Life is a Journey not a Competition

Author : Dr. Haseena Kabeer (DTM)


When we’re willing to let go of the erroneous ideas and decisions we made when we were young about who we are and what makes us “successful,” we can step into a more authentic and healthy version of ourselves.

And by doing this, we can truly empower and inspire ourselves to new heights and depths in our relationships, work, and life. Life isn’t about competing with everyone around us; it’s about challenging ourselves to be the best version of us we can be and appreciating the journey as much as we possibly can.

It's important to do your best and work hard, but it's equally important to remember that life itself is not a competition. Showing up to compete can yield business success but challenging yourself in healthy ways while feeling empowered can yield joy and happiness. The whole world is familiar with the works of Albert Einstein. Despite sixty years after his death, his bizarre perspectives proceed to inspire millions of people. In the modern world where people are competitive because they value themselves relative to other people. This is due to society's obsession to turn everything into numbers be it be salaries, test scores, grades which makes it extremely easy to compare yourself to your peers. May be it’s a natural instinct, In biology, competition between organisms is a natural result of evolution. All organisms must compete for a limited number of resources, such as food, shelter, or mating partners. Humans' tendency to compete may be a natural outgrowth of this biological competition.

Some studies state that competition can motivate employees, resulting in better results. It can also increase effort, which leads to higher performance. On the other hand, negative competition can elicit a sense of fear in employees, who can feel threatened or pressured in unhealthy waysSure, failing isn’t fun. It’s frustrating, demotivating, and sometimes infuriating. Still, it’s necessary for learning from your mistakes and avoiding going down the same path in the future. And that’s when competition comes into play! Healthy competition teaches preparation. It helps you be ready for any other issues or unexpected situations that may arise in the future. If your competitors are ahead of you in one aspect of your business, you’re learning how to cope with not always being the best. This is inevitable in life; if you lose a job opportunity to another candidate, then dealing with that failure in a productive, growth mindset way, prepares you even further and can encourage you to keep moving forward. Growth requires your ability and willingness to process your emotions and learn from your mistakes. You can only go up from there! 

Now the question is how to handle competition like a boss nothing in life is truly make or break. Everything is just one step in your journey to wherever you’re going. So win or lose success or failure, don’t take things so seriously that it breaks you or builds you up too much. Instead, be proud of your successes from a standpoint of humility. And be practical when things don’t go your way. It’s not the end of the world, learn to forgive yourself for any mistakes or shortcomings you have. Also practice having self-compassion when things don’t work out the way you want rather than attaching it to your self-esteem. Always remember, nothing is the end of the world and in life you’ll have many opportunities to be at bat! 

When you have healthy individuals or entities to compete with, you’ll constantly get feedback on how you could have done better. For example, maybe you lost a promotion to a coworker that arrives fifteen minutes early and leaves fifteen minutes late each day. Or maybe you’re always late? So you learn that your company values extra time put in and you need to work on your time management a bit. Or maybe you don’t get a job offer. Instead they give it to someone that submits a video bio and you simply submit a cover letter. There are always opportunities to find the lessons in failures when you have a competitor that was able to succeed in that situation. Again, always remember to keep it light and positive. It’s a journey not a destination! (The author has his own study and views)