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Life is Not a Competition

I spent most of my life having to compete for love and attention. It was all I knew, and I thought that's how life was. Eventually, I got tired of competing and I decided that I didn't want to participate anymore. I just figured I wasn't worthy of love and attention, and I accepted my fate.

No one should have to compete for love and attention. Everyone deserves to be loved and appreciated by their family. Growing up having to compete for love and attention can make life in a healthy environment more difficult. Here are some things I noticed as I tried to form healthy relationships.

Judgmental Personality

When you have to compete for survival, you become judgmental of yourself and others. You compare yourself to everyone else. You wonder if you are good enough and why someone else is better than you. You begin to put others down to make yourself look better without even realizing it. You become willing to step on and over anyone to get to the top. If you are not getting the best grades, compliments, and attention, you feel like a failure. You feel like to need to convince others how you are better than everyone else, including them.

Overexplaining or Expressing Achievements

When you grow up competing for resources, you may find yourself overexplaining. You feel like you need to explain everything you do and don't do. You begin to think that you are not enough and that nothing you do will ever be enough. You begin to believe your worth is tied to your achievements and that without those accomplishments you are nothing. To outsiders you will seem like you are bragging and self-absorbed, but to those in your family you will be proving you are enough.

Once you have your own children you will expect them to hit all of their milestones "on time". You will continue to push them to be all they can be, and you will expect them to achieve what you couldn't. You will think that by them achieving what you couldn't, you are finally making your family proud of you.

Can't Accept Constructive Criticism

Criticism of any kind will upset you. You don't like to be wrong or corrected because you have been told that means you aren't living up to your potential. If you aren't living up to your potential, then you are not worthy of love and attention.

Authority Figures Scare and Intimidate You

You have been told that authority figures are more important than you. Meeting with those who are in leadership positions will make you nervous and anxious. You won't feel like you are worthy of their time and attention until you have proven yourself. You will listen to everything they tell you and try your best to make them proud of you. Your goal will be to be the best at everything you do.

How Do You Change?

The first step to changing any behavior is acknowledging that behavior. Understand that the patterns you were taught are not healthy. It's time to learn that everyone is different and that being different makes you who you are. It doesn't make you any more or any less than anyone else. Once you understand that everyone is on the same level as everyone else, you can begin to become who you were meant to be.

You don't have to change anything about yourself to be enough. You were born exactly as you were meant to be. You can wear the clothes that you wish to wear, you can have the hairstyle you want to have, and you can have the career that fulfills you. Your life is all about what you want, not about what others think and want you to have. Listen to your heart, above all else. Your heart knows the truth, your head only knows what it's been told.



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