November 24, 2012

Getting Personal: Why I Hate Competitions

This post was inspired by having to compete in a music festival. If you don't want to read about my experience today (yesterday, since I'm going to post this tomorrow) then just skip the next paragraph, but it'll make more sense if you do read it. Everything is just my opinion, as is everything else on the blog. If you disagree, you may kindly say so in the comments.

A few weeks ago, my piano teacher registered me into the fall festival into the Competitive Recital Class. Basically, I would be playing two songs and competing against whoever registered into that class, which turned out to be one. I ended up losing but I got some real great feedback from the adjudicator. I'd really like to point out, however, that the things he advised me upon were things that I hadn't known to start with. One piece for instance, was supposed to be played with pedal and my teacher never told me that. Another part of one song was supposed to be played slower to emphasize (here comes the musical term) the sequences that are used. These things I had not known and I'm grateful that I do now.

Now, I'm quite a competitive person and I'll admit that I hate losing, a sore loser. And I hate how that the feeling I get when I lose is how others feel when I win. Personally, I don't want anyone to feel bad because they lost a competition. Sometimes, they've succeeded based on their own standards, but for some people, it's not enough. That's a big reason as to why I hate competing, there's always someone coming out disappointed. **Edit: That person was me, but I'm slowly picking myself up because I know I did the best that I could. Do I wish I had a do-over? Yea, but can I have a do-over? No.

Yes I know, they'll (I'll) get over it sooner or later! But during that moment when I find out that I lost, there's kind of a huge moment of despair. And as for the winner, they have a moment of triumph. For me, that triumph used to be run over by guilt after shoving it into people's face that I beat them. I've learned my lesson now and I will never do it again. Now, that triumph is just short lived, I'm happy then it's just a normal day again. But when I lose, it takes a while to get over it.

What I'm trying to say that nothing is really a competition until you turn it into one. Maybe that's one reason why I don't join sports teams, besides my lack of skills. In my opinion, things you love to do shouldn't be a competition, and most of the time people do turn it into a competition of who is better (unless you're on a sports team or whatever). You should just do it because you love it and just for the fun of it, not to compete over who's better. However, competitions may sometimes be a driving force for people to improve as well, but that person isn't me.

Too late, I am wishing I could have told my piano teacher to register me into a normal, non-competitive, class, as I most likely would have received similar feedback from the adjudicators anyways.

I am not saying that I don't turn things into a competition sometimes. This post is kind of a goal for me as well: don't turn things into a competition. Life isn't about competing, maybe that's how people strive far, but to me I think it's really about just reaching personal goals. Frankly, I SUCK at setting goals, but that's one of my goals. Oh, the irony. And in the situation that you end up winning/losing, it shouldn't be the main thing. You should think about what you can take away from the experience, whether you win or lose, there is always something to learn.

How does this relate to anything on my blog? Bluntly, book blogging should not be a competition. Instead we should all be a team and help each other out, instead of trying to be the "better" one. After all, what is "better"?

6 comments:

  1. I am a super competitive person. I played sports throughout school and have ridden horses competitively for many years. I've found that competition is health for me because it gives me something to strive for, at least as far as my riding goes. That said, if I feel like I did a good job, even if I didn't win, I'm happy. If I win, that's just bonus. Do I slip up sometimes? Of course. I've been the girl outside the ring (or festival hall or gym or whatever) bawling my eyes out because things went really, REALLY poorly.


    That said, sometimes I need to remind myself to keep things in perspective. Once, I got in a HUGE argument with one of my closest friends over a game of freaking Monopoly! I had to remind myself whether winning (and being right) is worth losing a friendship (of course not).


    Also, I agree book blogging shouldn't be a competition. I'd be lying if I said I don't get jealous when I see bloggers showing off their pile of awesome new ARCs. But instead of directing these feels at a fellow blogger, I use it as inspiration to make my blog better.

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  2. You should see our debates in my classroom, it starts out civilized then just gets out of control. And I get what you mean about crying after things go wrong. I don't necessarily cry but I feel really bad. Like I mentioned, I think the best thing you can do in competitions is learn something from it.

    Everyone probably feels differently about this, but I know for me, if I lose something I feel bad. Especially when it's something I feel that I'm good at. I'm slowly picking myself up by telling myself that I did what I think was my best, and that's all I can do about. At least I know how to improve now!

    Oh man, their piles. Yea, I feel the same as well. That's probably another plus side of "competing" in a sense, is that it can inspire people. I made competition sound horrible, but I guess it's good sometimes, depending on how people perceive it.

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  3. I always hated piano competitions. I think that's why I decided to play more for myself. Sure, I can't play any of the huge, epic classics I used to be able to play, but I still really enjoy myself.


    And you're right, book blogging shouldn't be a competition! We're here to help one another. :)

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  4. I love playing just for myself, but the plus side is that I get advice and now I know how to improve!

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  5. I love healthy, friendly competition - the kind that leaves both winners and losers feeling good because something was accomplished.


    To me, that's kind of how I see blogging. Not necessarily as a competition, per se, but seeing other bloggers being more successful gives me a goal to achieve, to strive for. And sometimes it feels like I'm competing with bloggers who started out around the same time as me, because it seems like they might be closer to a goal I'm striving for. Does that make it bad, or wrong? I don't think so, as long as I don't let my jealousies or insecurities guide me.


    Really great discussion post Leanne - gives one a lot to think about!

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  6. Yea, you've got a point. Healthy and friendly competition is good! Blogging "competition" is hard to explain. It's not a competition, but I have blogs that I sort of look up to and let THAT guide me instead of, like you said, jealousies or insecurities. Instead of trying to be better than someone else, I try to look at what they're doing, and apply it to my own blog. NOT that there is a necessarily right or good way of blogging, it's just what I think would help improve my own blog!

    Thanks Kelly!

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