It’s about our approach, not the outcome
Seasons of Change is a biweekly column from Jayne Clark addressing different topics each season. Fall’s focus is competition. Jayne Clark works intuitively with clients to help them resolve issues regarding relationships, loss, grief, health, and career path. To learn more, head to jayneclark.com.
When we think of competition, we usually think of sports. Yet, when we look around, competition permeates throughout our entire society.
This fall we have another heated presidential election. Adidas is still Nike’s biggest competitor. And on an even smaller scale, there is a sweet little toddler competing with his/her older sibling for attention, acceptance and equality within the family dynamic.
What exactly is competition?
Webster likes to define it as a “test of skill or ability, a contest, a rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customer or market share.”
This definition assuredly sets the stage for some intense, juicy battles among businesses, individuals, and sports teams. And while it may seem very exciting to watch, without conscious awareness, the essence of competition is latent with greed, manipulation, and false power.
It doesn’t take much to research major corporations, financial investors, and professional athletes who have crumbled under the seductive powers of fame and prestige. Spotting ill intentions and unethical business practices are easy to see, especially when there are those left in a wake of shattered dignity and respect.
When competition is surrendered to the Holy Spirit …
We all enjoy the sweetness of victory. We love emotionally charged stories of triumph over tremendous odds. And for goodness sakes, who doesn’t love the underdog? Competition and winning are wonderful! Yet it’s critically important to look at how we get to the winner’s circle in anything in our lives.
To embrace difficult people or a depressed economy with the notion that they are there to help us improve all aspects of our being, allows us the proper use of competition. I have said many times to my own tennis students, “be grateful and respectful to your opponent because without them, you don’t get to play the game.”
The truth is, there is always a “win” in every loss. When the economy plummets and businesses are competing for market share, it’s time to innovate and become creative. To be in a situation such as this, offers us the opening to rise to new heights and shine in ways we have not known.
When given to the divine spirit within us, competition and opposing forces become the midwife to birthing our inner genus. It is the quality of our energy, thoughts, and attitude infused with our talent that makes us brilliant. So even if the outcome isn’t what we hoped for, we still walk away feeling as though we won.
It is so important for us to keep shifting our focus away from winning and losing and direct our attention to the unseen substance and content within the entire game of life. Outcomes are always out of our control. Yet the journey and process is completely up to us in how we choose to engage in competition.
My late father always said, “there is the easy way and the hard way.” When we surrender our competitive spirits to the holy essence that beats our hearts, we may not always get the outcome, but we will always get the lesson and the benefits that come with it.