2 Reasons Why Unhealthy Competition is Not Good for You
We live in a unique age where it is not difficult to find someone to compare ourselves with. Right on our palms is a device that can be a gateway to compare our lives with others – we only need to scroll for about 45 seconds before we see an object worthy of comparison. While some level of comparison is acceptable, any comparison that leads to unhealthy competition is bad. The negative effects of competition are numerous. The two explained here were selected because they directly affect our creativity.
“As long as you’re trying to be someone else or, putting on some act or behavior someone else taught you, you have no possibility of truly reaching people. The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you”
– excerpt from The Go-Giver book
1. We are creators, not competitors
Every human is created to create value in their own unique ways. Competition with anyone (except in a sporting game) is simply us not functioning in our best interests. This is more like being in a passenger seat when you are supposed to be the driver. Although someone else is driving, the person cannot drive as you would. The person may not have the patience and direction that you would show when you are on the wheels. Being a competitor is just like you being driven by your friend and all you are doing is complaining under your breath. Unhealthy competition is also a good way to live in the past. Whoever you compare yourself with today and act on to match your standard with will be old in a few weeks if not in days. While it is good to look at the status of someone else and aspire to do more, it is totally not beneficial to use that as the standard of excellence or hustle just to be in their position. Do not chase the old glory, make your own story.
2. Unhealthy competition robs the world of our creativity
When we decide to take the driver’s seat for a quick drive but drove like our friends or family who has driven us in the past; we are unconsciously comparing our way of doing things with the other person. That does not mean you should not be a better driver. The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself – your authentic self. As creators, we are supposed to create novel things and lead the way in creativity. The world needs your authentic and unique ways of solving problems. Imagine if the founders of Instagram decided to compare themselves with Twitter by releasing another Twitter-like social that allows over 500 characters? We would not have the cool social media we have now. Similarly, Facebook could have decided to be like Myspace and stayed at that level. That would have killed the success and connection we are seeing from Facebook as a company. We are innovators, not copycats.
It is easy to want to level up and use other people’s lifestyles as our standards. It does not always end well. It leads to unhealthy competition, minimized creativity, and mental health issues. We should always be contented with what we have while creating value that can easily take us to the next level.