Let’s Talk About Competition

Competition has always been a force in the life of students and working adults alike. Competitions have been one of the most dependable ways to find out the best of a lot, either in the way of exams or contests, in schools, colleges, universities, at workplaces and everywhere else. It is one of the methods to boost morale by appreciating the meritorious and pushing them forward. However, in reality, competition has an ugly side and all of us have at some point or the other, experienced it in our lives.

The notion that ‘only winners are remembered and only winners lead a happy life, and that you are forgotten if you are not the best at what you do,’ has made us obsessed with the idea of winning, and has also instilled a fatal fear of failure. So, the age- old question still stands- ‘is competition, especially in the life of a student, an attribute that pushes them to do better or an additional burden which often leads to pressure and anxiety?’

When we talk about competition, there are many reasons one to consider that it is important in one’s life, because a sense of competition has been proven to push our boundaries. Children find it more fun and interesting, as like a game, it excites them. They tend to feel better when they are the first. But the idea of being the first in everything, otherwise you are not worthy is a feeling that no one is warned about.

This escalates into adulthood, which causes mental health problems such as weakness, depression or OCD, that bring your spirits down. It is because of the pressure it puts on an individual. The constant pressure to perform and out run others can make the person more bitter and when faced with failure, can affect his/her self- esteem. It gets worse when their family and friends feel the same way, because they are a major source of support in one’s life, and any kind of comparisons add to the existing torment. Competition more often than not leads to disrupted relationships, lack of confidence and passion, and an unending feeling of burn- out.

So how does one emulate the positive aspects of competition and also save themselves from getting lost in the chase?

Achieve that by competing with one self not others. Aim only to:

  1. Know more than what you know
  2. Get better than what you are

To achieve that, you need to first know where you stand. Assess your methods, strengths, weaknesses, your opportunities and threats. Develop a manner of studying/ working, where you can improve your skills and implement them in your regular work to get better results. Motivation is a powerful tool to learn more and become productive. Set goals that are achievable and try to reward yourself every time you accomplish your milestones.