Life is not a competition.
Yes, you’re getting this public service announcement from Miss Competitive herself.
Lately I have heard a ton of girls say things like “I wish I was skinner,” “I wish clothes fit me as well as they fit you,” “I wish I did such and such as well as you do,” “I wish I had a boyfriend like yours,” “I wish I had such and such opportunity,” “I wish I could travel to blah blah blah,” etc [Just examples, they have all not been said to me directly] :).
I remember everyone having those days in high school – aka the land of evil people. People were naturally self-conscious about their body image, lifestyle, friends, popularity ranking, and future. I’d like to believe there comes a time in your life when everything starts coming together and you figure yourself out.
For me, this time came at 21. I moved to Calgary when I was 19 and was given the opportunity to start over. No one knew me here, I could create whatever Jill I wanted to be. I told myself that I was going to be social. I told myself I would be successful. I told myself I was a catch. It took me awhile to get the swing of things, but a few years passed and I became the Jill that exists today. A social butterfly, an overachieving employee, a dedicated student and a good friend.
No I am not perfect. Yes there is still lots I am working on. Of course, I go through times where I look other peoples lives and say “Man, I wish I was there already” – the seemingly great marriage, career, home and lifestyle. I don’t wish those people in that place harm by any means, I more so admire them for what they have achieved and hope that one day, I will be in that same place.
I can understand how people are competitive in regards to academics or sports – both of these institutions foster competition. And… competition can be healthy. But for women to be competitive in regards to body image, relationships, money, career, opportunities, “stuff”, and with each other?
It’s not healthy.
Physical appearance and body image. Sigh, body image. My mom is one of the most petite 50 year olds I know… slender, not even 5 feet, and weighs less than I did in grade 12. Her whole side of the family is tiny! For those of you that know me, I am the largest girl in my immediate family (Momma and 2 sisters) – weighing in at 120lbs and measuring up to 5’3”. Ridiculous eh? So I get the reverse effects when it comes to body image. I get told I can’t have a “fat day,” because I am slender. I get criticized when I mention anything to do with “feeling ugh.” Well ladies… that’s not the way it works. Everyone has days where they feel ick… maybe it was one too many glasses of wine, some unhealthy snacking, sluggish from avoiding the gym, whatever. Every woman on this planet, regardless of size, has good days and bad days. The number on the scale is truly not important [yes it can motivate you, but that’s it], it will not determine how great you feel or guarantee some wicked amount of perfection. I’m a strong believer in a healthy mind and body, so make it happen, do it for you. Exercise because you want to (and it’s good for you). Eat well because you understand the importance. Overindulge when you want to. Accept your body shape, sometimes you just can’t change it. Appreciate that people come in different shapes and sizes, we’re all beautiful in our own way.
Relationships. Do you get jealous of others friendships or significant others? Why?!!! Do you wish you could have a relationship as awesome as your best friend’s? Well guess what? You can. Over the last year, I have learned what I deserve in a relationship. Whether it be – trust, honesty, support, laughter, passion, or fun – people have their priorities and a list of dealbreakers. You will date the wrong person for you, but don’t let it destroy you. Learn from past relationships and just remember, there are boat loads of people in this world. Boat loads! :) The right one, the one you truly deserve, will make an appearance when the time is right. Don’t feel threatened by the relationships of people around you. Let it motivate you. Remember that you truly deserve the best, do anything but settle.
Money, career, opportunities, “stuff.” Yes people get handed things in life – but do you really want to be one of those? I sure don’t… I want to work my buns off and make a name for myself. I want to be rewarded for effort and continual hard work. Is making 6 figures the post important thing to you right now? Why? Since you are reading this, I will assume you have internet and a computer. Likely you have a job and can pay your bills. Isn’t that enough? Yes we could all use more money, but how much is enough? If you want the amazing career or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, go find it. Develop your skillset and be that hot commodity you see yourself being.
You know when you walk into a room and see that person – they radiate and shine like they are the only person in the room? Size, shape, success – none of it matters. They are happy and it’s evident. Be that person.
Understand and believe in your strengths. Appreciate what you have.
Acknowledge how much progress you’ve already made in life.
Stop competing with others and start competing with yourself.
Forget about everyone else. Be better for you. ❤
Haley Lonsdale, thank you for being the inspiration behind this post. You are so beyond your years and I am honoured to have such a bright light in my life.