You don’t have to be a soccer mom in today’s world to feel the need for a competitive edge. Whether you are helping to make a winning project for that middle school science fair, trying to one-up other moms by creating the best costume for your little dancer, or coaching your child’s swim team, there are many aspects of motherhood that require a little healthy competition.
Most moms are well aware of the following insights when it comes to facing competition, and these can be used in everything from parenthood to professional challenges.
1. Know Your Opponent
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Realizing what you can expect from the competition is a major insight. This requires observation, which is easily done in sports competitions.
Take note of the opposing team’s weaknesses and their strengths, and figure out how you can work with them. If you are entering a moms’ baking contest, is there someone who consistently wins with a tried-and-true recipe? If so, you may want to make something completely different that will stand out.
2. Plan Ahead
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No matter the nature of the competition, planning is crucial. Even if the competition doesn’t involve the kids, it’s a good idea to get everything organized before the big event.
Train for that marathon months in advance and be sure you have the right type of running shoes. Make a list of poetry contest deadlines you plan on entering so you know when to submit your entries. Whatever type of contest or challenge you sign your name to, there’s always room for practice.
Confidence is key to feeling exceptional, both as a woman and as a mother. Even in the face of some healthy rivalries, confidence can go a long way in making the experience more pleasant.
Whether you win or lose, having the confidence to tackle a challenge is good for the soul. Not only that, but showing your confident side will serve as a reminder to your children that competition is nothing to fear: it is a vital aspect of self-improvement.
4. Maintain a Healthy Balance
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The last thing you want to do in any competitive atmosphere is to take things too seriously. Thanks to reality television, we’ve seen how far beauty pageant moms can take it when it comes to pushing their children to the top of the pack for the sake of a trophy and title.
Competition needs to be approached with a healthy balance of friendly rivalry and compassion. Allow yourself or your kids to do well, but also make room for failure. Win or lose, walk away from the competition having learned something about yourself and feeling more positive about your abilities than when you began.
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Whether you worry about competing for a job promotion, want to avoid hurting friendships over competitive challenges, or fear putting yourself out there, approach a healthy competition as an obligation, otherwise you may never even get out of the starting gate.
Take that first step by entering your blog in a RewardIt contest, offer to help coach your child’s cheerleading squad, put money in that weight loss pool at the office, or sign up for next summer’s triathlon. Take responsibility for life’s challenges and commit. You’ll have the competition, even if that competition is yourself, cornered in no time.