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How to Win at Everything: The Rules of Healthy Competition

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Increase Your Confidence Level

"Women still aren't taught how to function in competitive situations," says Rimm. "We feel terribly sorry for girls when they lose, so they learn to feel terribly sorry for themselves, which makes them less resilient," she says. "At the same time, we praise them effusively when they win, putting pressure on them to perform flawlessly to gain love and approval."

But some women do get competition right -- and enjoy the process. According to Rimm's research, more than 40 percent of women who rate themselves as happy both personally and professionally named "winning in competition" (all kinds -- academic, athletic, artistic) as their most positive past experience. Honing your competitive instinct will help you improve your performance in any number of situations. Winning increases self-assurance, but losing is just as valuable because you learn how to pick yourself up and try again. Here, five rules for facing competition with aplomb.

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