Who is your arch-nemesis? You know that guy you can’t stand seeing succeed, do you have one of those? Is this rivalry a healthy rivalry? Or is it the type of rivalry where you can’t sleep at night, you can’t concentrate and it is eating you alive?
Rivalries are good when you have the right mindset. You can see your nemesis gaining ground and so you push yourself further. You see him taking on something you have been looking at and this new direction causes you to finally jump.
We all have an opponent
Much like Seinfeld, we all have a Newman. They push our buttons and can cause us hours of frustration. Sometimes we may even be one comment away from throttling them. Yet these people who are put in our way are actually good for us.
They push us in the direction we need to go. They can also give us the needed motivation to dive off into the areas that we are apprehensive about entering. These people who you see with some loathing and contempt are often our biggest allies. You can choose to get in this ring and fight or you can sit it out and hate yourself for not rising to that challenge.
Yes Everyone Has A Rival
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great example of this rivalry. Stallone and Schwarzenegger were both rising in stardom at the same time in the early 80s. One would come on screen with a bigger gun so the other would get a higher body count. When one went off into another genre the other would also expand.
The perceived hatred between these two men was a thing of legends. Stallone threw a bowl of flowers at Schwarzenegger for laughing at Sly for losing to him at an award ceremony. The thing is this competition was good for both men. Stallone said
“Have you ever had that, ever? A competition where you really had an arch-enemy that kind of brings out the best in you. As Arnold would say, it really pushed you to accelerate.”
These two men came to realize that they needed each other for the competition and slowly became friends.
There are others who have had famous rivals
Bill Gates-Steve Jobs
These people wouldn’t be where they are now without the help of their opponent.
Do You Have to have an opponent?
No, you don’t, yet I see so many people who get so worked up over the fact that their enemy in life is winning that they hope for their failure. They relish in their defeat. Jealousy creeps up and they compromise their own integrity for the ability to crush their foe.
Many times we see the ends justifying the means and that simply isn’t going to work. Think of the mother who is not in legal trouble because she created a deep fake of her daughter’s cheerleader rivals. She let her jealousy and possibly past enemies get the best of her. She decided that she needed to take down her daughter’s nemesis. This caused her daughter public humiliation and she is facing time in jail.
Developing a “There Can Only Be One” type of mindset when it comes to rivals isn’t going to serve you.
It’s What You Make Of It.
When it comes to you and your nemesis you can have that type of attitude. You can develop pure hatred for that other person but Will it serve you? If you think so, How is it serving you? Why do their whole and total destruction matter so much to me?
If you answer yourself honestly and without the false input of emotions you will see that you and your rival can actually exist in the same country, state, town or even, neighborhood. You have a choice. You can hate your opponent with all your soul, or you can pour that soul into what you both are wanting to accomplish and become better.
You have the choice to see your rivalry with respect, even if they don’t. In fact, hope that they don’t then you really are beating them at whatever game you are in. If they are consumed with hatred and you have nothing but respect, they are going to be waiting on your move. They will be too busy plotting against you to keep you from succeeding.
Now that also gives you a reason to pity your rival if they have nothing but contempt for you. That is sad because they won’t push you as much as you need. Therefore you won’t have that extra force to push you, so you can improve and excel. Instead, you have someone who is being left behind because they can’t get out of their own way.
So you can choose to have a healthy competition have mutual respect for each other. This type of competition is healthy and benefits both of you. You push each other out of your comfort zones you gain new skills quicker.
Then again you can choose to play it small because you have a bully someone who is out to hurt your feeling. They ruin everything you are trying to do. It’s not fair and maybe you just need a good pout. You can have this victim mindset and actually become the loser. That choice is yours. Join the fray or get left in the dust.