As a young girl, I remember how empowered I felt when someone challenged me. The power that came from my belief that I could be the best at anything I wanted to do. I was a runner and I believed that I could always learn to run faster and further in order to win. I knew it would take a lot of hard work and practice, but I never doubted that I could achieve the results I wanted……winning. I pushed myself everyday to get better and I did, but I didn’t just apply this philosophy and belief to running. I applied it in every aspect of my life and eventually, ‘winning’ wasn’t always possible. The older I got, the more I experienced situations where winning just wasn’t going to happen and no matter how good I was, there was always someone, somewhere better at it than me. The more I lost, the less I tried.
At a crucial turning point in my life I realized I no longer saw challenges as something I could overcome. As a matter of fact, it was the exact opposite. I had come to fear a challenge and I no longer had that determination or drive to pursue whatever in life I wanted. That determined mindset I once had, the empowerment I once felt when challenged, was gone. So what had changed?
I spent a lot of time evaluating my life and choices. I dug deeper into my feelings and beliefs and the difference between the two. Unknowingly, because I had placed all the value on the win, somewhere along the way I stopped valuing me if I wasn’t winning. As I got older and the level of competition heightened, those wins didn’t come as often and this truth that I had unknowingly adopted of no win…no value left me feeling like I had no value. For 20 years if you had asked me, I would have argued with this, because it sounds ludicrous when you say it out loud, but every behavior and feeling I had proved otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong…..I don’t believe there was anything wrong with working hard to be the best or even my desire to win as a teenager, but putting ALL the value on winning ultimately robbed me of the belief that I had value when I wasn’t winning.
In a world that places so much emphasis and value on winning and being the best, and in a society that looks at the results to determine value, don’t forget to value the process. Value the failures, value the growth, and know that wherever you are, you are worth the journey…….wherever it may take you.