Life teaches us how to be competitive from very early; and trust me, a good competition shows you what a person is made of. However, it’s important that ‘you be you’ in the heat of competitiveness.
I can’t think of anyone who enjoys losing. Some persons get aggressive, while others may cheat or belittle their competitor to get ahead. There is always a sense that you may be better than another person, or the converse, another person may be better than you. At times these feelings of winning or losing may foster feelings of jealousy and envy, wishing you were in another person’s shoe or not truly celebrating the success of another person. At times the ill feelings brought about by competitiveness leads to a total decimation of the other person’s character.
The Drawback of Unhealthy Competition
An unhealthy spirit of competition creates much negativity and an unusual magnification of the perceived winner. Ultimately, we learn to celebrate these values and many times go through life with the same attitude towards our peers, co-workers, friends, neighbours, family members and so on. The ‘Who is Better than Mentality’ prevents us from embracing the unique traits, skills and assets we have to offer. As a result, diminishes our acceptance of self.
Compete Against Your Best Self
Competition has been around since time immemorial and is definitely here to stay. However, when God made each of us, He intended for us to be competitive; but, only in the race He marked out for us. So ideally our competition is not against others, but against our best self. Once you can conceptualize that YOU NEED TO BE YOU, running your race, at the pace set for you, then and only then the drive against others can be seen from a healthy space.
Learn To Be You
To be you, getting to know yourself is your first point of reference. Therefore it is imperative you ask and answer these questions as a guide to discovering you:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- If you could do the job you love and not worry about a paycheck, what would you do?
- What are the things that come naturally to you?
- How would you describe your personality?
- What are you passionate about?
- What motivates you? Eg. Desires, ambition, dream, interest, hope;
- And lastly, What has life taught you?
- Do you have any significant experiences that impacted you?
After answering these questions, you need to work on your self confidence. You will always encounter persons who continue to stoke an unhealthy competition with or against you. That is just the game of life! But when you possess a well developed confidence, it does not allow you to be caught up in another person’s game. When you know who you are, and what you are about, you become secured in yourself and your abilities. One of the best ingredients for success is the ability to believe in you.
Then work on your negative self talk. Self Talk is that inner voice that destabilizes you. It tells you that you are not good enough; you can’t succeed at a given task; you can’t do anything right; and so on. Therefore, you need to control the self defeating voices in your head by stopping them when they occur and replace with a positive thought such as, I am the right person for this assignment; There is nothing impossible for me to do with God’s help; I am successful at every task. The key is to identify the negative thought and address it quickly.
Finally, keep focused. Your path is only designed for you. No one else can be you. There is a lot of space in this world for you to be you with your unique traits, skills and abilities. Do not try to copy or compete with another person. Accept that you are different, and your contributions to life big or small are needed to create variety and to add value. There is only one you, so be you!