From a young age, we are all subconsciously driven and encouraged to be the best and compete. Competition and rivalries are naturally embraced in all aspects of school and personal life; who gets the highest mark in the test? who’s the fastest runner in the class? who has the newest toys and gadgets?
Everything in life seems to be perceived as a competition and this applies to all ages. From the ‘innocent’ best at.. maths, sports etc during more youthful years, to competing at work with your colleagues for the promotions or competing against all the other Fortune 500 companies to be at the top every year; competition is prevalent in all walks of life.
Competition can be seen as in numerous ways, both negatively and positively; it can bring out the best in some to achieve unimaginable feats but it can also tear apart the most treasured relationships. Competing can bring out the worst in people’s behavior, personality and sportsmanship.
I have always been a competitive person. I love chasing to be best, to be the fastest, to be the most creative, to be the most ‘different’… I just love the thrill and chase of trying to be better and better but whether or not I succeed is obviously a different story! This is what brings me to this post; my competitive personality and ‘addiction’ of wanting and doing more has often landed me in very difficult positions where I have needed to choose between what I feel is right and how badly I want something. More often and not, I have chosen competition over my gut and it has resulted in minor consequences on the most part, luckily. For the rare occasions that my pride, selfishness and desire for competition has steered me wrongly in the past, I created repercussions that I still live with today. Whether it be from causing tension between others and I, which has probably lead to just being acquainted to so many people rather than friendships, to just causing an argument that I have forgotten about years ago. Each time I chose against my gut, it has resulted in some form of negative consequence. A lot of these consequences can no longer be rectified but those I found possible to redeem, I have tried. Failed at some, succeeded at others.. but I have learnt my lesson.
Now, don’t get me wrong at all. I believe competition is healthy; but don’t compete with others, compete against yourself.
Changing your perspective on competition can allow you to embrace your own strengths and weaknesses, rather than redirecting your frustration of losing or not achieving to someone that was better than you. Everyone gets frustrated, jealous and pissed off when they don’t come out on top but allowing yourself to channel that into something more constructive and positive for personal growth is a much better use of your time and energy. To this day, I am still learning with new opportunities that arise in my life. It gets ridiculously difficult and tempting to just blow out in anger at people but from learning from only a few occasions where I have been patient and reflected on myself rather than others, I know it is definitely worth it in the long run.
Be selfish. Better yourself for you, not the competition.