For better or for worse, I’m a competitive human being.
It’s always been that way. Though, as I’ve gotten older and wiser (the latter part is still up for debate), I’ve become less intense about it.
Competition used to be my biggest motivation.
In weight loss.
In my studies.
In all of my personal projects.
I aimed to win.
I was the most ambitious kid you’d ever meet— no achievement was ever good enough.
I needed to be the best at something.
Because of my competitive nature and interest in practically everything— I was a jack-of-all-trades. I was just good enough at a lot of things, but that was it. I wasn’t really goddamn good at anything—just good enough at most things. Competition was the only way I knew how to prove myself.
My constant desire to be the best fueled me.
It also drained me. I became ambitious to a fault, without the skills necessary to do anything with it. My ability to connect with people in an honest way was clouded by the fact that I felt the need to constantly prove myself. My priorities revolved around what I could do to be the best. What could I do today to prove to everyone else that I’m really fucking good at something?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that this excessive desire for competition was one of my biggest shortcomings.
Sure, I spent a lot of time cultivating my own interests, and I’ve learnt a lot because of it— but had I been a little less competitive growing up, I might have been a better person sooner in life. That’s something you can’t put a price on.
You can be really fucking good at something without having to take other people down on your climb to the top. You can build people up, and still help yourself in the process.
You’re your own competition. No one else. Just you.
If you’re feeling stuck or held back— it’s because you’re holding yourself back.
It’s taken awhile for me to really understand that, but when I embraced it— that’s when I started succeeding. That’s when I was able to start putting myself first.
When I wasn’t so concerned with everyone else’s business, I was able to focus on my own.
Don’t get me wrong— I’m still ridiculously competitive. But what’s changed is that I don’t compete with anyone else. I’m competitive with myself.
Life is a marathon. Some of us are sprinters, and some of us are walkers.
Regardless of which, we’re all going to cross the finish line. That’s a given. But if you focus too much on how the person is front of you is doing, instead of on your own race— you won’t be able to give yourself what you need to succeed.
If you don’t switch your focus, you’re going to burn out.