Are Competition Commandos Controlling Your Brain?
It’s safe to say that I’ve been known to have a bad attitude when it comes to meeting new people. And though I’ve become more open over time, my husband is still programmed to say, “Babe, I know you don’t like new people, but there is someone you really have to meet.” Bizarre, right? What’s up with that? I’m a happy, outgoing, easy with a smile, kind of a person. I like people. My job revolves around supporting, listening and inspiring people. So why the bizarre wave of uncomfortability with new interactions?
One word, my dearie … competition. Oy dear lawd, not this topic … again! No one likes to look at their emotional junk, and yes, we all have junk. It’s tough work slogging through the stuff and honestly, this murky pile o’mess stinks.
As a food and body coach, I’d like to think I’m up there with being accountable and open with what’s going on with me. I’ve got to walk my talk, right? But this thing, this competition thing, still twists and ties me up like nothing else. And it’s why I used to avoid new people, especially new women. What if they were smarter than me, more successful than me, happier than me, thinner than me, richer than me, and (God forbid!) funnier than me? Well, that was just way too much for my delicate flower soul to handle. Nope, I decided it was much safer to just keep to myself, do my work and not be intimidated by the outside world.
Seems brilliant in theory, right? You know, conquer the world all by yourself from your home office. But as it turns out, you simply can’t. Any happy, deeply contented, authentic and yes, emotionally (and physically) healthy person is well connected. I’m not talking about my grandmother’s version of well connected, which means having the Marchioness of Bath in your Rolodex (true story), though those connections certainly don’t hurt. But rather, to live a wondrous, inspiring and truly fulfilling life you’ve got to be well connected to a group of open, authentic rock-star women who have your best interests at heart.
These are women who love and support you when you just don’t have the strength to do so yourself. And we all, no matter how enlightened and how Zen we are, have those moments when it seems impossible to love ourselves.These women feed off your innate awesomeness and give it back ten-fold. They are the ones magically armed and ready with tissues and dark chocolate when it’s breakdown time. And these are the women who hold the space and inspire you to create, express and shine as the unique woman you are! Sometimes you’ve got to search for these beautiful women and sometimes they simply fall into your lap. But first, you’ve got to be open to creating genuine connection, which means, big shocker, unleashing the real YOU.
News flash — Being the real you is scary as hell. Believe me, I know. I thought I was being the real me for years until I realized my perpetual undercurrent of self-flagellation, judgment and resentment was a symptom of the real me (my authentic self) trying to get out. (It’s complicated but we will get there.) Exposing the truest pieces of YOU is undeniably liberating; however, in doing so, you open yourself up to questions, comments and (oy!) judgmental concerns!
OK, let’s take a deep breath. I’m not talking about vomiting your life story onto every female passerby. That would be over-sharing. But telling your carefully selected, trusted wonder-women what’s really going on behind that giant stone wall you’ve erected around yourself is essential in fully loving your body, your food, your family and your many imperfections.
So here’s what you are going to do. Rather than stay small and stoic, simultaneously believing you know everything and nothing and don’t need support because you are a smart woman and can figure it all out by yourself, thank you very much, you are going to seek out a lady friend and share your current feelings. This might be nails-on-a- chalkboard uncomfortable at first. Keep going. A touch of emotional pain is the sign we are gettin’ to the good stuff. And as I like to say, you’ve got to go through the pain and fright to taste the love and light!
Now notice, once you do this, how easily you swap out the repressive feelings of competition for connection. It’s almost as if they do it on their own. And how is that?
Because destructive competition cannot survive among authentic connection. With competition peeled away, suddenly there is enough for all and the need to compare your body, your health, your business and your life to everyone with a va-jay-jay, melts away. It’s a freakin’ miracle!
This is a HUGE topic that we women rarely let ourselves discuss. So tell me … where have you seen competition halt your health, business and body love? What do you do to calm the cracked-out, competitive commandos in your brain?
Jamie G. Dougherty is a food and body coach who empowers savvy women to finally break through their body barriers and see their life, body luv and business fully bloom! She is the author two wildly popular digital cookbooks, is a columnist for SpaWeek.com and has been featured on Martha Stewart Radio and ABC’s “View from the Bay.”
Photo credit: pamhule