Melissa and I were recently watching “MasterChef Junior” — a tv show where young (I’m talking 8-13 year-olds) at-home cooks compete for the title of MasterChef Junior, a huge trophy, and $100,000.
As we watched the kids having their dishes evaluated, we were struck by the other contestants’ attitudes.
“I love how the kids cheer for one another as they bring their creations to the judges,” Melissa said. “And high-five them on their way back, regardless of the critique.”
It’s true. These kids are really excited for each other, despite it being a competition.
“I wonder at what point in life that changes,” Melissa said. “You don’t seem to see as much encouragement in adult competitions.
I mentioned this to a friend of mine who competed quite a bit as a young girl, in music and dance. She mentioned that she doesn’t think it’s an age thing as much as a culture thing. “The kids in my circles could be pretty cutthroat,” she said.
This got me thinking, and checking where I land. Am I an encourager or a deflator? I like to think I’m the former, but I’ve discovered there’s some of the latter sprinkled in there, too.
Overall, I applaud, support, and encourage others when they’re:
- Taking action on their dreams
- Making themselves a priority
- Spreading kindness
- Supporting their passions
- Stepping out of their comfort zones
- Struggling to get out of their own way
- Beating themselves up
I have a tough time celebrating others when I believe I’m lacking in the area in which they’re excelling. It’s easier to go to the place of discounting their good fortune instead of looking at my own stuff. The struggle is real, yo.
For example, as we settle into winter here in the US and I see friends posting pictures of a roaring fire in their fireplace or of hosting dinner parties, I get a little sad because I miss my house and the space we had there. Although the sale was absolutely the right decision as we transition to our next adventure, I still get pangs.
What I’m trying to do now is be with that sadness and longing instead of coming up with reasons why it sucks to have a beautiful fire, or the headache of the preparation and clean-up of hosting friends.
There’s lots of opportunities to practice this thanks to social media. Seeing posts online gives me a chance to sit, by myself, and reflect on the feelings it stirs up, while sending the poster good wishes and love.
So I’m committing here, to you, dear reader, to pause and reflect when I find myself struck with envy; to explore the moves I need to make in my own life so as to not feel jealous of others. Are you with me?
I’d love to hear from you. Tell me about the times when you love to help others celebrate, and those times where you struggle. Don’t leave me hanging! Chat with me in the comments below.
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.