Life is Not A Competition - You are competing only with yourself. I am a competitive person. My husband will not work out with me because he knows if he runs a mile, I will have to run two. I like to win and have been known to make the silliest of things somehow competitive. I’ve struggled with the need to fit in with the designer clothes of the moment, being accepted into the right sorority in college, and generally being the person that others will know will get the job done. My competitive streak created an unhealthy level of perfectionism and often anxiety. I always wanted to be the best and I often was but it came at a price. I spent an enormous amount of energy attempting to accomplish everything but I am not so sure I enjoyed the process or the journey. In the past I would typically just look to the next activity. I continue to witness competition in many that I know in regards to children’s birthday parties, owning the right car and being invited to the right events. The events of the past few years have made me realize that the struggle of fitting in can be damaging. It’s ok if your clothes come from Target, your car is several years old and your vacation consists of sitting in your backyard. There is such a thing as healthy competition. Competition can improve each of us.  We need competition to be motivated and it is helpful to have goals to reach. It is also always nice to feel that hard work has paid off and be recognized as a sales leader or help your team win the game. Without competition, perhaps little would be accomplished. However, life in general is not a competition. [tweetthis twitter_handles=”@how2makealife”]Life is meant to be lived and we each are on our own journeys. [/tweetthis] I began thinking about this topic as I connected with Sarah from Laze L Farm  through the Solidarity Sisters link up created by Susannah . New Side Bar Sarah is a graphic designer and photographer from North Carolina who established her blog as a way to share her photography and some pieces of her personal life. As we were discussing our blogs, she made the comment that she felt at times there is a competitiveness to the blogging world. Of course there are professional bloggers but there are also the ameatur bloggers who regularly seek sponsored posts, post daily and are a constant social media presence. There are equally a number of fantastic bloggers that share incredible content full of inspiration and have no sponsored posts ( This isn’t to say that big name bloggers don’t publish fantastic posts). However, it can be difficult to not be concerned with number of readers, connections with sponsors and who has better photography. By focusing upon these topics, quantity can overtake content. Sarah is a fantastic photographer and shares beautiful views of her state from horse riding weekends to state park visits. I am looking forward to visiting some of the places she suggested when we travel to North Carolina in November. We both also discussed the difficulty of finding time to work full time and be consistent with our blogs. I reminded her that life is meant to be lived and that is more important than making sure there is a blog post being written. It helped me to connect with Sarah and to reevaluate what I want from this space. Blogging has become a serious hobby for me that is connected to my professional life. There are days when I desire more readers, stronger connections and to expand this space. However, at the same time , I want to live my life and that often includes stepping away. I’m proud of my friends who are “more successful” bloggers but I am also proud of what I am accomplishing. I’ve chosen to not be competitive in this area because I want to practice self care and be honest about life. I’m so glad I took the opportunity to connect with Solidarity Sisters and encourage readers to take the time to sign up for the November connection. Life is about connecting! I”m connecting with the Solidarity Sisters link-up and Emily’s Grateful Heart Monday. 

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27 Comments

  1. Audrey Louise on October 26, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I’m also very competitive… My husband won’t play video games or board games with me because I get waaay too invested. It makes me borderline mean! I try to be aware of it and calm down when I feel the competitive bug biting!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      I’m right there with you. I have to truly be aware of it and sometimes hold myself back. Acknowledging it exists is the first step!

  2. Emily @ Ember Grey. on October 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I love this – reminds me of the quote I often see floating around these parts: “I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.” I can definitely be competitive (more of an internal thing with myself than it is with others, if that makes sense) but that quote always kind of brings me back to the reality of it all – we’re all living life, as different or as similar as our paths may be. Plus, it’s way more fun to cheer for others 😉 So happy to be cheering for you too, Sheryl!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Thank You Emily!! I certainly hope you know I’m cheering for you also. I do understand about the internal competitiveness. As I said, there is a healthy level of being competitive but it is when it starts affecting our lives that it becomes an issue.

  3. Christine Everyday on October 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

    You are so right. We are always so tempted to compare our lives to others and try to be “better” than others…but we shouldn’t be. We should be cheering everybody on, including ourselves.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      I wrote a post earlier in the year about treating yourself like your friend. We need to be kinder to ourselves and support each other.

  4. Bourbon & Lipstick on October 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Your post kind of goes hand-in-hand with mine today. I’m also a super competitive person and it hurts me a lot! This is what I was trying to say but you said it in a much more eloquent manner.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Oh I believe your post was well written! As I said, we are not taught to be happy in the moment but to constantly be looking for more and being more. Years ago, when I was in graduate school a dear friend dropped out of school and spent time delivering pizzas. I stated to James I couldn’t believe that was what she was doing. He responded “We need somebody to deliver pizzas.” She was happy with her life and didn’t care what others said (even me, her friend). His comment made me always look at things differently. The world needs each of us doing what we are doing – and if we want to do something else, we can.

  5. Nina B on October 26, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I am a competitive person but with myself. The way it plays out for me personally (not everyone) is that I wish I was competitive with others (or just not competitive) because when it is you against you, there is no end, there is no winning. I don’t think there is winning in any type of competitiveness but I spend a lot of time wondering why I set myself up for failure this way. Ha.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      But I do think there are times when you can compete against yourself and “win”. For example, you met the deadline or did a good job. When we treat ourselves as if we can’t ever win we have to ask if we even know what “winning” or being successful is.

      • Nina B on October 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm

        Yes but for me, competing against myself means I can always do better. There is no good job when a great job is possible. I can’t dust my hands off and say, okay I am done with that. I did the best I could. My best can always be better. I don’t live like this all the time but I go through phases and it is my normal. I have to CHOOSE not to think like that.

  6. Jess on October 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I can totally relate to be a competitive perfectionist, mainly when I was in school. Once I started winning awards and feeling good about myself, working hard and being the best became an obsessive passion. Luckily, I don’t view school in the same way now, but I definitely need to watch out for perfectionistic tendencies in other areas of my life. Perfectionism and self-care are so at odds with each other, and I default toward perfectionism when I need to embrace self-care.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      It’s always good to want to do your best but it is when it starts to interfere with enjoying life that it can become a problem. I personally think those perfectionism tendencies don’t go away, we just learn to control them.

  7. Caroline @ In Due Time on October 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! So glad we are all on the SAME team! The fight is never against flesh and blood! Nice to meet you, Sarah

  8. Michelle on October 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I participated in the Solidarity Sisters last month. So glad you were put together with someone you both could relate to. She lives in my neck of the woods. I was excited to see your picture with Tif on Instagram over the weekend. Wise words here for your readers. From Ember Grey today.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 26, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Thanks Michelle! I can’t wait to get away in November to NC. It was great to spend time with Tif. We actually only live a few miles from each other.

      • Michelle on October 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm

        What part of NC will you be visiting?

        • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 29, 2015 at 7:12 am

          We will be visiting Asheville the week before Thanksgiving. I’m in great need of getting away!!

          • Michelle on October 29, 2015 at 7:33 am

            Asheville, a favorite of ours. The Biltmore Estate is a great place to tour if you have time. It takes most of the day. And they have great winerys too. Lovely area. I live 2 hours or so from there.



  9. Svetlana Holt on October 26, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    For someone who doesn’t like conflict I also have a competitive streak and it’s sometimes difficult to remember that life isn’t a competition – thanks for sharing your thoughts! – http://lifewithasideofwine.com/2015/10/26/tips-for-surviving-jury-duty/

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 29, 2015 at 7:11 am

      I think having a competitive streak isn’t bad – but we have to remember to tame it (which can be hard sometimes). Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Gina Soldano-Herrle on October 28, 2015 at 12:05 am

    I’ve let competition get the best of me too. It can be hard to let go. But, I’ve realized that some things are more important than spending that time to perfect a photo or get a blog post in on time. Life is worth living, not winning.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 29, 2015 at 7:10 am

      I so agree with you. As people struggle to get that “perfect” shot for the blog they are missing out on the moment. I’m a work in progress in regards to competition!

  11. Emily @ Ideas of Emily on October 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I really appreciate this post. I’m still fairly new to the blogging world, but already I can sense how competitive it can feel at times. That’s why I love bloggers who are open about tips for blogging and like to help others get started.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on October 29, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Emily, I know there are supportive bloggers and I feel it is important to find them and become connected. We each have our own insecurities and it is all too easy to become caught up in the comparison game. Write about what you want to and make sure you are feeling happy about it. I’m so glad you stopped by.

  12. Susannah on October 29, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I absolutely love this! You’re totally right that there is NO need to be competitive!!! Thanks for joining in on the Solidarity Sisters!!! <3

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