February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024 Life Isn’t a Competition

Have you ever met a “one-upper?” A person who has always done the thing bigger and better than you? A person who always has it “worse” than you? A person who “had the same thing happen” to them? A person who always has to have the last word or the final say?

I’ve created a story that “one-uppers” are simply needing validation in their lives – they may be seeking attention, filling a void in their life somehow or seeking validation that they’ve never had or didn’t have as a child. And this is an over-compensating reaction to get it. 

It’s a double edged sword though. What most “one-uppers” don’t realize is that by bringing this energy and presence to relationships or conversations, they are actually invalidating others around them. Most of us share our experiences to connect with each other, to not feel alone, to be seen and heard and most importantly to feel validated. And so the very thing a “one-upper” is seeking comes at the expense of the other who is seeking the same thing. For many who find themselves on the receiving end of this dynamic it is both frustrating and exhausting, because in the end, neither party gets what they are looking for. Neither are seen, heard or validated. In fact, the undermining of the one-upping actually erodes the relationship or the rapport.

It’s here that the energetic dynamic becomes a competition, when in truth, it doesn’t need to be. We all go through the muck of life. Sure, it may look different for each of us, but on an emotional level there are stark similarities. The story itself is actually quite irrelevant, but many of us become so entrenched or attached to our story we miss this piece. The story is simply a tale we choose to weave about an event – and stories can change (they usually do) – but the purpose of a story is to find the emotion, the thought, the meaning. And nothing has any meaning except the meaning we choose to give it. The stories we create are our journey. It’s where our true heart-work lies. When we are ready to start letting go of our attachment to the story, we can begin to explore the emotions and patterns that underlie it. This is what we are really seeking. It isn’t validation, but instead connection. And true connection doesn’t happen without emotion.

When I recognize a “one-upper” in my life I now see it as an opportunity to validate them, to listen and really hear what is being said and also to what isn’t being said. It’s a chance to love them harder and in a way that they will recognize and feel. It may mean that that person isn’t the vessel for what I am seeking in that moment, but surprisingly I’ve noticed that when we step out of our needs and serve another by really seeing and hearing them, they shift too. And when they do, the conversation becomes very different. Perhaps the key is in talking less about the stories that create competition and sharing more from how our heart is really feeling. 

This week we are encouraged to drop the competition and the stories we tell ourselves and others. Instead, let’s move into listening to feel instead of to respond. Let’s create connections instead of competition. All of our hearts will be happier for it. 

Xo Juli


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