Being competitive is a natural human instinct that drives us to succeed and overcome perceived obstacles. Competitions could either have a positive or negative effect on us, therefore making it healthy or unhealthy.
However, the impact competition has on a person depends on their attitude towards the competition. Therefore it is essential that one carefully monitors the sort of competition in which they are engaged.
A person may continually feel unfulfilled and ineffective if they end up in unhealthy competition. In this article, we discuss and distinguish between healthy and unhealthy competition, how you can promote and make good use of healthy competitions.
How to Identify a Healthy Competition
Healthy competition is one where a person strives to become better at what they do to make a positive impact on themselves and others. When a person is involved in a healthy competition, they strive to succeed, but also derive pleasure to see others succeeding.
In healthy competition, one becomes more focused on what they can achieve and how to be better at it, rather than focus on how other people do things better than they can. Furthermore, one channels their competitive spirit towards themselves and learn from their competitors to become better than they where.
People in healthy competition work independently but collectively. Their efforts are to make sure everyone who works hard wins at the end.
Although losing is an inevitable experience, a healthy competition would teach one to be resilient after a loss. The ability to learn from bad experiences to make better decisions next time is a tremendous personal achievement.
How to identify an Unhealthy Competition
Competition becomes unhealthy when a person pays more attention to the achievements of others rather than themselves. This makes one unable to see improvements in themselves, and feel bad because they perceive their competitors to be doing better than them.
Unhealthy competition makes one so obsessed with the idea of always winning. Although everyone competes with the intent of emerging victorious, there’s more to a competition than just winning or losing. People who are engaged in unhealthy competition may likely be involved in harmful and unfair practices to avoid losing.
A clear indication of unhealthy competition is when winning becomes your only source of satisfaction. Being obsessed with the achievements of others and comparing you with them would make you dissatisfied with your efforts.
The fact is, there would always be someone who performs better at what you do. Comparing yourself to others would only lead to frustration. If your feelings of worthiness and personal achievements are linked with another person’s ability to achieve the same thing, you will never be satisfied.
How to Promote Healthy Competition
1. Focus on Progress
Wherever you may find yourself, you would always find people who you are better than, and also people who are better than you. There would surely be failed plans as well as perfect outcomes.
Therefore the best thing to do is to think beyond the wins and losses you would encounter on the way, but rather concentrate on how you can work your way to your final destination.
Learn from your experiences and make amends for the areas you lack in, and to set new goals for yourself.
2. Celebrate the success of others
In healthy competition, competitors feed into each other ideas. They are willing to accept diversity and incorporate the opinions of others into their ventures. Although, it can be challenging to stay positive when it seems like others are winning and you are not.
However, if you can develop empathy and emotional intelligence, you would celebrate someone else’s success and learn from them. Being emotionally intelligent enables you to have a positive and healthier attitude towards winning and losing.
3. Avoid self-comparison with others
Although it can be challenging not to compare yourselves to others, especially when you find yourself in a highly competitive environment, however, it’s essential to acknowledge that ever one is different. You can only control what happens in your life, not others.
Therefore, manage your expectations by not comparing yourself with others. Success is not limited, and you can also achieve it by working harder.
4. Make yourself your competitor
Maintaining a healthy competition with yourself is the most efficient way to become better. It encourages you to improve on yourself and reach your goals consistently.
When you focus your mind on progress and not on perfection, you will be able to apply your good and bad experience to enhance progress and worry less about winning or losing. It also enables you to make plans and stay motivated, as well as feel the constant joy of progressing than winning.
Futhermore, when you make yourself your competitor, you need to be conscious not to make it unhealthy. Self-empathy and emotional intelligence are crucial.
5. Motivate Yourself with the Competition
Being competitive can serve as a consistent form of motivation to succeed. However, it needs to be associated with positive practices.
Rather than evaluating your efforts in self-comparison with others, pay more attention to how your performance has improved and how it take note of areas that need improvement.
When you channel your competitiveness into self-motivation, you learn not to take a loss personally, but view it objectively. This encourages you to try harder with the intent of personal success, and not to defeat the other person.