Over the past few weeks my husband and I have been playing an ongoing game of Rummy. It’s worth noting that for the past 15 years my husband has generally been the superior Rummy player; however, since we started our quarantine Rummy tournament, I have been doing very well.
During one of our recent games, he got frustrated with how the game was unfolding and said, “what is going on here?!” I smiled and said, “I’m just doing really well.”
I realized something in that moment – each time I picked up a new hand of cards, drew a new card, or waited for him to discard the same thought went through my mind, “this is going to be so good for me.”
I didn’t think, “I’m going to kick his ass” or even, “I’m so winning this round.” In truth, the game I was playing had little to do with my opponent – I was playing a game with myself.
I wasn’t focused on competing, I was focused on feeling surprised and delighted every time a new card or an inspired thought came to me. I was focused on feeling good about myself and my intuition – and that made me a formidable opponent.
There is a difference between confidence and arrogance.
Confidence (as I’ve talked about in previous weeks) is a devotion to self – its knowing you who you are, and remaining true to it. Confidence has nothing to do with anyone else - it’s personal.
Arrogance has everything to do with other people – it’s when we attempt to make ourselves better than someone (whether we actually feel that way, or just want to be seen that way). Arrogance is when we need to belittle others, in order to feel big.
As my husband watched me play another stellar round of Rummy, his hands on his head, wondering wtf was going on – I started wondering too.
I’m typically very competitive with games and tend to do my share of trash talking, but I realized that since we'd started this ongoing game, I never said anything like, “Dude, I’m slaying you!” Again, the game I’d been playing had nothing to do with him. I was playing a game of confidence – not arrogance – and it was working.
As I started to become aware of this, I began wondering about other areas of life...
Where else have I been focusing more on the other players, than on my own game?
I saved this quote from Instagram a few years ago: “Your competition isn’t other people. Your competition is your procrastination. Your ego. The knowledge you neglect, and the negative behavior you’re nurturing. Compete against that.”
The truth is, the only real game in life is with ourselves. When we focus on growing, improving, and being better than the previous versions of ourselves that is where true satisfaction and sense of ‘winning’ comes from.
We do not need other people to fail for us to succeed. We do not need to beat anyone at anything – we simply need to overcome our own shortfalls, learn our own lessons, and do better than we’d done before.
As confidence builds, expect good things to happen. With every email, with every phone call, with every new card that gets played, say to yourself, “this is going to be so good for me.”
With love and gratitude,