The desire to do more, be more and get more has always led to a contest among people and groups with similar desires. People find themselves struggling to beat other people or businesses to maximize their benefits. While one can hardly condemn this disposition, competition with others can be highly overrated and limiting. You should learn that you are your own greatest competition. If you don’t get this right, the following are the potential challenges:
- Becoming preoccupied with external forces: you hardly discover your own uniqueness by minding others. When you see someone else as your competition, you become externally motivated because you are always monitoring what the person is doing. If you see yourself as your greatest competition, however, you have enough time to discover unique ways in which you can beat your own records.
- Overestimating or underestimating yourself: comparing yourself with other people is never fair. What will be your standard of measurement? If you judge the person by your own standard and abilities, the person will definitely fall short and you will be proud of yourself. On the other hand, judging yourself by the person’s standards will make you appear to be lesser than you are. Remember, there can only be one original.
- Derailing you from your purpose: you are forced into a “me too” situation. You become too fixated on other people’s achievements to have original thoughts, so you are forced to imitate or modify their ideas. Unknowingly, your competitor is charting the course while you are following.
- Breeding resentment instead of appreciation of others’ achievements: when you are in the “competition mode”, you will not appreciate what other people do. You will see their progress as your disadvantage or a threat. You will resent achievements you could have otherwise appreciated because you will wish they are yours.
- Turning your potential teachers and allies into your competitors or even enemies: you tend to see everyone as a competition to beat, even people you could have learnt from or collaborated with. Humility is lost and competitive arrogance takes over.
- Becoming complacent: lack of external competition tends to breed complacency because there is no challenge. Since you are externally motivated, you lose further motivation once you finally beat your competition. No more challenge to do more.