It is no one’s gain for me to make myself less so that others may feel more comfortable.
It was a year and a half ago that I first came across that sentiment. It clicked. There are always people who will tear others down instead of working to build themselves up. There are those who will say that confidence is arrogance; that you should dim your own light so that they appear to shine brighter. They are wrong.
I’m not talking about being humble. It’s important to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of others. It’s important to not puff yourself up as though you think you’re all that and a bag of chips. You should always be willing to take a background role, not seeking the spotlight in every situation. That’s completely different than pretending to be less than you are in order to satisfy those who would rather hold you back.
Yesterday I attended a local lawnmower race. It’s been a tradition in this area since 1963. A local family has dominated the competition for the past several years. You should hear the grumbling. The race is open to everyone. Everyone has the opportunity to enter and to do their best. Does this family have skills and experience that put them at an advantage? Of course. Is that unfair? No. Should this family slow down and let others have the win? Absolutely not. Years ago it was another family who dominated. In the years to come it could be another. That’s the way of life.
Don’t ever let the thought that someone else might be jealous or resentful make you do less than your best. Don’t flaunt your abilities and talents, but don’t cater to petty jealousies. They’ll always be there, and it could be anything—your weight loss, your new promotion, your ability to juggle and balance all of the areas of your life. Be the absolute best you can be. You deserve that.