You would know how competitive life has become. Be it any aspect of life there is competition. Is it good to be competitive?
Yes, being competitive has many benefits and at the same time, there are few disadvantages too.
Competitive people are ambitious and self-assured. They don't give up easily, either, and are willing to go to any length to realize their greatest ambitions. We admire them because they eventually achieve success.
Being competitive, on the other hand, has its drawbacks. Self-absorbed, egotistical, and finicky persons are common characteristics of competitive people.
Furthermore, they are constantly stressed since their desire to succeed is fueled by a fear of losing. This is because they are competing with others.
But if you want to improve and compete healthily, without any stress, you must compete with yourself rather than with others.
Here are 10 reasons why you should be always competing with yourself.
1. No one is perfect but you are perfect for yourself
You would agree with me on this point that no one is perfect and everyone has some imperfections. Similarly, when you have imperfections there will be someone better at doing things than you. There is no point in proving otherwise. And if you try to prove it, you would end up wasting your resources or failing miserably.
You won't have to worry if someone else gets something first if you learn to compete with yourself rather than with others. When you put in the work or the effort required to get it, you know it will come to you at the right time and in the perfect location. You may value what you have and what you have accomplished, and utilize that as a benchmark to become more successful — rather than simply following in the footsteps of others who have already achieved success.
2. You don't have to compare yourself to others
You train yourself to compare yourself to others by continually competing against others, especially those who are better than you. As a result, you believe you're never good enough, robbing you of all joy.
If you're always comparing yourself to others or trying to keep up with them, you're probably disregarding your own qualities and talents. You might even conceal your skills and abilities.
When competing with your own self, you never compare yourself to other people. Instead, you will compare your past self and think about how you can improve on.
When you stop comparing your life to other people's, you can concentrate on yourself and your own qualities, abilities, and accomplishments. Self-esteem will rise once you stop comparing your life to others.
3. You don't win or lose
People who compete with themselves are accomplished than those who compete against others because they recognize that there is more about being successful than just winning. Being a winner does not imply crossing the finish line first, but rather giving it your all to achieve your objective. The competition would be meaningless if this were not the case. As a result, you can be victorious without having to win. What matters is the process and what you prove to yourself, not to others.
When it comes to losing, you will lose from time to time, but you will not blame others for your failure. You'll instead take full responsibility for your conduct. Failure will not be a cause for depression or anger, but rather an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and promise yourself that you will do better next time.
4. You learn to appreciate what you have
Furthermore, comparing yourself to others prevents you from appreciating what you have. Instead, you concentrate on what you don't have. The trouble is that you'll never have everything, and if you do, you'll be miserable. After all, it's not the accomplishment of your objectives that makes you happy, but the pursuit of them. Consider that for a moment.
By competing with your own self you learn to live with gratitude. Gratitude is a very important aspect of self-improvement.
People who are grateful are happier in their friendships and familial ties. They're less sad and stressed, and they're happier as a result. They have a stronger sense of control over their lives, more self-esteem, and better coping skills when things are rough.
5. You can define success on your own terms
We all know what "success" entails. For everyone, the definition of success is different like for example, graduating from college, getting the "perfect" job, meeting the "right" person, buying a house, and starting a family. That isn't to imply that folks who do so nowadays aren't successful; they certainly are.
Successful people compete with own self because it has a sense of happiness. It makes them happy. They don't do it believing it will make them happy. The urge to compete with own self should come from within.
Similarly, when you don't care about what others think of you and pursue whatever makes you happy, you define your success by how you feel, how you fulfill yourself, and how you live your life and not by what others think of you.
6. You get to try something better and something that you never did earlier
Another harsh reality of maturity is that we all stink at some things. Or, maybe even worse, there are those things at which we excel but are simply not excellent enough to be successful. I'm not suggesting that you abandon your dreams; rather, I'm suggesting that looking inwardly at yourself rather than outwards at others allows you to assess whether or not those dreams are good for you.
Once you've done that, you can either commit to finding all the flaws in your plan to make that dream a reality and doing whatever it takes to fix them — or you can let that dream go long enough to see an opportunity you might have otherwise missed, chasing something that may or may not has made other people happy.
7. You become more self-aware
You're just competing in venues that other people have put up for you if you're constantly competing with everyone else. Sure, you might win in such venues, but if you spend your entire life competing with others, those are the only areas you'll ever see.
Only by evaluating your success against yourself can you discover the limitless things you could improve on and pursue, the unlimited things that could make you significantly happier than what everyone else is doing.
In the process of competing with your own self, you would find the true capabilities like what are your true weaknesses and strengths. You get a chance to know more about yourself.
8. You are not answerable to anyone
When you compete against yourself, you don't follow other people's success criteria. Everyone has different criteria for success. You should have your own criteria for success. You may find yourself following something that others would consider insane or a waste of time, but it doesn't matter because you aren't concerned with what they think of you.
You are not answerable about your actions to anyone but to yourself. Are you putting in enough effort? Are you putting forth every effort to live the life you desire? Only you can answer these questions for yourself, and when you're the only one around, you're compelled to be as brutally honest or forgiving of yourself as no one else would.
9. You get support from your peers
When you compete with others, they usually consider you as a competition. They want to outperform you and knock you out of the competition. And when they have this feeling, they won't be willing to help you if you make a mistake. This is the common tendency everyone has.
On the other hand, when you are competing with yourself, you are not considered as a threat and rather looked upon as someone who is trying to improve on. People are more willing to offer any help they can provide to make you achieve your target. You would never fall short of support from people that definitely will boost your efforts and give you more confidence to face challenges.
10. Your self-improvement journey continues...
What is the most serious and genuine risk of solely competing with other people? We're going to beat them. It would be so easy to stop moving once you've accomplished something, pleased that you've done something "better" than everyone else.
However, that happiness is transient. Only a lifelong drive to better and challenge yourself in new ways will genuinely satisfy a competitive person, and when you're looking internally for that inspiration, you'll always find that there is more you can do to better yourself. You will continue your journey towards self improvement without any stop.
Self improvement is a continuous process and competing with own self is something that can help this process. Healthy and stress free competition helps you live a fullfilled life. What is your definition of success and your self improvement? I would appreciate if you could share your experiences in comments.