By TAMARA JAYNE
“How did she get the promotion while I have been loyal for four years?”
“Why did he get an A while I received a B+ on that exam?”
“It’s not fair that he was commended for what he did in spite of all of us contributing just as much effort into the project.”
It’s unfair, it’s biased, and it’s prejudicial. We’ve been there. We’ve seen the likes of others increase and listened to that whisper of comparison in our ears.
While competing may motivate us to be better, competition that leads to comparison sets you up for a never-ending race. There is a difference between healthy competition and unhealthy comparison.
Compete with who you were yesterday
It’s stressful to constantly compete with our fellow schoolmates, our family members, and our colleagues. A life that feels the need to constantly be one up from someone else breeds a culture of discontentment and selfishness.
Watching friends having children and you desiring a child just to fit in, can quickly become detrimental to a pair of unready parents and the child.
If someone else received that promotion before you, it could be for far different reasons than what you think.
You can use it as a stepping stone to be a better person or you may use it as an excuse to sulk about the person who may have deserved the role too in spite of what it seems. (Note to self: If they didn’t deserve it, what do I gain from complaining?)
Competition is not necessarily bad. However, when it leads you to compare your life with someone else’s, you will never be content with where you are and what you have.
Simply because there will always be someone who is wittier, someone who is skinnier, or someone who is better at what you do.
Use competition to grow, to be more creative and to try something new. Aim to use competition to better yourself. Not just to “win.”
Your self-worth does not come from someone else
Often from young, we decipher that if we win or are top of the class, we will gain the approval of our teachers or parents. Maybe we will.
Maybe approval builds us to become better individuals who aim for excellence in all that we do. Or maybe we end up living for the approval of others and when we do not receive it, we feel incompetent or not good enough.
Self-worth should not stem from seeking validation and approval from those around you.
Your worth does not depend on your job status, your parents’ stamp of approval, your in-laws’ love for you, or whether your pet likes you or not.
Your worth comes when you realise you are the best competition for yourself when you aim to constantly grow, learn, and influence others as a leader, parent, colleague, and person.
Tamara is an assistant editor and writer with Leaderonomics. She loves thought-provoking conversations over cups of tea. If she is not writing, you might find her hiking up a mountain in search of a new waterfall to explore.