Should an Empath be Competitive?


I’ve always been fascinated by the many different ways of human nature. Things that set us apart or unite us. One such way being competition.

When it comes to the idea of competing, I am somewhat of a contradiction. On the one hand I think it’s healthy and on the other, it is ugly.

If there’s one thing I dislike in a person, it’s an ugly competitive streak. When someone is willing to trample all over another, just to win, this is ‘ugly competition’. It could also be seen when someone is jealous of another’s achievements, and they undermine these achievements, just to continue to feel superior.

That said, if we don’t have a level of competition, we don’t tend to push ourselves forward to become better.

Unlike me, my husband is very competitive. If the game doesn’t have a competition, there’s no element of risk and he doesn’t want to play. I used to love playing badminton. Not competitively. Just hitting the shuttlecock back and forth, over the net, without it falling to the ground. My husband also liked to play, but for him the joy was in the competition. So, playing together never really worked. He wanted to score points for fun and I wanted to have fun without the scoring.

That’s not to say he, or the many other men and women like him, have an ugly competitive streak. He’s not a sore loser and he wouldn’t manipulate another to win. If anything, he would encourage others. 

I don’t think I have ever enjoyed competition. It almost seems like winning makes another into a loser.  

When competing at school, in sports for example, I felt myself weaken physically. I now realize this was just another part of being an Empath. For one thing, if I won, it meant the other lost. Which felt wrong. And for another, during competitive sports, I was likely picking up on the others’ intention (wanting to beat me), and morphed my energy signature to fit with their intentional energy. (If you have experienced this you will know exactly what I mean).

When we are unaware, as Empaths, we can pick up on the intentions, opinions and judgements of others which can impact our behaviour. 

I go to gym classes most days (Zumba, aerobics, etc.). When there, I never like being too close to the competitive people. They give off such strong vibes.  I can feel them wanting to be better than others in the room. I don’t need to know them or have talked to them to feel this. I’m not saying this makes them bad people. I just don’t like feeling this energy when I work out.

It took me some years to understand that this was what I was feeling when in gym classes. It is often in yoga classes where I sense ‘the competitive energy’ at its worst. It’s a big reason I don’t like practising yoga around others.

Again, I understand that although I’m not partial to being in competition, it can drive people on to being the best version of themselves. But it can also do the opposite.

There is a great saying that, ‘It’s not about the winning it’s about the taking part.’ Yet some would argue that if there’s no chance of winning, what is the point of taking part? That is a mentality I don’t agree with (I told you I was a contradiction). It’s the ego talking. If you enjoy the competition, do it for yourself. But don’t not compete just because you might not win.

My opinion is that our best competition is ourself. We should always be working to become better than we were last week or last year, in all areas of life. And self-competition is something I do enjoy.

So, yes, I see competition as both healthy and unhealthy, good and bad.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the subject. How does competition affect you as an Empath? Does it help you thrive? Or does it make your energy recede? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Hope all is keeping well with you.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

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Does An Empath Have A Disadvantage With The Law Of Attraction?

Today’s post is about an interesting comment I received on the last post I shared.

When I first read the following comment, my initial reaction was this was a negative response. It ruffled my feathers. I wasn’t sure what it was about. But I then realized there was a reference to the law of attraction in my last post. (Read my last post here).

Here is the comment:

Thinking negatively is absolutely essential if we are to change ourselves. Without negativity there is literally no driving force for change. Shame, depression, despair, sadness, anxiety, disillusionment, guilt, aloneness, self-doubt, self-dissatisfaction, feelings of inferiority etc. force self-aware individuals with a conscience to do better (‘the Theory of Positive Disintegration’, analogous to ‘the dark night of the soul’).

The ‘law of attraction’ – as it’s widely understood – is hogwash. Poor and sick people didn’t set out to be poor and sick people, and thinking happy-clappy thoughts won’t make their reality any nicer. Also, bad things happen to good people, and as well as that all sorts of low-life try to attack good people (where’s the ‘law of attraction’ in that?) There isn’t one genuinely spiritual person who hasn’t gone through an utterly miserable time from others.

Where the ‘law of attraction’ becomes even more pernicious is with new-age internet scammers who tell their victims that the ‘get rich quick’ schemes they bought into didn’t succeed because ‘they weren’t thinking positively enough’.

As I pondered my reply, I realized it would be a lengthy one. So, I decided it was a good opportunity to write a post about it instead, because a) I agree with the comment, and b) because I don’t agree with it and c) because I realize many Empaths may be of the same mind, (and d) because anything that ruffles my feathers is drawing my attention to something that needs addressing). Continue reading

The Controlling Force of an Empath’s Emotions

Continuing on from my last post, where I discussed how being in jobs that do not feel like a fit can lead to depression, as can feeling directionless or out of control in one’s life. Today, I want to further address the subject of power imbalances within an Empath and the need to control what we feel.

As Empaths, many of our emotional sensations are amplified. We react to criticism or reprimands much more than most. However, when out of balance, we become incredibly oversensitive to everyday life situations and get hurt easier than most. Because of this, we may suffer with depression and are more open to attract depressive moods from others (like attracts like).

In my post: Why do Empaths have Such a Strong Sense of Belonging, I made reference to Empaths knowing when something is wrong in their surroundings, even if they don’t know exactly what it is. The fact that so few people have control over their lives makes for a lot of unhappy people. Empaths pick up on the collective sense of dissatisfaction in the populace, whether they are aware of it or not, which can greatly affect their own moods. This can then trap them in negative thinking and thus feelings.

As Empaths, we get down when it seems like we have no control of the way we feel. Which is understandable. Getting bombarded with the emotional energy of others (on top of our own emotions) is no fun, and it can certainly influence the way we operate.

What we pick up from others can shape our life, especially when we are not aware the emotional energy we are experiencing does not belong to us. (If you struggle with defining the emotional energy of others read this.)

But other people’s energy is not the only thing that can lead to emotional instability and a sense of ‘no life-control’. Continue reading

Finding Purpose as an Empath and Being in Control

Last month, I happened across a great piece in The Guardian about depression and mental health, that really struck a chord with me.

Basically, the article said that depression is not just about chemical imbalances, as it has been touted by the scientific and medical communities for many years, but more about power imbalances and a lack of control. (Even though it was not written with the Empath in mind, I recommend it. It’s quite enlightening.) Here is a link to the article:

Most Empaths and Sensitives are prone to having bouts of depression or low moods. Although we can often link these gloomy periods to spending time with overly negative people, being around those who act as trauma triggers, or eating unsuitable foods, etc. but power imbalances, and a lack of life-control is something we should also consider.

A lack of control being linked to depression makes total sense. Not having power in one’s life also equates to feelings of helplessness and the sense of walking aimlessly. When we feel we are not in control of our life, and have no direction it might also be said that we have no purpose.

Everyone needs purpose. To have a reason to get up in the morning, to do something not only that we enjoy but that we know we are good at. But how many people can make that claim? Not many. Most are stuck in jobs not for the joy or purpose it gives them, but for the pay-check.

Anyone who is creative and or intelligent (and I don’t just mean educated) are naturally inclined to want to be in control of their destiny and have a reason for being.

Granted, some think they would prefer others to make their decisions for them – often born from having a fear of making the wrong decision or a lack of belief in self – but someone else controlling our life or purpose will never bring happiness.

Over 80% of the workforce are unfulfilled and unhappy in their work. That’s a lot of people.

If we consider many people went into professions chosen by their parents, or they chose their careers before they got to know who they were, it makes total sense. After all, who knows at sixteen what they will want to do for the rest of their lives? Not many people.

We change so much from when in our teenage years to when we are in our thirties. This, I believe, is a reason that so many people find themselves unhappy in their work in later life. They didn’t choose their vocation or they chose too young.

The lack of life-control in society means we end up living in conflict. Inside, we want to do something that feels meaningful and gives us purpose. In reality, many are stuck working to pay for mortgages, bills and children, and to fund a lifestyle.

What we are told will make us happy rarely does, because one size does not fit all. And this is why so many people feel like they are not in control.

I often refer to myself as being a ‘quiet control freak’. And that is not because I secretly want to rule others or be on some kind of ‘power trip’ with them. It’s because I want to be in control of my life… at least as much as I can. I realise we can’t control everything. But I do want to control what I do, where I go and how my time is used, I also want to be in control of whose energy I’m in. So, I tend to have a problem if others try to control me or if their energy is overbearing. The ‘quiet’ comes in because instead of being argumentative or objectionable, with those who force control, I quietly back away.

Having a desire to control one’s life is not a bad thing. We are at the helm of our own ships and it is up to us to set our own course and destination. We should be able to do this when we are ready to do so (which is rarely at the age we are expected).

Not being in control can seem like a form of imprisonment, as can feeling forced to do work we have no passion for or interest in. That is not freedom. Humans are supposed to have freewill. We also need to know we have choices, even if we don’t choose to use them.

In the early years, many Empaths were made to feel small and insignificant by those around them. In a bid to overcome this we may have searched for positions of power or wealth, in adulthood, in the belief it would make us more in control or ‘untouchable’. But we cannot always control the way other people make us feel. So, even if we achieve great status, power and vast wealth, if we do not feel in control of how we feel, or if we are not following our true calling, a void remains inside.

The article I linked to above, an extract from Johann Hari’s book: ‘Lost Connections’, suggests that the depression most experience is caused by our inner-self trying to raise our awareness that we are off-course. ‘It’s telling us that our natural psychological needs are not being met and it is a form of grief.’ Which I totally agree with.

We need to listen to our emotional signals and this is something I write a lot about:

By listening to our gut’s promptings and intuition it can save us unnecessary heartache. As an Empath, however, defining these signals is a challenge.

Because we feel everything so powerfully, it is difficult to discern the trigger of our own emotions, and those that belong to others.  But, speaking from experience, this is something we can all learn to overcome.

In the past, I have had times when I suffered with low moods or felt depressed, both of which pushed me to find the cause and make necessary changes to my life. Nowadays, if I experience a gloomy mood, I can link it back to either eating a food I shouldn’t (normally containing high levels of lectins), having spent too much time in peopled places or around excess negativity (or there’s been intense shifts in energy).

Because I have learnt to interpret my own signals and triggers, I try to follow what is right for me. There is nothing worse than experiencing low moods unnecessarily.

If we are constantly down or depressed, these are our inner-messages telling us something is not right either with the path we are walking or the way we are living our lives.

If you regularly read my posts, you may already know I am a great believer that bad things happen for good reasons. We just don’t see it at the time. Depression can be a call for change, our change. But we have to question the feelings we experience and find the root-cause. Which will be different for everyone.

We need to focus on taking back our power and that starts with getting in control of what we can.

To live happily as Empaths, staying in control is something we must work on daily, otherwise the world, and the way it makes us feel, will swallow us up.

Because this is a vast subject and an area many Empaths struggle with, I will continue the theme in my next post. Read part two here.

But if you want to look at ways to take back control here are some posts that may help you on your way.

Are You Leaking Energy? 

What is an Empath’s Purpose?

Transform Your Empath Life with This One Thing

An Empath’s Guide

Hope this helps on your journey.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

Discover Your Purpose & Find Your Empath Wings

The following is an edited extract taken from the book ‘7 Secrets of the Sensitive’. I have lifted paragraphs from chapter 5 so as not to give too much of the book away. Enjoy…

‘One thing I know is the Empaths are here for an important reason. I can feel it. As I’m sure you can too. You may not know what this purpose is yet, but you are certainly on your way to finding out. Continue reading

What is an Empath’s Purpose in Life?

 

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One of the most frequently asked questions by those on the path of awakening is: What is my purpose as an Empath?

I know only too well how frustrating it is to have this question burning unanswered within. It is also frustrating to have this incredible gift and not know what it is for or what to do with it.

Many Empaths feel they should be helping others. But because they get overwhelmed, by spending too much time around people, they don’t know how that would be possible.

It is an inbred trait for Empaths to want to be of service. And, it is often the case that the more an Empath has suffered the more they want to save others from enduring the same pain. They may look for certain vocations that will help make this possible. Continue reading