Sunday, June 29, 2008

winning and losing

Call me a perfectionist, an over-achiever, highly competitive, or someone who grew up with two brothers, but I hate losing. I feel terrible when I'm the worst at something. Forgive me, but I like to win. I don't have to be the best, but I really don't like being the worst.

The past few weeks, I had been struggling to find something I'm good at. Lately, the only competitive activities I've been involved in are ones in which I don't perform well. I'm not a good pool player, nor am I a good bowler. I try not to be a poor sport, but it's so frustrating to me when everyone else around me gets it and I don't. I get down on myself and I'm sure it's reflected in my attitude. The thing that's most irritating about it is that I am actually trying to improve. I take advice from people who offer it. I try to correct the angle of my shot, I pay attention to the follow-through on my release. Yet, I still suck. Arrrggghhh. It's so frustrating.

However, I have had a couple of experiences lately that showed me there are things I can do well. At our volleyball game last week, not enough people showed up from our team, so we had to forfeit. But there were still people who wanted to play for fun, so we took the court and played without keeping score. My first serve didn't go over the net, and I was a tad annoyed with myself. However, I shook it off and then every one of my serves from that point on was amazing! It felt good. I knew it didn't impact the outcome of the game, but it was a personal victory. It was nice to hear other people comment on how great my serves were. Even the guys were impressed! I needed to have that reminder that there is something competitive that I can do well.

Then, at Bridget's birthday gathering on Friday night, we played Catch Phrase (my favorite game) and our team won every round but one. With a few exceptions, my clues were really good and I did well guessing when other members of my team were giving clues. Some people said, "Man, I want Ruth on my team every time I play!" While it shouldn't be important to judge oneself by the comments and feedback of others, it sure doesn't hurt to hear positive words.

I know I'm not going to be good at everything. I need to accept that and focus more on having fun when I'm playing pool or when I'm bowling. I don't want to opt out of activities just because I'm not good at them. After all, how am I going to get better at them if that's my approach? I'm just glad I had a taste of personal achievement so that when I'm not so great at something, I can remember that it's not the end of the world. And yes, I know that my abilities and achievements do not define who I am; I am accepted and loved just for being me--I don't have anything to prove. It's just so darn fun to win!

No comments: