I’ve told you that my competitiveness is a sickness. I guess I didn’t realize how much that was true.
Not only is winning important to me, but I literally wrap up my entire self-worth in being GREAT at everything. Not good…GREAT.
And if I think I’m NOT going to be PERFECT at what I do, then I rather not do it at all. (hmmm…just realizing I do this with time too. If I think I’m going to be late, than I rather not go…)
If I don’t run that race, give that nutrition lecture, or teach that class, there is NO WAY I CAN FAIL AT IT.
Whoa. “AHA” Moment.
If I fail myself, that is one thing. But if I disappoint others (my family, my peers, my audience), it is totally unbearable. I can’t be anything less than AMAZING, because that’s not what they expect. I can’t make the wrong choices, because Selena always does the responsible, right thing. I must be all things to all people, because that’s the only way I feel I can be loved.
My truth has always been:
Winning = praise = love
Love MUST be earned.
If I don’t earn it perfectly, I don’t deserve it.
If I fail, then I lose the love I have.
This explains so much.
- Give me a reason to get out of a race, and I’ll take it. Especially if I have any reason to think I won’t perform at my best. Don’t get me wrong, I love racing and I don’t do this often, but the underlying reason when I DO get out of a race is FEAR. Fear of failure.
- When I do race, and I don’t do very well, I can list for you all the reasons why. Like it somehow will redeem me in your eyes.
- I sub out my classes from time to time just because I think I won’t do it perfectly. My peeps might look at me differently if I failed them.
- I put programs and lectures together, work hard to promote these endeavors, and when it comes right down to it, if the registrations are lacking or the turnout is poor, I rather just cancel. Obviously I wasn’t good enough to get a large crowd, so what makes me think I will be good enough to do the job right?
- I am the “responsible” one in my family, and everyone expects me to take care of things, make the right choices, and hold.it.all.together….always. This has caused me to have a VERY hard time creating boundaries, saying no, and making decisions that are necessary for me to thrive. I NEVER want to disappoint and the expectation is so very great.
- I don’t want to be the bad guy. I can’t make the hard decisions, if it means hurting someone. I can’t accept less than perfect for fear of losing respect and love. I must do it RIGHT, whatever that means…anything else is unacceptable.
Winning at everything is going to kill me.
My adrenals are a prime example. Six months ago, they stopped me in my tracks. Huge wake-up call! My constant need to do it all was too much for my system to handle.
Six months later, my adrenals are better in one way, and worse in another. PLUS, my thyroid is now in question. UGH. See, I can’t even heal myself correctly! Sorry…my ‘must win’ brain just stepped in.
Continuing certain relationships for appearances and to keep from causing hurt, is actually doing just the opposite. The damage and hurt is HUGE, emotionally and physically. The anxiety I feel due to this overwhelm is choking me, and feeding my negative you-can’t-commit-to-anything-you-aren’t-good-enough cycle. And some nights, literally FEEDING me…with food!
The confusion of what choices to make, which direction to go, and how to do it all perfectly, without hurting anyone, is bringing about my ADD tendencies, lots of crying, not enough sleeping, and a web of doubt in my brain. I can’t hardly think straight some days.
I’m a frickin’ mess.
Enter in: Expectation Vacation
So I took an expectation vacation. No extra work, no deadlines, and no pressure to perform.
I ran two events as training for the big relay event: Hood to Coast. I didn’t call them ‘races.’ And… I didn’t wear a watch! This meant I wouldn’t know my pace by numbers, only by feel. The first event was the Cosmo 7k. I had a panic attack right before the gun went off because I have been defined by that watch and the times that roll across the screen. To not have it, was like losing a vital piece of the ‘competitive’ me. Ripping out the safety of my numbers. Stealing away my guide to a strong finish! As if this weren’t enough, I decided to start at the back of the pack instead of on the starting line. UGH. That was tough. I was determined to enjoy my run rather than ‘race’ it.
That run inspired this post: http://radliferocks.com/no-whiners-how-one-man-reminds-me-to-run-and-breathe-because-i-can/
And brought on this smile at the end:
*confession: I did go and look at my finish time. If I would’ve pushed more (raced it), I could have placed in my age group for sure. I was a little frustrated with that, but let it go…in a day or two. Hey, it a transition period for me!
The second event was the Salmon Creek 5 mile. Again, no watch. I felt better without it this time. It was a longer distance for me and I just wanted to see if I could pace it well. Hood to Coast was the following weekend, and my longest leg was 6.2 miles. I needed to know that I could make that distance with ease. I didn’t feel as great as I wanted, I had a side pain for most of it, BUT…I won! Not just my age group, but overall female!
I was shocked. Truly, my time was not stellar (I’m being totally honest now, not humble), but apparently faster than any other woman there that day.
That run gave me a WIN, but a win I wasn’t trying for. Something I needed…BADLY.
The finale event of the summer: Hood to Coast: The Mother of all Relays – 199 mile relay from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast.
No watch, again. I felt strong. I felt GOOD. I didn’t get injured. And I partied like a ROCKSTAR when it was over. And I did it all for ME. No one else.
*confession: I did peek at my time on one of my three legs. I rocked a 5 mile leg at 7:20 pace!
I have been able to REALLY take a break from extra work. Instead of staying up late to “finish-up” writing or other seeming important odds and ends, I’ve taken to reading a book, looking at the stars, and going to bed early.
*confession: this may have increased my red wine consumption, but at least I am relaxed!
I’ve done things for me, even if it might be a less-than-perfect-choice. I felt a swell of release from perfection. It was liberating.
*confession: afterwards, I second guessed myself…but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
I even put myself out there for a new job. And I GOT IT!
*confession: I’m scared I might not be good enough…but now I’m aware of the WHY behind it.
Lastly…I’ve made the hard decisions, fully aware that I will look like the bad guy, I will hurt people, and there will be lots of disappointment. I must love ME more.
*confession: Depending on the moment, my feelings are either one of relief or guilt. This will work itself out.
Is my vacation over?
Now that August is gone and summer is just about over, should my expectation vacation also come to a close?
I don’t think so. I think it’s just the beginning of a new and improved version of myself.
I like the way I feel right now. I don’t want to go back to where I was.
It will be a struggle to keep the ‘winning-mind’ from hijacking my thoughts and whispering in my ear: You aren’t good enough unless you WIN.
But I’m going to give it a shot.
Inspiring a RADiant Revolution
The whole point of my passion (holistic nutrition consulting) and this blog is to inspire YOU to make the changes you never thought possible. To help you break free from whatever is holding you back from achieving the powerful diva, the inner athlete, and the RADiant ROCKSTAR that is buried deep.
Finding ways to nourish your body the best way possible may extend away from food, and dive deeper into your own understanding of the hostage you are of your own mind.
If I can try to undo 37 years of screwed up thinking, you can too.
I’m here to inspire you, teach you, hold your hand and guide you.
Come with me, and you may never be the same.
Welcome to RADiance.