Remember that kid on the playground that ran around taunting in that high pitched voice, “I’m better than you are…”. Have you ever notice that the vast majority of adults we are around every day still behave like it is an elementary school yard?
No seriously, think about it. You are in a professional board room and your co-worker puffs up in front of your boss stating why his plan is better than your plan of action. Or, maybe you’ve had a moment when you threw your colleague under that proverbial bus to make sure you were selected for the next project.
We (myself included at times) brush off our behaviors saying, “Well, I have a competitive nature. It’s just who I am.” Yep. Right.
Confidence not Competition
I believe there is a distinct difference between some healthy competition and a competitive nature. With a competitive nature, we are expressing a lack of self-assurance. A behavior that expresses you have to fight for everything in order to be seen and heard. You scream with words and actions how you are better than the other person.
Self-assurance allows you to compete in a healthy way and express that you are confident in who you are and what you bring to the table without tearing down the other side. You don’t feel threatened by others.
Some will argue this is just the way of the world that we live in. That whoever screams the loudest is the one that will be heard. I disagree with this philosophy.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Think about Mr. Myagi in Karate Kid. How his humble attitude and nature taught respect, humility, and fairness to the opposing team in the movie. His character immediately popped into my mind when I wrote the above headline. Yet, our culture today has become so noisy and full of screaming and fighting to express who is right or who is wrong.
What would happen if we not only started living lives of grace but also started walking out our self-assurance? Instead of living a screaming voice of insecurity?
If I am confident in who I am and who I am in relation to a group, then I know that I already have my place and don’t have to fight for it. I become a person of influence in my world. I become a leader instead of a follower. I become a game changer wherever I am. I become a fountain of grace for those around me.
I find my identity.
I think a little healthy competition is good for us. It keeps us on our toes and motivated to move forward. But, it shouldn’t be about arriving first, smashing your competitor, or using it as a way to prove your value to the world.
Let’s try to quiet down our world by stopping the screaming. Let’s start to affect a change by walking out our self-assurance in who we are and what we believe in without condemning the other side (whatever the “other side” is). That, my friend, will always make you the winner.