Winning vs. Getting Better

As I get ready to compete for the third time this season, I’m trying to map out the rest of my “competition” time which means I have the ever fun endeavor of picking shows. I’m pretty lucky in that my region has a lot of shows to chose from so I get to be, well, chose-y. Because there are a decent amount of shows to chose from, I’ve been having trouble deciding which contests I want to enter so I asked my coach for his thoughts. His answer was exactly what I had really  been debating about in my head – do I want to win or do I want to do something that makes me better? Once the question was asked, my answer was pretty clear. I want to do things that make me better. Done. Case Closed. Sign me up.

But then there is always that thought of “well, winning would be nice”. And winning IS nice. I’m a pretty competitive person and am a perfectionist by nature – I want to be the best at everything all the time. This is a truly laughable endeavor and a notion that I’ve mostly let go of because, for real, it will drive you crazy. However, that liiiittle tiny voice does pop up from time to time. Winning feels good. Period. And there isn’t anything really wrong with wanting that feeling.


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But you know what feels better? Being better. But that certainly doesn’t mean it is easy. I think anyone who spends a significant amount of time throwing around heavy stuff can tell you that, at some point, being strong and capable means that your life gets simultaneously easier and harder.  At this really great article states:


"…suddenly being regarded as capable can be downright alarming. It can force an unexpected reassessment of boundaries and priorities…Disappearing back into weakness and low expectations may seem safer and more comfortable by comparison. Certainly they’re more familiar — and the familiar is powerfully attractive.”


Basically, the bigger your goals, the higher you aim, the scarier it gets. Comforting? No. Rewarding? Absolutely.

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I think that a lot of people fall into the trap of being comfortable because it’s easy. But at some point, if you want to be better…you have to do things that make you better.  You have to, at some point, take a leap and know that even if you fail, you’re still better than if you had never even tried.  I think that learning how to fail and learning from failure and mistakes will take people a lot farther than never trying.


So basically, this post really has no purpose other than to serve as your occasional reminder to have the courage to be great and do some epic shit.