Why Are You Competing? It's Not Helpful But Actually Harming You.

Terri Kozlowski

When you compete with others, you cause self-doubt. The key to true success is competing only with yourself because only then do you grow~ Terri Kozlowski

Being diligently, authentically you, and living your truth means there aren’t any comparisons being done, right? You can’t compare your distinctive self, living out your dreams, against other people’s goals and standards because they are uniquely different. This also means you can’t compete against other people’s benchmarks. Everyone has their values and ways of measuring progress. So, if you are doing well by other people’s standards doesn’t mean you are attaining your goals and living your truth.

Society falsely believes everyone is competing against each other, as one witnesses in the natural world. But this is an egoic lie. If there is competition, it’s not with others, but with yourself. The internal struggle to see and live out your full and limitless potential. The goal is to better yourself through growth, so the future authentic you is better than your current version of yourself.

Why is changing your perspective about competing so important? Because it’s about who determines your values and progress. Are you the person who knows your goals, or other people based on their dreams and standards?

When you consciously choose to compete with yourself instead of others, you’re no longer trapped by other people’s ideas of how your life should be led. Therefore, you determine and evaluate yourself based upon meaningful matrixes that matter to you.

Your life is your own unique journey — it is unlike a journey any other person, before you or after you, will ever take. ~ Shon Mehta

Why Are You Opposing Others?

Competition isn’t good or bad. It can help gain self-confidence, build perseverance and resiliency, as well as fire ambition. But it can also lead to selfish, inflexible, and snobbish egoic fear that fuels destructive behaviors.

If you realize you are indeed competing against others, you need to find out why. You need to understand your reasons and what’s driving you into this comparison. Why are you trying to prove something to someone else? Because competing against others will not bring success or the happiness you are searching for. Instead, you want inner inspiration, not outside motivation.

Be aware that the ego may try to convince you that competing against another is helping you become better. But to what standard, theirs or your own? Trying to be like someone else isn’t being authentic to yourself.

By altering your perspective of competition from opposing others versus challenging yourself, you enable the benefits of positive attributes of competing to build in your life. You are working on being better than you were yesterday. And you maintain the standards and the progress you make instead of allowing others’ viewpoints to alter your goals.

If you compete with others, you may not win. If you compete with yourself, you always win by becoming better. ~ Debasish Mridha

Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself

When you compete against others, you will always find someone better than you. And this discovery will cause you to feel defeated and fill you with self-doubt. You will either give up or sacrifice everything to prove to others how good you are. Again, not living your truth, but comparing and being unhappy.

When you are challenging others, you are judging yourself against them and their standards, not your own. Therefore, it doesn’t lead to self-growth. And if you win, it’s meaningless because the value of success is based on the other person, not what’s important to you. Consequently, you aren’t happy.

Competition leads to comparison. The more you compete against others, the more you will evaluate yourself against others, especially those who are better than you. This makes you feel you aren’t good enough, just as you are. You lose self-confidence, as well as question your worthiness. This lack of belief steals the joy from your life. And you focus on the lack, on your weaknesses instead of your strengths.

When you live your life by comparing and competing, you will always feel less than, and self-destructive. See, it’s not achieving the goals that make you happy but the journey and growth you gained along the way.

Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud. ~ Shannon L. Alder

Learning To Compete Against Yourself Is The Key To Success

Although the ego believes being a winner means you cross the finish line first, it’s a lie. Society affirms this egoic thought, but real winners know it’s about doing your personal best each time. When you know you’ve done your best, then your self-confidence increases. You’ve made progress towards your goals, and you did it based on your standards, not others. Real winners know there’s more to being a champion than the competition.

When you learn to only compete with yourself, it means you’re defining what success means for you. Mastering a new skill, or improving yourself in a way that satisfies you, no one else. You determine what’s fulfilling for you. When you reach the goal, you pat yourself on the back and say, what’s next? You’re finding gratification and enjoyment from pursuing personal growth, and you look for new ways to challenge yourself.

My husband began making cabochons about six months ago. Along the way, he wanted to put them into sterling silver settings, which he’s never done before. Now he is creating freestyle silver turtles and flowers with a stone center. Each time he tried something new, it led him to challenge himself in innovative ways.

When you take a misstep, because you will, you don’t consider it a loss. You don’t look for someone to blame or to find excuses for what occurred. Instead, you take full responsibility for your actions and choose to learn from the situation, knowing you will do better next time.

The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give. ~ Howard Cosell

How To Compete Against Yourself In A Healthy Way

Goal setting is vital in helping you challenge yourself. Establish prime objectives that are attainable. You want to reach for your goals, but not stress yourself because you feel they are unattainable. Nor do you want easily achievable aims because you don’t want to get bored. This ability to determine your aspirations is based upon you knowing your authentic self. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses, where you need to grow, and what you need to learn. Knowing and accepting yourself makes establishing your objectives clear and yet allows you to develop.

Channel your competitiveness so it works for you. You do this by understanding you’re only working on developing into a better version of your authentic self than you were yesterday. This allows your innate desire to compete with the ability to strive towards improvement versus laboring against yourself by having you compare, cause self-doubt, or seem selfish. So, it’s about being balanced in doing your best and being supportive not only to yourself but to others as well.

When you can use your competitive nature to help propel your objectives instead of competing against others, you’re no longer concerned about who’s the best. You’re proud of yourself for making progress and achieving your own version of success. Following your heart and working at a pace that is comfortable for you, no longer comparing yourself to others and thus dismissing their measures for achievement.

The biggest competition is myself. I am not looking to follow others or pull them down. I'm planning to test my own boundaries. ~ Rain

Moving Forward With A New Way To Compete

Having a role model is a great way to inspire you towards your objectives. But be sure you’re not measuring yourself against their progress. You’re uniquely you and your success can’t be compared to anyone else’s. Remember, leaders don’t compete, followers do.

And when you see progress or obtain a milestone, celebrate. Whether with a reward of a small mood lifter or sharing the celebration with others, when you applaud yourself, it reminds you that your efforts are just as important. True success directly results from the effort made at doing your best each day, not in beating someone else.

Yes, there is competition everywhere you look, but no one has to be your competitor. Don’t outshine someone, or extinguish their light. Instead, choose to empower one another so everyone can achieve their own goals. When you are encouraging others, everyone can reach their full potential. And you receive inspiration from others in return for your support.

When you work with your whole heart towards your goals, success is inevitable because the only competition is with your former self.

Life is not a competition with others. In its truest sense, it is rivalry with ourselves. We should each day seek to break the record of our yesterday. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair past follies; each day to surpass ourselves. This is, simply, progress. ~ C. Smith Sumner

As you become more mindful of your competitive nature and become conscious of being a better version of your authentic self than you were yesterday, you can alter the course of your life.

Do you need help to discover your authentic self? Are you looking for support in learning how to change your perspective about competing with others? Do you want a strategy to help you create an extraordinary life? If so, please get in touch with me, and we can put together an action plan for you to live authentically.

To learn about how I overcame my competitive nature and became a more authentic version of myself, you can do so by reading my book, Raven Transcending Fear, available on Amazon or you can go to RavenTranscendingFear.com for more information.

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Native American Terri Kozlowski has a BS in social science, certified life coach, blogger, author of "Raven Transcending Fear," & host of the Soul Solutions podcast. She specializes in empowering people to overcome their fears and limiting beliefs.

Woodstock, GA

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