This last week I competed in a ballroom dance competition. I have been dancing for almost 2 years and this was my 4th competition. In this case, I happened to sweep all my events with all FIRST place placements!
So awesome, right? I mean, I did a lot of work, prepared, showed up, danced the best that I could in that environment, and it turned out that I came out first this time. You would think that I would feel great, right?
But then I found my brain go to work on creating a mess. First, it started to minimize the accomplishment. It offered things like:
Well it was a small competition so there wasn’t very good competition.
In at least one round you only competed against one or two people.
You probably wouldn’t get first against 7 people.
Well you are at the top of this level, so that’s kind of cheating.
I was able to talk back to my brain some. I said things like:
A competition is a competition. Small or large, a win is a win.
Even if I was uncontested, I showed up. I was there. I overcame all my insecurities and doubts, did the work and got on the floor. Even if I competed against nobody, I still did the hard part!
I don’t know how I will do against 7, but against these people, I did get first!
What’s wrong with being at the top of your level? Should you skip that part and go from the middle of your level and move to the bottom of the next? I worked hard to get to this part of my level!
And then my brain said, “Ok. We will give you the win. But don’t celebrate too much because you will hurt people around you.” It tried other things, like:
You will make people feel bad because you did so well.
If you celebrate, it will minimize their accomplishments.
Don’t overshadow people.
Be happy, but not too happy.
People will think you think you are better than them.
So I talked back to my brain again.
I can’t make people feel bad. They will have their own thoughts about what I do. They choose those thoughts. I can’t control that. I don’t want them to feel bad, and I hope they don’t use it against themselves, but some people might.
If I celebrate, it has nothing to do with their accomplishments. They are not connected. I am on a journey, and they are on their own. My success won’t take any away from them. There is plenty to go around!
Overshadowing people isn’t a thing. I am proud of what I have done! I want THEM to be proud of what they have done.
I can be happy and pave the way so others can be happy for what they accomplish. Everyone can be happy if they choose to be!
People can think whatever they want. I know I don’t think I am better than anyone else, I am just happy for what I have done. I hope they choose thoughts that serve them. I don’t want to be in charge of what they think, so I will leave that to them.
We work so hard to get somewhere, and then minimize it and make ourselves small. It doesn’t make sense. We work hard because we want to feel all the joy and accomplishment and gratification of a job well done and then don’t allow it in it’s fullness. It’s time to stop that nonsense.
I want to contribute to the solution. I want to be the person who cheers for others, lifts them up, shines the light on them. I want them to be so happy for themselves and milk those accomplishments for all they are worth! I want to be the example that no matter how successful YOU are, I promise not to hurt myself with how I interpret it. Because I want you to feel it in it’s fullness and not make yourself small so I can feel okay. Grow, sis! Grow big, be seen, shine bright! I’ll hold your spotlight!