Formula for cracking the competition – “challenge yourself, compete with yourself”
“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” ~ Steve Young
A “competition,” by its very nature, is what psychologists call an “extrinsic incentive.” Extrinsic simply means that the motivation to adopt a behaviour to get into the goal state. It refers to a decision which is sourced externally rather than internally (e.g., when we do something in order to get a reward for it)
We all know that Life is a competition, but it’s not a race against anyone else. Rather, the real journey is only against our own self and our unrealized potential. There is nothing to gain by competing with others. We will constantly be fighting an uphill battle if we try to compete with others. As a result, time and resources will be wasted. We tend to lose the plot the day we live our life to impress others, the day our focus shifts from cause towards applause; from expressing to impressing. Our efforts produce better results when we do not anticipate applause or appreciation. When we compete against other people, it’s like we tend to judge ourselves based on their values and metrics. Noted problem with this is that even if we win, we only do something that’s important to the competitor, not for us. The best way to handle it is by taking competition as the by-product of our work and not its goal. We must be motivated by the aim to achieve other than competing with others.
So, the only one we should be competing is with our own self. If we always strive to do better we will be able to accomplish more which would help us in reaching our goals. It will benefit us far more than trying to beat others. What matters is all about a clear life plan, hard work and patience to achieve our goal state.
As students, how often do we challenge ourselves, pushing the boundaries and getting out of our comfort zone? That’s very rare and we hardly do it in our day to day life as we give our way to the already set rat race. By evaluating on the basis of their own personal gains, we can give everyone an opportunity to succeed. In fact, since the weakest students have the most room for improvement; this procedure can even give an advantage to the very students who are usually at a disadvantage (Vockell, 2011).
Some of the principles that pave the way to healthy self-competition are as follows-
Revisit the past– Analyzing previous work in mind and setting our own targets to exceed the quality of content we produced previously would help in reaching new heights. For that purpose, we need to also set our own milestones. We should realize our inner capabilities, potentials and set own standards against them.
Believe in Yourself– Believing in our capability, our calibre and our performance; working our way hard enough; setting goals that we think we should achieve not what we think we can achieve and start competing with ourselves every single day will definitely serve the purpose.
Progress Report– Setting small milestone goals and measuring our progress can be of great help. Reminding ourselves that it is about being better than we were the day before, would set an example and actually put us in the framework of self-improvement. Practising as if we are the worst and competing as if we are the best will definitely result in good progress.
1% Kaizen effect – Kaizen is a Japanese term for continuous improvement. To go with the fact, that there is always a room for improvement and a way to do things better, Kaizen approach can show the way to continuous improvement and self-development. Continuous improvement would help the student in becoming a better person every day.
Every time we think of Competition, we should remember these principles. When there is a healthy competition, we come out to play and play to win. In fact, if there were no competition the world would have come to a standstill.
- I’m not in competition with anybody but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance.
- Catch the Olympic Spirit – Challenge Yourself
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: An Alternative to Competing with People.
- Competing against yourself.
- Finding the beauty in every attempt.
- Academic articles
- The power of competition: Effects of social motivation on attention, sustained physical effort, and learning.
- The Benefits of Feeling Competitive.
- Comparing yourself to others may get you nowhere but competing with yourself will.
- How to compete against yourself: Don’t do your best, do better than your personal average.