Watch my YouTube video on this topic: How to stay CONFIDENT & thrive through COMPETITION
To start off, when we think of competition, when you hear that word, most of us automatically think aghh oh no, why?? But, dealing with thriving through competition is inevitable. We will experience it again and again throughout our lives. In college, you finally feel like an adult and feel the need to establish yourself; figure out who the heck you are. We all know it’s confusing, everyone’s lost in college blah blah. With all that confusion, it makes things that much more difficult!
So, how do we deal with this? The answer is simple: Have confidence! As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of making lists. They are organized and make things easy to remember. Here is a list of my tips on how to squash any self-doubt (because really, that’s the root of it all, am I right?):
This is something my mom has taught me since day 1 (shout out to you, mom). I am not going to lie, I can’t lie, but I must say that when it comes to school and a career—anything related to that, I tend to me a natural pessimist. I like to keep things real and I sometimes put too much emphasis on the “reality” side of things. And in turn, has caused me to think negatively (because truly, who actually wants to live in reality 24/7??) I have learned, especially this past school year, that being negative and trying so hard to keep things realistic… tends to make things much worse. Yes, I believe it’s important to, as they say, “hope for the best but expect the worst;” however, there is something to be said about being hopeful and focusing on the better outcome. I have been slowly trying to train myself to think this way and I can say that I’ve felt more confident and happy. This leads me into my next tip…
2) Know that everything happens for a reason.
I can’t express this enough and again, something that I’ve truly learned to embrace this year (as Kylie Jenner says, 2016 was the year of “realizing stuff”). Instead of being negative and sometimes too realistic, instead, switch it around and think OK, if this doesn’t work out, it happened for a reason. Know that there are so many more opportunities, and not getting one opportunity, whatever that might be, does not dictate where you ultimately end up going in life. On a personal note, I did cheerleading my first 2 years of college. This past summer I told myself that I was done, that chapter was closed in my life. However, once August came around and two of my best friends were on the team with me, I decided that I would try out. I went into it thinking positively BUT also told myself that if I didn’t make it this year, it was for a reason. And so, what do you know, I didn’t end up making the cut. But, I can honestly tell you that not being on the team this year was one of the best things to ever happen to me. So many other doors have opened, simply because of having more time, I got my first 4.0 and not having the stress has made me so much happier. It was an awesome two years in cheering in college. However, it was time for that chapter to come to an end and I have been able to have so much more time to focus on things that needed my attention.
3) Fake it until you make it.
I am doing this right now, as I am sitting here by myself in a bedroom, basically talking to myself. Regarding YouTube, I have no idea what I’m doing. All I know is that I’m passionate about helping people, motivating and sharing things that I have learned because everything I talk about is something that I wish someone would’ve told me when I first came to college. Tell yourself whatever you need to say until you think it’s true. That might sound like a bit of a psychotic tactic… but it works. About a month ago, I had a two phone interviews with the same company. The first phone interview, although I was so nervous I was practically shaking, I faked that confidence SO hard. I ended the conversation on a great note and continued my day thinking wow, I got this. But then…. The second phone interview with another person, same company, happened a week later. I can’t tell you what happened to me this day, or possibly the day before, but I was in a complete funk. I wasn’t feeling well, I had major self-doubts about myself and just couldn’t get out of my head. The phone interview happened, and I know I did not do so well. Looking back, I would have told myself to write down reasons on why I should get this position and totally fake it like I did in the first. After that experience, I will always be faking it.
4) Chart success and goals.
Regarding both maintaining confidence and having a competitive edge, keep track of your victories and what you hope to achieve. Write it down. You know how they say to write down vocabulary terms for a test? This is the same thing. Your brain memorizes the more you write something down. When considering competition, don’t get distracted by what your competitor is doing. Take a sticky note or page in your notebook and write down your skills, positive things about yourself, what you need to do including everything you want to achieve in a time frame. You can go by day, month or year; long term or short term. When being competitive, this also helps you to stay focused on yourself and what you need to do to stand out, which leads me to my next topic…
5)Social media, just chill for a sec.
We have all done this and if you haven’t, you’re lying. I know I do this all the time and I’ve been cutting back. You’re scrolling through your social media feed, you see someone, it might be a peer or even someone you’ve never met before (maybe just Facebook stalking) and you think, Wow, they have their life together. What am I doing wrong? And that is when you stop, take a step back and think about your goals. You are not them, you are YOU. Wasting your time by comparing yourself to someone else and wishing for experiences and opportunities that they’ve had is not healthy. HOWEVER, there is absolutely nothing wrong with admiring someone, maybe a peer or someone you have never met, and admire what they’re doing, learn it and try to apply it to your own life. In addition to these thoughts, if you ever feel like someone is putting it down, or making you doubt yourself (maybe unintentionally, people can be stupid), laugh at it. Seriously. Laugh at the comment and learn to brush it off. Remember to tell yourself that YOU know who you are, they don’t.