It can seem that much of today’s environment revolves around competition and always trying to be better than the next person. For many, from as early as our school days, we are pitted against each other in a variety of overt or subtle ways, time after time. Whether it’s about having the best grades, being best at sports, having the best house or a job, the list is non-exhaustive!
I’ve written previously about the reasons for stopping comparing yourself to others here: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others.
Today’s article is slightly different though. One of the things that has been highlighted to me through years of endurance running and then weightlifting in particular, is that unless you are an elite athlete or a professional, then recognising that we are individuals and seeking to be better within yourself rather than competing with others carries many benefits.
While we’re sure they mean well, our own parents do it too by comparing siblings or showing off their children’s accomplishments to their friends. They are all trying to do what they believe is best for us, to ready us for life ahead; they want to encourage us and highlight what we do well, yet we are subtly competing in all manner of ways.
The truth is that you are your only competition. Your goal should always be to be a better, happier, healthier version of yourself. You will always be your own life-long companion, which is why I wanted to write up some of the best tips for you to be comfortable enough in your skin to stop competing with others.
Learn to Love Yourself
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
So many of us are thought to be kind to others, to show them kindness and understanding, but very few of us are taught how to extend that same kindness to ourselves. Our internal monologue can be incredibly negative and destructive to our growth. Extend yourself the same kindness that you give others.
Allow yourself the ability to make mistakes and learn from them. If you feel like you’re too tired to keep working, rest, take time off, don’t push through it. Think positively about yourself, don’t shatter your own self-esteem by putting yourself down.
Here are a couple of articles to really expand upon and help you in this regard:
– How to love yourself more.
– How to use self-hypnosis to love yourself more.
– How to have a better relationship with yourself.
Celebrate with Others
When you see people around you are achieving their goals or advancing through life, it can be so easy to feel jealous of them. At this moment, it is vital you remember that not everyone has the same struggles. You may be seeing them in a time of success, but you may not know the number of failures and the many hours they spent getting to this point.
Be happy for them, congratulate them on their success. You can admire their hard work and even ask them for advice on how to achieve your own goals. Do not turn them into your competition, rather get inspiration from them. Look at it in a positive way; if they can do it, then you can too.
Research proves that a positive mindset not only benefits you mentally but physically as well. It helps you cope with difficult situations, reduces stress, and increases your life span (Park et al., 2014).
Consider making mindfulness a part of your everyday routine, at the end of your day or whenever you are able to have a few minutes for yourself and reflect upon your day. Focus your mind on yourself and your thoughts. Focus on your breathing and whatever you may be feeling without any judgement.
Practising mindfulness can slowly improve your physical and mental health. It can help you focus on the greater aspects of life. It helps you see things more positively and healthy instead of being focused on negativity and becoming stressed.
Learn from Other People
When you see other people as your competitors, it can become hard to appreciate their good qualities. We only see them as someone to compete against, do better than, and forget that working with them can be beneficial for you and them.
When you stop thinking of other people as your competition, you can learn from them. You could pick up a new skill, form a new perspective on life, or learn a new coping mechanism.
It also helps you build healthy relationships around you, and when you are open to learning from others, they can learn from you. This will help you in working with other people and in building lasting relations with those around you.
Life is Not Linear
Remember that life does not go as you have planned, and it definitely does not follow a straight line. There will be numerous ups and downs in your life. How you approach these bumps in the road is important.
Comparing your journey with someone else’s journey is harmful. Where you end up can be vastly different for everyone, even if you have the same goals. What is important to appreciate are the skills you learned while working towards your goals. Even the mistakes you make are learning points rather than something to be embarrassed about. Embrace the knowledge you gained during this time and use it to your advantage.
Focus on Yourself
Everyone has skills or talents that they are naturally good at. There are parts of your personality that make you stand out, be it your determination, your understanding, or how calm you are under pressure.
Hone these skills that you have, improve upon them. Yes, you should learn new skills to become a more rounded person, but you should constantly work on improving the skills you already have. Use them to your advantage, shape them to work under different circumstances, and make you valuable.
There is a chance that you may be struggling with a skill simply because it makes you more competitive with others, but if it’s not for you, then don’t force yourself to work at it. It would be best if you worked on the skills that you want to better in yourself, for yourself.
- Final Word
It can be easy to get caught up in the idea of competing with others. To trying to be better than everyone else, but the truth is that is impossible. There is always going to be someone that seems better or more capable than you. Focus on you, on your health, on your mentality, on your life.
Spend your days learning and growing into who you want to be so that your future self can be proud of the work you are putting in. The only person you should be competing against, if at all is you, compete against your negativity and be kind to yourself. After all, you deserve it.
Has this piqued your interest in this field? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studes? Explore the pages of this website.
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
2. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.
I have an article torn out of a magazine, that lives on my desk. The title is “Together we Rise”. The author (Shawn Achor) tells a story about bioluminescent lightning bugs in the Southeast Asian Jungle. Research shows that when they illuminate at different times the probability of a female responding to a male is 3%. When the light up at the same time it’s 82%. “Society often teaches us that it’s better to be the only bright light rather than be in a forest of bright lights”. These little bugs show us that that isn’t the case. “When the fireflies could time their pulses with one another to the millisecond, it allowed them to space themselves apart perfectly, thus eliminating the need to compete … Like the fireflies, once we learn to coordinate and collaborate with those around us, we all begin to shine brighter, both individually and as an ecosystem”. The article gets more beautiful every time I read it.
Oh I love this, thank you for sharing Juliet.