How does the word 'competitive' make you feel?
I hear so many women, and some men too, say to me 'I'm not competitive'. In our society a lot of shame and negativity has been associated with this word. It's put alongside words like greed, selfishness, cutthroat, and so on. Especially for women, a 'get ahead' mentality is frowned upon. You hear people say "Oh she's so competitive" as a kind of insult, sending an underlying message that it's bad to try too hard. In our cultural history the message was sent that being ambitious is unattractive for a woman. Well, times have changed, and competitiveness is actually human nature! It's a natural instinct that can be used for good and shouldn't be suppressed. When you see me say "Oh she's so competitive", you will see a smile on my face, grateful to be seeing someone trying their hardest, pushing themselves, wanting to be better and reach their potential.
Remember when you was a child, perhaps at the school sports day, that joy of running as hard as you could to get over the finish line, helping your team score, or in the playground, who could hold a handstand for the longest? Remember that feeling? Fun wasn't it? Exciting? Exhilarating? You get that release of endorphins. Perhaps you took that into your work ethic, in the classroom, and then into your professional life. Reignite your competitive side. Want to be better. Remind yourself of that sense of accomplishment when you push outside of your comfort zone and the fun that can be had in the process.
Studies have shown that constantly challenging our minds and bodies is vital for long term health and well being, and can actually help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's diseases. It's well worth making a commitment to yourself to always follow your passions and constantly find ways to stretch your comfort zone. Read more about how you can reduce your risk of dementia on the Alzheimer's Society website.
Book that challenge
Enter that race
Join that course
Make that investment in yourself! You are also making an investment in the next generation by setting a great example. Show them that being an adult doesn't mean not having fun, or getting a buzz out of crossing before anyone else, or mastering a new skill, being faster, quicker or better than your peers, no matter what your age.
When you say to people "I'm not competitive" just be conscious of the message you are sending to others and yourself. Repeating something like this, internally and externally, is like having a negative affirmation. Try to change it to something more positive. I'd love to hear your ideas of what that could be. Here's a few examples to get you thinking.......
I enjoy being good at something
I'm proud of my achievements
I work really hard to get the best out of myself
I'm inspired when I see other people's passion to do well