I am very competitive. You can ask my husband or any of my family members to confirm this if you don’t believe it to be true. If my husband scores a score higher than me at Bejeweled (a game on Facebook) I immediately set out to beat his score. And though one of my friends always has a higher score than me I often dream of the day I will top her.
If my competitive streak was limited to video games I might seem sane. But it’s not, its…. everything. I want to be the best at anything I attempt. And when I can’t seem to master something, immediately I often give up. If I can’t be the best, why bother? This is in part why my guitar sits neglected in the corner. I will never be Angus Young, so perhaps I should just sell the guitar and move on? Much like my guitar this ideal of being the best or nothing has left a wake of incomplete projects and tasks.
I also have a bad tendency of trying to measure myself against the ruler of other people. Even when my goals set on the same trajectory as a friend or acquaintance, I feel a disappointment when they achieve something that I have not. I am not proud of this side of myself of this aspect of my competitive nature. I should be able to take joy in the fact that I associate with such intelligent and driven people but instead it makes me long for some dull, dumb friends who I can feel superior to.
The truth is I don’t feel proud of my competitive nature. Though it has helped drive me to the top of many situations it has also held me back from enjoying the successes I do have. It also makes me feel like a jerk that I am not totally happy for the people I care about.
The beauty of knowing this about myself is I can try and change. The expectations I have are only my own and so if I want to stop, I can. I probably can’t stop immediately because I have been this way for many years, if not my whole life. So slowly, I am trying. I try to smile when someone achieves and not think about my own failings. And if I keep at it, eventually that twinge will fade away.
At least, I hope.