We live in a competitive world, no doubt about that, but have you ever thought of what the costs are? The costs of stack ranking yourself alongside another’s?
I recently attended a live workshop with Lisa Nichols. There were probably around 250 of us in the audience, and at one point she turned to the audience to share.
An energetic Finnish woman was the first to take the microphone where she promptly shared her insights and excitement about being there to learn and grow. The audience couldn’t help but get excited with her.
When the microphone was passed to a man on the other side of the room, his first words were, “I am not sure how I can top that.”
His words made my heart break a little bit. Before he even opened his mouth, he decided that his words weren’t as valuable as the Finnish woman’s. I wanted to stand up and say something, but given the context of the moment, I stayed seated.
It was only afterwards that I sought out the man and said, “I want to let you know that there is nothing and no one to TOP. Just be you.”
These words were as much for him as for me.
When faced with someone whom I deem is “better” than me I often I stay silent. I keep myself from sending an email, or applying to something “big” because I say to myself, “Who am I to compete with those who have gone before me? How can I top that, or them?”
I believe that many of us share a similar response. We believe that our voices aren’t worth listening to. That our gifts aren’t really gifts. That our messages aren’t worth spreading. We compare ourselves to those who are “bigger”and “better” than us, only to find ourselves behind.
But what if there is no BIGGER, no BETTER, no BEHIND, and nothing to TOP?
What if instead YOU are YOU. You look to others as inspiration for your growth, rather than competition. I was pleased to know that Lisa also shared this sentiment because later that morning she said, “There is no competition. We are here to compliment one another.”
What would your world look like if you weren’t seeking to be better than those around you, but, instead, were seeking to compliment those around you?
Courage. Compassion. Connection.