Competing with YourselfMar 21, 2023
It's always a good idea to set goals, both short-term and long-term. But what happens when you reach your goals? Do you stop there, or do you set even higher ones? It can be tough to keep pushing yourself forward, but it's worth it. This blog post will discuss the importance of competing against yourself and how it can help you achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Competition can be a good thing.
Competing with others is something that we usually do. We can use various things as a basis for competition, such as who has achieved more success when it comes to wealth and achievements, who has the better gadget and possessions, or who can achieve the best record at a specific activity such as sports, etc. When done healthily, competition fosters innovation and improvement as we try chasing and competing with others to create a better achievement, outcome, or product. However, one should also be mindful of how one competes with others because if it becomes too much, it can lead to a person sabotaging relationships with others. After all, others may not view you well if you are overly competitive. You may start viewing friends and peers as enemies, and your values and goals may become distorted due to the desire to beat everybody else to become the best.
Balance is essential when you want to compete with most people. However, not being competitive may also be harmful because it can make you lose focus on what you should do and give you a mediocre state of life. On the other hand, competition can help you become more successful by making you strive for what you can, but it must be done correctly. Have you ever thought about competing against yourself? It may sound like a crazy idea, but it's one way of ensuring you compete in a healthy way to improve yourself without destroying your relationships with others and keeping your focus on what matters to you. Some good things can happen when you compete this way.
1. You accomplish goals and fulfill values that matter to you, not somebody else's
Constantly competing with others can make you lose your way and even concentrate only on competing for the sake of it and not to accomplish some goal. Instead of achieving something according to your values and interests, you can get carried away by others' goals and values when you want to beat them in their own game. Although somebody else's goal can be the same as yours, your perspective can differ from the one you are competing against. If you engage in self-competition, you work on something to ensure you fulfill the goals you have created yourself, so once you achieve them, the success will resonate with your values and interests and ensure you feel happy and fulfilled.
2. You maintain a healthy relationship with others
One of the dangers of too much competition is that it can make you see everyone as a competitor in the race you have set for yourself. Your friends and coworkers may suddenly look like enemies you have to beat to achieve what you want. While people may tolerate your overly competitive behavior, some may not take it kindly, and they may not prefer that everything be a contest.
With self-competition, what you do is that you see others' achievements and successes as sources of ideas and inspiration. You then try to apply them to your goals and see if you can copy what others did or do your style of doing things to achieve the same goal but using a different method. Alternatively, you may only apply parts of what others did and achieve something else. Using this mindset, you initially look at what others do to compare with what you have and want to do, then eventually compete with yourself to see how high you can reach. This way, you keep a healthy competitive relationship with others by looking at them as sources of ideas and inspiration. Ultimately, you only compete with yourself and keep things okay between you and others.
3. You get to define what success means and what matters to you
When you compete with others, there is a chance that what you are trying to achieve is how others see success. Even if you become victorious and attain the same goal as others or snag an opportunity others are trying to get, you may not feel fulfilled and happy with what you earn. Some people compete for the sake of it, without minding what they get at the end as long as they become better than others. This is the kind of behavior that can be toxic for others. On the other hand, if you compete with yourself, you can have a more meaningful journey of discovering what success means to you and what you would like to prioritize attaining. You can work at your pace, and it won't matter much to you if others get ahead of you as long as you eventually achieve what you want later.
4. You live a more stress-free life
Competition can be intense as you fight others to come out on top or get something before others do. Some may relish and feel alive with such a lifestyle, but competing can be stressful, especially if it is forced on you, such as in the workplace where you may be encouraged to get ahead of others to earn a promotion and get better pay. Constant comparison can also get on your nerves and may force you to do something against your values and interests to achieve or get something. With self-competition, you don't need to look too much at what others are doing and achieving; instead, you focus on what you can achieve based on what you can do while occasionally getting ideas from others. There is no need to rush, and working at your pace can help you breathe more freely and relax instead of constantly being busy.
Be better by constantly competing with yourself.
Self-competition is something that can work if you value personal growth. You want to keep on learning and growing, so you do that by trying various things. Of course, we cannot possibly know and master everything by ourselves, and others can provide new ideas with what they do and achieve. It doesn't mean we need to be better than others when we copy their ideas. Instead, we can sort out what we learn from others and apply those that will serve a purpose for our goals. We can then try to achieve something on our terms and achieve the highest point without comparing it with others. After completing something, we can try going at it again or pursue something else for our improvement and see how far we can go by pushing ourselves to be better than we were previously. One does not necessarily need to use others as a basis for improvement; using ourselves can already be enough, especially if we want to be the best we can be and keep improving.