Stop competing against yourself
Here’s a newsflash you may not want to hear, all of those challenges you won and all of those opponents you bested were not real. You were never really competing against anyone else you were really only competing against yourself.
Your urge to win and the competitive spirit you have always been so proud of were never about beating everyone else, your need to win was always about filling an empty space within yourself.
If you really want to find a place of calm then the real question you should ask is not how many people you have to beat until you are satisfied, but how big is the hole within you and where did it come from?
No matter how many trophies you line up you will still have that itch to step up to another challenge. The empty hole within you will still need to be filled, and after you are finished with the last opponent what will you do then?
No matter how many people you beat your need to win will still be there. Even the applause that once excited you will begin to ring like the empty clapping of people you don’t know because that is what it has always been, and that will never fill the empiness within you.
The only way to overcome your need to win is to recognize it for what it is, to come to terms with it, to accept it as a part of who you are, and then to work on filling the empty space with the love and empathy that you truly yearn for.
Whether your need comes from a parent who never gave you the attention you deserved or whether it stems from being the poor kid at school who you thought never measured up; those are the real issues you need to resolve if you are to findthe calm within you. Winning is your stigma to carry around until you are ready to address the root issue that it stems from – and that my friend is far easier said than done. Growing up is easy, maturing is not.
You see, society places a constant pressure that forever pushes you to fit in. Your parents and siblings push you to be the person they wanted to be, never realizing that person is the person they never were.
Nobody ever tells you that their idea of who you shoud be is simply the person they were never able to become. Each is a delusion that you think you have to accept as you struggle to find yourself and fit in. The shoes they want you to fill come from a long line of failed lives.
Just as you are trying to fill the expectations of your family and friends, each of them is trying to fill the expectations of those around them. Everyone turns to “winning” as a way to do this never realizing they are just perpetuating an endless cycle of trustration and dstriving to measure up.
If you follow this cycle as you grow and mature you will forget about who you are as you try to satisfy the people around you. In the end you will lose yourself to the crowd of empty admirers trying to fit in to their own cycle of frustration. Their failed dreams become your reality. Their lost lives become your actuality and that empty need to win will trap you within yourself.
It is why so many stars of the entertainment and sports world have very empty and lonely lives in the end. The positive thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
You know the saying about loving yourself before you can love anyone else? The same is true for knowing yourself before you know anything else. If you don’t know yourself then everything you think you know may not be as real as you think it is. More than likely it is just a series of delusions that you created to protect yourself as you grew up in the world as it really is.
Knowing yourself is not as easy as you may hope but it is essential to your well-being.
As you mature you change. The way you speak changes, your mannerisms change, your tastes change, your needs and desires change. Just look at yourself, you wear different clothes than you used to, you think different thoughts, you want different things, and all of this is good. I pray it never stops as long as it leads you to find your authentic self. It is far too easy to follow someone else’s ideas of who you should be without question. The problem with doing that is that sooner or later you wake up and discover that you are not who you want to be. You are who they want you to be and that you have strayed from your path without knowing why.
Finding yourself is a lifelong process. Every time you learn something about yourself it changes who you are. But at some point in time you lost your true self to those changes. Was it a slow slide down a slippery slope as you adopted someone else’ identity? Or was it a sudden shift like when you started your first job and realized your clothes and your mannerisms were no longer right for where you wanted to go?
The answer is different for everyone. It is not easy to figure out. It takes a life time to find the answer if you ever do. But what did you expect? It took a lifetime to get to where you are, and yes, it will probably take the rest of your lifetime to get to where you want to go.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give away everything you worked so hard for or run off to a monastery to live the life of a monk. You can still go about your work and your family life just like always. It will be a gradual shift as you slowly learn to recognize the delusions you thought were real as you begin to live in the real world right here and right now.
Ask yourself some very straightforward questions.
Just take out a slip of paper and respond to these questions as honestly as you can. Make a note of which ones make you slightly or even fully uncomfortable.
- What does your ideal day look like?
- What did you want to be when you were younger?
- Who are you most inspired by? Why?
- Who would you love to meet? What would you ask?
- What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?
- Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person?
- How do you like to relax?
- When was the last time you did something you were afraid of?
- What are you most proud of?
- What are you most afraid of?
- If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?
- Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?
- What qualities do you admire in others?
- What practical skills do you wish you had?
- Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?
- What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?
- If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?
- What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)?
- What excites you?
- What do you wish you did more of?
- Pretend money is no object. What would you do?
- What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?
- Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?
- What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
- How do you want to be remembered in life?
Want to learn more? Reach out and let us guide you through the process of a Strategy for Happiness