This Isn't a Competition & I'm Not An Inspiration

04 November, 2014

Comparing ourselves to others, intentionally or unintentionally, is human nature.

Stacking our benchmarks against what other have done, are doing and what they are capable of doing are the things that press some to work harder. That drive to succeed and to do better than their counterpart is what gives some people that extra push, that extra bit of motivation to move past his or her perceived limits. That same could be said for comparing our own selves to previous successes. If we did it once, we should be able to do it again at the same level or even better.

I am not one of those people.

In fact, I am quite the opposite.

Comparing me to someone else is the kiss of death.

The notion that I need to "compete with someone else" to succeed doesn't make sense to me. Instead, it highlights, for me at least, where I fall short. It reminds me that I'll never be amazing or great or the best at whatever it is I am doing.

Don't get me wrong.....I'm not on a mission to be the absolute BEST at something. I just want to be "ok" at it and for that to simply be enough.

The same goes when someone tells me I've "really inspired them!" to do something, too. All I hear is them saying (in a catty tone) "Well, if Meg can do it then I can do it, too!"

I know that is ridiculous and wildly unfair to everyone else, especially when their attempt at sharing is meant as a way to build a support system of sorts.

Unfortunately, some of my life experiences have taught me otherwise. Some of those life experiences have taught me that my best, isn't always good enough. They have taught me that I will always be a step or two behind or no where near the front of the pack. Those experiences remind me that I always need to work just a little bit harder because Person A "finished her first 5k under 30 minutes and didn't really train for it or anything!" or when Person B says to me she is "totally falling in love with boxing and you should absolutely try it!" even though I was the one who introduced Person B to boxing and the instructor.

Rationally, I know none of that makes any sense and that I sound selfish and ungrateful. But when it comes to this, when it comes to working towards, as D puts it, ".......the optimal version of Meghan. We go for optimal versions of us; no comparisons to anything else." I need to be a little bit selfish but not so selfish that I push people away when they are only "trying to help".

But the irrational side of things has been winning out lately. The irrational side of me keeps saying that no, they are not in fact "trying to help" and that all of this feels like a big competition that I am never going to win, so what is the point in even trying. Sadly, the irrational side of me has been much louder and had greater success at "breaking through" and this is where things need to stop.

None of what I am doing or what anyone else is doing is part of a competition, with myself or anyone else. And none of this is about trying to "inspire" someone. It's about working at trying to figure out the best version of me, on my own terms and by following my own rules. 

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