I never truly had the heart to show my peers my competitive side, so I always silently competed with them, when I was younger.
But as I grew older, I realized that competing with them only makes me immensely unhappy and unsatisfied. I always thought that friendships are supposed to be pure and competing with my peers would only bring unnecessary cut throat competition in our otherwise peaceful life. But everyone around me said that you can’t grow if you don’t have some competition, because then you wouldn’t have the motivation to work that hard and achieve something.
So I followed the same principle of competing with my peers. Like I never got jealous, but every time someone would be better than me at something, I’d always wonder “what’s wrong with me. If I need to survive then I’ve gotta be the best”. I started actually improving a lot in everything I took part in, studies, sports, competitions and what not. I didn’t even realize that my thoughts are heading in this “do or die” path.
It was only when, I once broke down in front of my parents, showing them how insecure I was about not being a star performer or not being up to the mark, that my father said,
“You’re best competitor of yourself”. He then elaborately explained how it was stupid of me to ever even care about what others are doing. It’s not my business, if they win or they fail. Like, if they’re my Friends then I should feel happy or sorry for them. But I should never compare my success, my performance with theirs. The reason being that we’re all different people, live in different circumstances, and have different capabilities and talents. So it’s basically useless even thinking that I have a competitor besides myself.
Doing better than My past performance should be my sole target if I want to succeed and be happy at the same time. Because comparing myself with others would give me I instant success but it would never give me the drive to work hard without competition and I’ll always depend on someone for it. Besides, competing with others would always make me feel insecure and discontented with myself, I’d always be wanting to push my abilities without appreciating myself and being grateful for what I have.
Then I realized, that I should compete with myself because me and my dear friends are completely different personalities with a bit of similarity.
That day I felt so relaxed and even though it took sometime to get over this cut throat competition, yet I managed to do it soon enough and I’ve been really satisfied and Happy ever since.