Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.”
Sometimes having a healthy competition is a great motivator in one’s life. When it becomes a engrained way of relating to the world it can get one into trouble. Unfortunately in America we tend to live in a dog eat dog world. We are encouraged to compare ourselves to others as a way of feeling better than or less than. It is a terrible cycle where we are perpetually desiring more, instead of being grateful for what we have. In the spirit of being more aware in our lives and the desire to change the world we live in here are 5 ways that using the lens of competition in your life is no longer serving you:
1) Too much competition creates health issues.
Living in a life where one thrives on competition is difficult on a person’s stress response. We were designed to have short term response to stressors and then we need to rest to rebuild our bodies again. When we do not take respite after a stressful event, we are making our body continue to produce the same stress hormones which affects our immune systems and our ability to produce new cells.
In today’s life it is valued to be a hard worker and to the be the best at what we do. If we are constantly over working and trying to be better than others this threatens our health. Being stressed and coping with stress in healthy ways is great. But what are those healthy ways? Many Americans only no know to relax by drinking, over eating and watching TV. Here are several healthy ways to help reduce stress: Meditation, exercise, yoga, getting enough sleep, healthy diet, deep breathing, taking a vacation several times a year, lower caffeine intake, reduce smoking and leaving work at work.
2) Competition creates the belief of loss.
In competition the only way to succeed is by being the top dog, this creates an environment of fear and makes people live in their insecurities of not having enough. When one views life as being un-abundant this taints the way that they interact with others. They become worried that they will loose all that they have. Which makes them become more miserly and cut throat about how they interact with others.
If one tends to have this view of the world, try combatting it with writing a gratitude list. This will help the person see what they do have in their life. This allows the person to be grateful and change their perception of what they actually have in their life. When we see the abundance in our life this creates an opening for more abundance to flow into our life. The thought that helps me to stay our of feelings of fear is that, I have everything that I need right now in this moment.
3) Competition makes you lonely.
When you view the world as something to conquer and win over, it leads to a person feeling very lonely due to the fact that they have no allies. When we are constantly trying to get our break and be better than the next person, this creates a environment of distrust. When we can not trust others then we begin to have intimacy issues; which leads to loneliness, despair and eventually depression.
I understand wanting to feel good about knowing how to do something and wanting to do it well. Everyone wants to feel useful and skilled. Instead of thinking that you need to be the best at everything, try seeing the things that you are doing well or correctly and congratulate yourself. Try making a list of the things that you accomplish on a daily basis and feel good about what you accomplish. When you are able to rejoice in your own accomplishments instead of using others as a measuring stick it is possible to be free.
4) Competition makes you lack compassion.
When one is only concerned for themselves there is a lack of empathy for others. Humanity suffers when a person is only concerned about the bottom line and thrives off of competition. The spirit of competition does not take into consideration safety, trust and others well being. This is perpetuated in our culture which has made our society sick.
The way to combat competition is with the use of compassion. Compassion first for oneself and then towards others. When we are aware that others are suffering and we let go of the bottom line, we become more in tune with the world around us. This week try acknowledging the feelings that your are having and take a self compassion break so that that you are not avoiding or wallowing in those feelings.
5) Competition makes you feel entitled.
People who are highly competitive believe that they deserve special treatment and this makes them lack compassion and understanding for others. Entitlement is an expectation of how the world will treat us. It does not allow gratitude or perspective into ones life. Entitlement is dangerous because it creates a separation between you and the rest of humanity.
Do you want to live a life with less entitlement? Stop believing what modern media tells you, that you deserve everything. Be more giving. Try being more open with others and giving with no expectation for something in return. Practice altruism. The more that we are giving the more expansive we feel. See how giving makes you desire less. Try volunteering, donate to goodwill, buy a homeless person a meal, or give money to a charity.
I hope that this article has helped you to rethink competition and how it plays a role in your life. Have any questions or comments? Please comment below or contact me.
Remember we create our lives, make it a good one. Have a lovely week.