Were you ever required to take the Strengthsfinder test? Or something similar? You know, the personality test where you get to demonstrate your expertise on, well, yourself.
My husband absolutely loathes personality quizzes. (Must be his personality 😉 ). I, however, rather enjoy them. I like being forced to think about my strengths, weaknesses, and even any weird quirks I may possess.
I had to take the Strengthsfinder quiz, and read the entire book, for an intro class at college. I will spare you the big five traits assigned to me and reveal to you the one I would like to zero in on with this post. It did not come as a shock that competition was a quality on the list.
I am not sure if it is the fact that I grew up the youngest of three sisters provoking my need to constantly prove myself… Or if I simply hated losing naturally, but competitiveness has always been in my blood. I hate losing. Be it a board game, a sport, a brain teaser… I not only have to complete my challenges, but get there first. Winning is everything.
Writing is my thing
Lately I have been meditating on my goals and vision for the future. When I think about what is to come, I cannot ignore the desire of my heart to continue writing and creating. I love it. I once heard that you should pursue the vocation or hobby that “makes your spine tingle” then do it with all your might. I have found mine in writing.
As these thoughts come together in my mind, simultaneously doubt and hesitancy make their debut.
I take one look around and what do I see?
Just about everyone has a blog these days. Everyone is an expert at something. Everyone is sharing their opinions and perspective.
This observation has led to inconsistency with my own craft. Why do something everyone else is doing? Why bother if it is not needed? Why should I if I am not the best?
It has been a hard pill to swallow… Admitting not only that I am not the best blogger or critical thinker, but that it is perfectly okay and realistic that I am not.
Of COURSE I am not the best blogger or writer there ever was! What a daunting task that would be! But I think our unrealistic expectations often get in the way of a potentially good, or even great, thing we can do.
I am not the best, but i am getting better
This evening, as I was thinking through what keeps me from pursuing this desire, an epiphany finally stirred my dormant writing dreams.
Tell a competitive person that they cannot win and see if they even try. Tell someone who thrives on coming out on top that they cannot, or won’t ever, be the best. As I applied these thoughts to my own life, a pattern of giving up and quitting was revealed.
I refuse to continue defining myself by this attitude that has crept its way into my innermost thoughts. And I challenge you to do the same.
Think about every detail of our lives. The cars we drive. The restaurants where we dine. The vast selection of technology available. Take a look at your local book store. Thousands of books stock the shelves by many different authors. There is no shortage of writers. There are tons of options for everything! Yet we never question the quantity of these life luxuries surrounding us.
What if your favorite, not chain, coffee shop never opened because they took one look around at all of the Starbucks on every corner and said what’s the point? What if the author of a devotional that helped you grow compared themself to the many teachers sharing their wisdom and decided they are better off not? What if the photographer that captured the perfect moment at your wedding never beleived they could be great doing what they love and gave up the chance to start a business?
I have grown to view writing and blogging in this light. Just because there are many writers out there does not mean I should not pursue what I love. Even if I won’t be the best, that does not mean giving up is the answer. People need what we have to give.
Now, I will allow my competition trait to fuel growth and challenge me to be better. There is always much to learn no matter what our hands find to do.
No, I am not the best, but every day I am a better writer than I was yesterday. That is reason enough for me to give it my all.