Why You Shouldn't View Others as Competition
By: Gabby Frost (@gabby_frost)
Within the past year, there have been multiple occasions where I catch myself oozing with jealousy. I see someone my age accomplishing something I've dreamt of, or some achievement that's noteworthy. After reading about someone else's accolades, a cycle of self-deprecation starts. My thoughts are a bulldozer knocking down my levels of confidence. I stop believing in myself and wonder why I even try to accomplish anything. Fortunately, I was able to find a method to repair my self-esteem.
I had a revelation that I shouldn't view anyone as competition; it's unnecessary and toxic to my personal growth. We are all different people on different roads in life. Every person is going down a distinct path in life, and no one should compare theirs to another. It's healthier to look at yourself as a unique person. Viewing yourself this way can help you not feel defeated if you haven't achieved something a different person has. It's okay for you not to be on the same page as that person, you are separate, different people.
Often, when people compare themselves to others, our minds make us believe things such as "I'm not as pretty as them" and "I'm not as smart as them." What we fail to recognize is that you don't have to be as beautiful or smart as someone else. You are pretty and smart in your respects, along with other people. Don't compare your beauty or intelligence to someone else's when they are incomparable. You shouldn't compare apples to oranges; you are separate, different people. The best thing in life that you can do is be the best version of you. Don't be afraid to dive headfirst into life and take the journey to your dreams and goal.
It's a challenge to liberate your mind from this detrimental set of views. As a society, we are hardwired into thinking we are in competition with people. It's okay to have competitions with sports and academic events, but what isn't healthy is unnecessary competition. Students often feel pressured to have the best grades out of anyone else in their class, and feel weak if they don't achieve a particular grade or higher. Instead of glorifying learning and becoming educated, perfection is what gets put on a pedestal by the school system. It's impossible for anyone to be superb in every school subject, and students shouldn't think they need to reach a certain point for success.
Instead of perpetuating the idea of competition, uplift others. There's no need for tearing people down when you can make someone feel confident in themselves. Compliment people on their outfits rather than spewing negative comments. If someone is struggling, give them hope and motivation so they can achieve what their mind is set on. By erasing our internalized competitive drives, we can make the world a place full of growth. There's no point in establishing a sense of competition in people if all it leads to is self-depreciation and animosity for others.
Next time you catch yourself comparing your achievements to another person's, remember that you are traveling down your own path in life. You don't need to compare your life to someone else's; it causes unnecessary competition, and it isn't a healthy mindset to have. If you allow yourself to accept that you're a distinct, unique person, you will grow as a person. You are capable of anything you put your mind to, don't create limits for yourself. I believe in you.
Image credit to Chibird.