Research shows that many silver medalists become depressed after placing because they’ve gotten so close to winning and being number one, yet they didn’t quite make it. They stand in the spotlight, showered with applause, harboring feelings of inferiority.Unfortunately, they’ve been trained to see first place as being perfect and second as flawed in some way. They’re focused on what they didn’t get instead of what they did. The tragedy here lies not in being runner up, in an entire world of people these silver medalists are second best—that’s quite a feat! The tragedy lies in falling short within one’s own mind.
Whenever you compare yourself to others, there is a winner and loser. I know this is what competitions are based upon, but often you’re competing in life and you don’t need to. You may not realize you’re in competition, but a quick look at some common behaviors prove otherwise:
- When you’re jealous or envious of what someone else looks like or possesses, you’re competing for appearance or “show.”
- When you refuse to acknowledge or don’t have time for someone who is requesting your attention, you are competing for time.
- When you’re mired in your own fear, anger or anxiety and can’t consider someone else’s point of view, you are competing to be right.
We live in a competitive world and we women have been conditioned to compete with each other for many generations. While it may be first nature to compare yourself, this competitive way of being in the world keeps you stuck as a victim. Victims don’t achieve dreams, reach goals, or have their best relationships with others.
- The courageous way is to stay open, be an introspective scientist of self, and look within for deeper meaning and answers.
- The enlightened way is to look only to yourself and your past for lessons learned to courageously know and speak your truth.
- The empowered way is to speak that truth with empathy because you have a heart filled with honesty, trust and gratitude.
In a relationship of any kind, sometimes you’re number one in that you may have the spotlight. Sometimes your partner, parents, client, boss, friend or children need to be center stage and be heard. Instead of competing for attention, time, and show, it benefits everyone when you’re racing to love, high jumping to be more compassionate, and passing the baton between the neural networks in your own mind and ultimately each others, in order to understand better. In relationships, it’s necessary to have a balanced approach and sometimes be number two. I’m reminded of the book turned movie, Tuesdays with Morrie, with Morrie being quoted as having said, “What’s wrong with being number two?”
Think about it.