Have you ever observed those competitive parents who want their children to be the best at everything? I began my career as a Director of Youth Activities for a 2,000-family synagogue in Florida and witnessed first-hand the impact that had on the overprogrammed teenagers I worked with. Seeing a 16-year-old on the verge of a nervous breakdown because they got a B in school is truly disheartening.
Today, I am responsible for the growth and development of my own two beautiful children, and I developed a mantra that I repeat to them almost daily, "Be the best YOU that you can be." What does this mean? It means that you don't have to be the best at everything. You just have to try your best and live up to your own personal potential, taking other people's accomplishments out of the picture. My oldest child struggles with school and my younger child is in the gifted program. By taking the competition out of the conversation, we can focus on their individual successes that fall within their personal levels. Awards are nice; but, at the end of the day, do they really make that much of a difference? What really matters is your personal successes. Did you learn something that you struggled with? Did you get a great grade on the report that you worked so hard on?
We just experienced two years of devastation to the industry I love so much, with a current fast and furious recovery that has everyone working long hours to keep up. New challenges exist, such as understaffed hotels, travel suppliers with young and unexperienced staff entering the workforce, and excruciatingly long telephone hold times with the big-name travel suppliers. Last night, I reminded my oldest, once again, "Be the best YOU that you can be," and it hit me that I need to do the same.
I am guilty of stressing myself out, comparing myself to other companies that offer the same services that my company provides. But the key is to not think about them or even compete with them. The key is to focus on my strengths and what I bring to the table. What can I do that will make me feel proud of my own personal accomplishments? When you shift the focus to being the "best YOU that you can be," you put focus on your strengths, passions, and talents rather than trying to emulate someone else's.
I had lunch with a dear friend and colleague this week and something she told me stuck with me. One of the major causes (if not the #1 cause) of disease is stress. Look it up. It's true! So, "Be the best YOU that you can be" becomes even more important. It means that while you are focusing professionally on your own personal achievements, you should also focus on your physical and mental well-being. It's all connected. If you have a healthy body and a healthy mind, you will perform better professionally and socially.
I literally pieced this blog together in my mind while blow drying my hair to prepare for an in-person client meeting. Call it an "AHA!" moment. I made the decision to focus on making myself proud because I work hard, I am transparent and ethical with my business practices, I lead by example, and I continue to learn and grow personally and professionally. I am going to focus on being the best ME that I can be. Will you do the same?
Robyn Davis, CMP, CITP is CEO of Global Eventures and the VP of Events for SITE Southeast. She is a 20-year veteran meeting planner and travel advisor. Robyn lives in Marietta, GA with her husband and two children.