I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’m extremely competitive. I love to win and do better in sports or games or other things. However, when it comes to everyday life, there’s no need to be competitive. Allow me to explain.
Recently, one of my best friends posted on Facebook that she published a book on Amazon. That is crazy! How many college kids do you know who go around publishing books? Not too many, I can imagine. However, although she is one of my best friends, there has always been some friendly competition between us. She and I competed for valedictorian in high school. Most of the time in review games, we were up against each other to keep it fair. So we are best friends, but we are also best competitors. Another thing we share is a love of writing. In high school, either or both of us were usually writing some kind of story.
But you know, once I saw she published her book, there was no competition between us. I just felt so proud of her and what she’s accomplished. Maybe I’ll get around to being published one day, but I’m not competing for it right now. She has a book, I’ve had a blog going for a year. We are on different paths in our lives, and there’s no competition for me to match what she does.
The only person you need to be competitive with in life is yourself. What I mean by that is that you need to make yourself better each day. If you lose your temper one day, work hard to make sure you don’t lose it the next. I know people who compare their daily lives to those around them, and simply put, they are not happy. If you spend your entire life comparing yourself to someone else, you will end up losing yourself. So again, you only need to be in competition with yourself. Work hard to make yourself better. You probably won’t see changes immediately, but give it time. Give it six month, a year, however long. Allow yourself time to improve, and you will be amazed at the changes you can make.
I have pretty much always felt that I have to be competitive with other people because of my age. When people find out that I’m 19 and a sophomore in college, they give me so many weird or surprised looks. Because of that, I’ve felt that I’ve had to work twice as hard as anyone else to prove myself as just as intelligent or just as capable as anyone else. And while in some cases that is helpful, I don’t always have to be like that. If my age is a factor to how people feel about me, then they do not need to be in my life. I know that I’m young for my position in life, but that should not be a reason why someone does or does not like me. And if they don’t, then I don’t need to like them.
I don’t need to compare myself with anyone else, and you don’t need to either. Learn to be proud of yourself, but that does not mean you should stop improving. Keep making yourself better, but be proud of every step you take. It’s a weird feeling. Learn to be both satisfied and dissatisfied. Be satisfied with who you are and where you’ve come from, but be dissatisfied with where you’re at. I’m not saying to be dissatisfied with your personality, your self, your career, or anything else. I’m more saying that if you see something about you that you don’t like, then work to change it.
The easiest example I can think of to demonstrate this point is a weight-loss journey. You see those amazing transformation pictures of before and after, and while some of them are fake, the ones that are real are incredible. However, what you don’t see in those pictures is the day-to-day lives. I know for me, I take my measurements every month. I don’t like stepping on a scale because I’m usually dissatisfied with the number. However, if I measure my waist and hips, I’m usually a lot more pleased with my results. That being said, I’m not losing a ton each month. Sometimes, life gets in the way and I make no progress between a couple months. However, that being said, I’ve noticed major improvement in my body. Obviously, the numbers have gone down, but there are other improvements as well. My clothes fit better, my body looks better, I’m eating better, and just overall feel better about myself. The only person I’m in competition with is myself. I’m proud of my journey and how far I’ve come, but I’m not at my goals yet. I still have a ways to go and it’s still a journey. So I work day by day and try to improve myself.
I could probably give thousands of other examples, but I hope you understand the point. Be proud of you, your family, your friends, your coworkers, everyone else. Be proud of who they are and what they’ve done. But you don’t need to try to compete with them. The only person you need to compete with is who you were yesterday. Work to make yourself better, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.
*If you want to buy my friend’s book, here is the link to it on Amazon.