“If she can lose 10 pounds, I can lose 20!” -Me, thinking of Past Me who recently reached the 10-pound weight-loss milestone, a fine example of using competition to reach your goals sooner.
Life is not a competition with others, it’s a competition with yourself.
“Just because they’re succeeding before you, that doesn’t mean they’re succeeding in replacement of you.” ~Morgan Harper Nichols
Comparisons Lower Self Esteem
Most of my life has been spent in comparison mode. If someone I knew was doing really well at something I wanted to do, it felt like a competition that I was losing.
I compared my appearance to my friends’ and always thought I was the “ugly friend.” I compared my job status to that of other people who had started around the same time as me or later. Even my relationship status could always be compared to someone on Facebook.
If You Must Compare, Compare to Yourself by Using Competition to Reach Your Goals Sooner
It was only a couple of years ago that I began to remind myself that life is not a competition.
It’s important always to focus on yourself. If you’re going to compete with someone, compete with the You of Yesterday. If “Yesterday Me” did 20 push ups, maybe today I can do 25!
I’ve found that focusing on myself is the best way to succeed. By competing with the You of Yesterday, you’re healthily using competition to reach your goals sooner. If I’m only worried about what I am doing, I’m going to spend more time and energy on doing that better and better each day.
However, if I’m worried about what other people are doing, too much of my energy is going to go into feeling sorry for myself and wishing I could be better. Action is the only way to improve.
Your Perceived Competitors are Your Resources
When someone I know is really killin’ it at something I want to succeed at, that person isn’t my competitor at all. That person is a resource!
When I decided I wanted to lose weight, I started actively following people on social media who had already done it. I started working with a personal trainer on a weekly basis for nutrition & workout advice, and because everything he says is so motivating.
Don’t view other people’s success as your failure. View other people’s success as an opportunity to learn how to succeed faster.
It can be easy to get caught up in a competitive spirit when you’re surrounded by people who seem to have it all together and do everything better or sooner than you.
All these comparisons do, though, is make you feel worse about yourself. If comparisons and competition are what really motivate you to succeed, try just kicking your own ass. Always strive for your personal best, or do each task just a little better than yesterday.
And when you do find yourself caught up in envy because your neighbor just got a huge promotion, ask her how she did it! People are kind more often than not and love to help others succeed.
What will you do today to beat the You of Yesterday?
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