubt, say that was one of the moments where I stopped believing in myself. Not because I didn’t make the choir, but because she did. While I would continue to sing, I did put limits on myself. Limits that kept me from reaching my personal greatness. I put myself in a box. That competition mindset continued to box me in as the years past with different people as I always tried to measure up. I continued to focus on trying to be like someone else instead of embracing my unique abilities and striving to be the best version of myself. It would be years before I could begin to break free from the competition mindset and live my life and my purpose with intention and in full focus.
You are a unique one of a kind individual with a one of a kind purpose. What you are here to do and experience is tailor-made for your personal growth and expansion.. for your mission. You have everything that you need to reach your highest potential. Don’t be distracted by what others are doing. Be encouraged! When you see others tapping into the greatness for which they were designed, celebrate them. Know that their every expanding good is proof positive that there is good out there, just waiting for you. We must begin to reprogram our minds, by aligning it with our higher selves that already know this. Your higher-self is always leading, guiding, and directing you towards the purpose, your purpose, why you are here. It is celebrating everyone else’s personal best and is coaching and cheering you to reach yours. When we are on a frequency of competition, we can only perceive lack. But when we elevate to a frequency of ever-expanding good, we can only see opportunities for our growth and expansion.