Last month my book club picked The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey to read. I was a little puzzled at first considering most of the books we read deal with money and finance, but this book truly surprised me. It’s an easy read and extremely relevant in many different areas of life.
Towards the end of the book the author reveals…..”true competition is identical to true cooperation.” He goes on to say, “Each player tries his hardest to defeat the other, but in this use of competition it isn’t the other person we are defeating: it is simply a matter of overcoming the obstacles presented by the other.”
Hmmmmm….after reading this I thought, Wow!!! He’s right! Growing up I was a fierce competitor in all sports. Although, I couldn’t really appreciate my opponents skill to beat me because I was such a sore loser, I was determined to get better after every lose. I suppose I would have gotten better without competition, but I don’t know that I would have really had a reason to strive for excellence.
Which got me to thinking?!?!?!?! Is it possible that women’s fierce competition with each other over looks could be healthy? If competition is truly about overcoming obstacles, what obstacles are women looking to overcome by competing with each other over their looks?
I don’t know that I actually have an answer to this puzzling question, but I definitely have some strong views, as I’m sure you do as well….So please, please, please share your comments below.
I live with beauty queens, so I’m a bit bias in my positive view about the competition that takes place during beauty pageants. In the context of beauty pageants I see it as a healthy way for women to be her best — and develop confidence in her poise, posture, tone, fit, walk, communication skills etc. I don’t find it much different than the sport of body building. Plus too, they are competing to win a truly awesome year traveling the country and world raising money for worthy causes, but I think the best part is that the winners of the Miss Universe Organization get to live with me. Haha!!
Outside of beauty pageants I truly wonder what goes on inside of a woman when she sees other women as competition. What obstacles are women looking to overcome in the game, “I’m more beautiful than you?”
Is it for the attention? Or, the trophy of a man? Neither of which I feel are quest worthy of our time or energy in both cases no one comes away feeling like a winner, at least not for very long.
What if this game was being played in the spirit of, “true cooperation?” Where women looked to one another with appreciation for the care, attention and love she has for herself and got inspired to do the same? Would having this context help us to reach new personal heights of excellence?
We are all playing some kind of game, says W. Timothy Gallwey. So why not play a game that empowers you instead of one that tears you down?