Success in Learning You Don’t Have to be the Best

via Thetique

I think everyone can agree that there’s an underlying competitive quality in us all. Even if you wouldn’t label yourself as such, I’m sure you can admit that with winning or being number one comes a certain level of satisfaction. I don’t know if it’s instinct or if it’s something society has taught us throughout the years, but for many individuals, it just feels good to know that you’re the best at what you do. We strive for that coveted first-place position or an elevated status, and we get down on ourselves when our accomplishments fall anything short of that.

But why is it that way? Why is it that if we’re not “number one” we’re failing?

I can’t pinpoint exactly what happened, but somewhere along the way, we started equating being the best to being successful. We tell ourselves that if we can’t be the one who is most acclaimed or accredited, then we don’t want to be in the running at all. Personally, I know that there have been countless times where I’ve completely given up on something I love simply because someone (whether it be myself or another individual) told me that I would never be the best or amount to the dreams I had so grandiosely drawn up in my head. I would get in this mindset of, “Why bother?” Everything I thought I wanted to achieve or do, someone was already doing or had done ten times better. “So what makes me think that I have any business even trying?

And I know that I’m not alone on this one. I know you’ve felt that “why bother?” mentality too. It’s the reason you never wrote that novel or started that blog or kept going with those guitar lessons. We get it in our minds that if we can’t be the best, or at least a contender, then there’s no point. If there’s no glory or success at the end of the road, we’re just wasting our time. I’ve thought it, you’ve thought it, we all have. The good news for us is that it’s absolute and complete bullshit.

Who says you have to be the best to reap the benefits of something you love? If you find joy, laughter, relaxation, strength, delight, or anything else that is good in something you love, why not chase it with everything you have in you? It doesn’t have to mean that you’ll break records or become some overnight celebrity. You do it because your soul simply could not bear it if you didn’t. So go out and create the things you want to create. Embark on the adventures you’ve always imagined you would. Start now. And don’t let other people successes, failures, positions or statuses guide your steps. Because at the end of the day, your success isn’t rooted in being number one. Your success comes in the small victories – the ones where learn, grow, and become inspired to keep doing whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.

Featured Image via Jonas Berg Photography

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