Be Your Own Best Competitor

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Have you ever just felt like the world was against you? Felt like, no matter how much patience, time and effort you put into something, life still found a way to serve bad news to you on a silver platter?

Even though we can understand that this isn’t the case when we are able to step outside of a situation and rationally think about it; sometimes in the moment, it’s really hard to come to this understanding.

You are frustrated. You feel emotionally, physically, and for some of us- even spiritually drained. But are you frustrated for the wrong reasons?

It’s human nature for us to want to be the best, the strongest, the most accomplished, so on and so forth. Survival of the fittest, after all… but to what expense?

This is where one of my favorite quotes comes in to play. As, an unknown author stated “when you continuously compete with others you become bitter. When you continuously compete with yourself, you become better.

I know, personally, it can be very hard to shake the feeling of wanting to be the best, especially at something you are passionate about… but doesn’t that begin to take the fun that you once experience because of this passion, out of it? As someone who genuinely enjoys working out, I strive to become better and better each time I go to the gym. But at one point, what had once been an outlet and source of tranquility for me, became a competition of sorts. I began looking at others working out and how much weight they would put on before attempting lifts and feel discouraged. “Why wasn’t I lifting that much yet?” “I’ve been at this for months and feel like I’m hitting a plateau.” “I should be able to do that, if not more!”

All of these negative, self-deprecating thoughts start to discourage me. I got inside of my own head, and began to dread the gym. I felt as if I wasn’t good enough, I was wasting my time. Until one day, I decided to do some research… I began by looking up what different reliable resources ranked as their top workouts for body building for each muscle group, and then developed my own program off of that. I also made a more realistic meal plan for myself; so that I could not only help my body recover post workout, but to also enjoy what I was eating, too. Now, I know, my best competition, is myself; and now I strive only to be better than I had been before- not anyone else.

And, this mindset of pushing yourself up when you’re feeling the most down doesn’t just apply to my example; it can apply to any… For students who are feeling overwhelmed with their course loads and just want to give up, this is the time you need the most inner- motivation… For employees who have a huge project deadline to meet, for athletes who are looking to PR, musicians who are preparing for a performance. This is about anything that weighs on you and makes you question your ability to push forward and keep on keeping on– these are those moments when it is most important to persevere. Don’t compare yourself to your classmates, co-workers, teammates, band-members, etc. When you’re trying to do the best, you are your own best competition.

But, what happens if you do get too overwhelmed and quit? Now, you may wonder, “what does that say about me as a person?” And the answer is, absolutely nothing; except that you are human. You are not a worse-version of yourself because you “cracked under pressure”. We all have moments of weakness; and that’s what makes us human. But, then, use that setback as motivation for the next time you are faced with a trying personal obstacle. Remember how you felt once you gave up. For me, that feeling usually resonates as disappointment initially, and then, determination- determination to do even the slightest bit better the next time, than I had the last.

So, whether you goal is character related, health related, work related, school related, performance related, or “anything” related… the best advice I can give you, is to never compete with others, but to always compete with yourself. Always aim to be just a little better than who you were yesterday; and do it for yourself! Be your own best competition.

 

– Virginia Johnson

Are you struggling with focusing on comparing yourself with others, or not feeling in control of your own life, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call  to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.

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