Lessons From Not Winning

I found out this evening that I did not make the Top 5 bloggers for the Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers competition.

I know. Stop crying.

Congratulations to the wonderful women who did. You can read more about them here. I think they are very deserving, and I felt really honoured to have even made the Top 50 list with them.

As much as I would have loved to have made the Top 5, or to even have won, (who wouldn’t want a new car), there is something I really must admit.

Etosha Park Africa

Always Face the Sun and see the beauty

I’m kind of relieved that I didn’t.

I get a really strange sense of that now as my breath feels normal again and I feel a lightness around my shoulders.

The pressure of the black cloud has now been blown away.

After I wrote my mammoth piece on “memorable road trip reflections” and then asked, ahh maybe begged, people to spread the love and vote for me, I realized I didn’t really like doing that.

Competing against others

After a couple of days I sort of just stopped. The thought of winning and being the best began to stir up a slight feeling of angst and I didn’t like the whole feeling that lies behind a competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I like winning, but I like winning more for myself. Knowing that I have won by achieving my goals, not that I won by having others lose, or not win.

My podcast this week was all about Comparing Yourself to Others and how this can be a really detrimental thing to your own success and feelings of self-worth. The competition further highlighted for me just how much I believe in this.

Maybe these feelings could be put down to my own fear of losing and inadequacies. But, I think my uneasiness really ran deeper than that.

The thought of winning was related to the prize at the end of it. I found it quite enticing to think I could own a brand new Ford Territory, even if it was just for a year. I’ve never owned a brand new car and the exposure that could have come from it would have been wonderful.

Conflicting Purpose

Underneath all of that though, came the most important unsettling factor.

I didn’t really want the car. Because having the car meant a huge interruption to what I really wanted.

It was only about a week after I wrote my drive post  that I realized what I really wanted. And that was then the black cloud really appeared. The car didn’t fit into my plans. I tried to ignore it and pretend that I was being silly and winning would really be a great thing. And it would be, but..

As Craig and I were talking about our plans and getting excited by them the statement would always arise,

“You know if you win that car, we won’t be able to do that.”

“Oh. Well…we’ll figure something out. Gotta keep my options open. If it is meant to be, it’s meant to be”

So, I did what I had to do. I left it up to the fate of the Gods, and I decided not to think about it again until today.

I hated asking people to vote for me, so I stopped. I thought, if I win it then it is meant to be, and if I don’t then my life, as I really want it to be, is meant to be.

This is why I am relieved to find out today I didn’t win. Actually, I am damned excited. Now I really understand what it is I have to do and I can focus on that.

Why I don’t like Competitions

From this I have learned, competitions aren’t really my thing. Asking people to vote and comment on my work makes me feel as if I am an uninvited religious person knocking at your door begging you to be saved like I am.

I also really don’t like having to adhere to a set of rules. I don’t like the pressure that comes from having to write or act in a certain way and the further the competition ran the more cynical I became about the real winners- Ford- and all that free promotion they were getting. I really liked the way Maxabella Loves approached her entry post, and I wished I did the same.

I don’t like competing against others. I believe more in co-operation than competition. I think there is room for everyone at the top and we can help each other get there. This gives me more satisfaction.

I also hate the feeling that comes with wondering if I am good enough and feeling kind of let down when you don’t win. Even though this is not true, I’m sure all those in this situation feels unworthy in some slight way.

I’m still really happy to make lists of great bloggers, especially this one,  as long as I have no part in creating the list or asking others to put me on it. I’m happy to be rewarded for my efforts as well. Perhaps Toyota , or better yet, Qantas, would like to sponsor me instead?

But ultimately, the competition just made me lose my focus on what is really important; on my true purpose and goals in life.

I’ve been waiting until the results came out before I could write any more about what they are. Actually I have been hanging all day for the results to be made so I could just let it out what we are planning to do. As I said if the results had put me in the top 5 my direction would have changed. I’m happy to say it would not have been for the best for me.

So stay tuned to learn more about what we have planned. We are now free to pursue them.

The air around me is so clear tonight.

Thank you to my wonderful readers and friends who supported me in the competition. It will not be forgotten.

Your Turn to Share Tips:

How do you feel about competitions like this? Do you think they can make you lose your focus?

posted in: Blogging, Daily Life
tagged with: , , , ,

  • Nikki @ Styling You

    This is a great reflective post. It’s funny, even though it was a competition I never really saw it as such. The reason being that there are so many wonderful bloggers out there – doing their own thing – and what I love most about it is that we are a community which supports each other. I hadn’t read your blog before the competition and there’s others I’ve now found – so that’s a great thing in my book.

    I don’t like the begging for votes thing either – and in this one they numbers didn’t count either. I’d rather a judging process over vote begging any day.

    Keep your eye on that goal!


    • Caz

      Thanks Nikki. I appreciate it. The competition has been great for meeting new people and reading content from some great new writers. I’ve met even more people to inspire me now.


    • Caz

      Thanks Alison for sharing. That was a great read. I am definitely not going to be involved with competitions that require people to vote. This one really gave me time to think about it and I agree with what the lady in this post is saying.


  • Lina@MothersLoveLetters

    Thank you for your honesty, Caz. It’s so wonderful to read how you self-reflect and take the lessons that life have to offer you.

    To answer your question, I like what competition brings out in me. I believe in healthy competition, but am totally aware that the only person I ever really compete against, is myself. As long as we know our own definition of “winning” and why we do something, how we choose to “compete” in anything helps us grow. Glad you’ve come to learn your own definition and what you can take out of it.


    • Caz

      You always have to be learning. Things always happen for a reason. Winning for me is always about having another self-victory. Although I am a big sport nut, so I do like it when my teams win. But, I guess that is a completely different thing and is something that is set up for this way of being.


  • PlanningQueen

    I accepted my nomination in this comp last year, but declined this year. It just didn’t sit well with me. The question I ask about these comps is what do the bloggers get out of it? Most often it is the brand running the comp that gets more than the bloggers.


    • Caz

      I didn’t really ask this question before agreeing to be part of the competition as I was so excited to be a part of it, but as it went on and I saw all the promotion the brands were getting and how much work we were all doing for a small odds reward I started to see things a little differently. We’ve since been placed on a Babble family travel competition for our travel blog and I have not promoted it at all. I don’t have the time and i don’t want to be pestering other people who don’t have the time either to vote for me just so Babble can receive more traffic. I don’t even think there is a prize at the end of it for the winner.


      • Lina@MothersLoveLetters

        That’s an interesting point you both make. My fanpage is only very new, and I have already received posts on my Wall from very “enthusiastic” people competing in competitions, asking me (spamming me?) to Like the promoter’s page so that their child can “win” something. It doesn’t sit well with me.


        • Caz

          No, that would not sit well with me either. You have to know them before they can ask you and start spamming your FB wall. This past week we have had a lot of new people become a fan of our travel page and then straight away post a spammy link. Delete! Etiquette please. At least spend a week or so participating in the community. We might be more open then to sharing your stuff


  • Maxabella

    Thank you for saying that, Caz, it really means a lot. I was ‘disqualified’ from the selection of the ‘top 5’ due to not calling my post that stupid drivel, but I have no regrets whatsoever. I am amazed at the way Ford have approached sponsoring this event – amazed and horrified. They clearly don’t get this whole ‘blogging’ caper one little bit.

    I am honoured to be a part of the Kidspot Top 50, but it will most likely be the last ‘nomination’ in what is really a ‘popularity contest’ that I accept. I don’t like what I become when I am out there cap in hand asking people to vote for me. So I stopped. I took down the button and I felt much, much better about myself.

    Thank you for writing this post. x


    • Caz

      You’re welcome Maxabella. I really admired what you did. I think brands and businesses have a long way to go before they utilize the full power of working with bloggers. They don’t quite get it yet, which is a shame because it could be such a great partnership.


  • cas webb

    you have some wonderful insights here and you have really made me think about how I feel about competitions. I like them when I win, but I very rarely win and they take up so much effort and energy.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *