Insist upon yourself. Be original. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Growing up in a big family, there were six of us kids, meant you had to share everything. As second to the oldest, I learned that you can't always get what you want or keep what you have. To get noticed, you had to compete.
Recently, my youngest sister stated that she always feels like she has to hurry up and get things done or that someone else might beat her to it. I commented that being one of the youngest in the family, she probably had that early experience of competing with everyone ahead of her. It's no wonder that she would feel the pressure to "hurry" up in her adult life.
We are all taught at early ages that we must compete to get ahead in school, sports, jobs, and relationships. It is this competitive mindset that often traps us. Instead of focusing on our own strengths and talents we spend endless energy comparing ourselves to others. We often feel like we are not measuring up. Most of us know that comparing ourselves to others puts us in a no-win situation. This limited, competitive mindset isolates us from others and ultimately from our own creativity.
What if we moved from a competitive spirit to a spirit of cooperation? What if we focused on our gifts and talents instead of comparing ourselves to others? What if there is enough of everything to go around and we won't get left out? Finally, what if we relaxed into the knowledge that we are "good" enough just as we are?
We all have things we want to improve or change about ourselves. There is a certain freedom though when we accept who we are and where we are as perfect for us, right now.
You don't have to go out there to seek approval. Instead, go inside and give yourself the approval you are seeking.
You can't run anyone else's race. Why not focus on your own race? That's a race you are sure to win.