We've all met a woman in our lives and/or probably have been that one on a full blast competition trip. Some of us even grew-up in a constant fierce and catty environment that have made us opt to be friends with men for the sake of sanity--We won't pick a bone on this one, well, at least not now, but let's just say men not looking at women as competition material or vice versa shouldn't be a safety net either(more on that on a different day). A good healthy competition made in good action does no harm and is actually somewhat liberating, but it is when we constantly overexposed it within ourselves in extremity that may damage our overall character in the long run and blur our lines of morality--possibly exposing other character traits such as insecurity.
It is innate in our human nature to seek and conquer making the characteristic of competition natural and ask: when exactly does being competitive start? Some may argue at a young age within siblings or when parents make indirect comparisons fueling this characteristic too. It's at all levels from that point forward or maybe even before and because it is a natural characteristic in us, suppressing it is not helpful, but embracing it is! How we channel competition with other women, says a great deal about our overall woman character. Being extremely competitive drives us to a fine line of making ethical and unethical decisions to get ahead and doesn't necessarily guarantee us success nor give us self-fulfillment, but of course will give us momentarily pleasure of getting ahead--the question is at what price? Sure, some women opt to cheat their way through and excel beyond accomplishment, but at the end and I think it is safe to say, it never fails to take a toll on the inside of us--whether in our character, ethics and/or spirituality. The key is to strike a healthy balance between using competition as a healthy motivating driver and avoid extreme effects like the ones below so we can at the end save a part of us throughout the process.
- Extreme comparison, aggressiveness, considering everything that moves a threat and focusing all our energy on someone and outdoing their accomplishments can be so tiring and mind stressful, when one can focus all that energy on excelling in our own accomplishments. The only person we should be outdoing is ourselves.
- Focusing on others to the extremity tends to lead to some self-neglect, loss of focus and may stunt self growth because we're too busy in someone else's business.
- On the overall, extreme levels of competitiveness in everything leads women to disunity.
- Extreme competitiveness will ignite other characteristics, like jealousy, insecurity and even hatred. These kind of feelings can obscure rationality, which can lead to detract from the goal we're trying to accomplish.
- It will drive us to the fine line of doing wicked decisions to get ahead which might be damaging to our overall persona. Do remember that many things will catch up with us down the road.
Instead, remedy the extreme with this...
- Be a good sport and play fair. Remember that you can only give the best that you are and that competition should be against ourselves to become a better version. But, you still want that one thing very badly? Fair enough, a good healthy dose of ambition is good too as motivation!
- Pick your competitive battles. Don't invest energy in your tribal matters like competing for a man, for friends and physical attributes. Use the competitive characteristic in good things that build good character, inspire you to be creative and motivates those around you to compete in good lasting things.
- Focus on your own merits by putting your very best self forward and be confident that what is meant and good for you will happen. View the accomplishments of other women as inspiration vs. trying to be better than someone else. At the end of the day competition or not, we are all good and better at some things then others naturally.
- It's healthy to know when to step back. Not only does it a mind good, but also reinforces great self-confidence.
- Train yourself to recognize the talent in other women and give credit where due. Be confident in your own talents and that they will take you to where you need to be not necessarily where you want.
Written by Mariana