Unfortunately, we live in a world where competition is accepted as a way of life by most people.
It seems to exist in all facets of society, from the workplace to the dating world. Don't get me wrong — competition can be fun and stimulating, as long as it doesn't activate our shadow side.
The shadow side stems from the belief that resources are limited and that we have to fight each other for them. At this level, we are being influenced by an instinctive “survival of the fittest" type of drive. In order to stay ahead of the pack, we feel the need to constantly look over our shoulder. We’re more prone to notice people with "better" bodies, more exciting careers, or larger paychecks.
This thought process can cause us to harbor an unhealthy sense of jealousy and self-pity every time we compare ourselves to people who seem to be doing better than we are. If we aren't careful, this can spiral out of control and lead to a desire to sabotage the success and happiness of others with gossip or backstabbing.
It's important to realize that people who engage in this kind of behavior always end up hurting themselves the most. The need to compare oneself to another has a corrosive effect on our spirit and can drain our vitality and zest for life.
Hypercompetitive thoughts are not vicious or evil in any way. They're small cries for validation that speak to a desire to feel significant in the eyes of others.
If you are someone who feels weighed down by this ego-driven need to compare yourself with others, here are some steps that can lead you in a more positive direction:
1. Get to the root of your pain.
Our insecurities fuel competitive, jealous feelings. These insecurities may have developed in our younger years because of experiences that made us feel unworthy. As an adult, our insecurities become stronger whenever we experience disappointments and challenges in our personal and professional lives. It's important to acknowledge this pain and address it, either with the help of a counselor, psychiatrist, or coach or by oneself. Meditating, journaling, or reading inspirational books are great ways to get to the root of one's pain.
2. Develop an abundance mindset.
If we believe that there aren’t enough financial, career, or relationship opportunities for everyone, we'll stay on constant “alert mode” to make sure that others aren’t getting ahead of us. Not only is this exhausting, it also keeps any sort of goodness from entering our lives. According to the Law of Attraction, people can only attract prosperity if they genuinely believe there's an abundance of opportunities out there.
One of the best ways to adopt an abundance mindset is by practicing gratitude. Maintaining a gratitude journal, in which you list a few things you are grateful for in your life on a daily basis, will make you more appreciative of the bounty that already surrounds you. Another effective technique is reciting empowering affirmations whenever you find yourself slipping into a mindset of scarcity.
3. Understand that everyone’s path is unique.
Everyone comes into this world with a unique destiny and life path. Each of us has our own life curriculum with individualized lessons to learn. For this reason, comparing ourselves to others is redundant and only distracts us from what we should be accomplishing in our own lives. Our aim should be to focus all our attention and energy on our own endeavors so that we can make the most of our journey on Earth. We can stay on our life path by following curiosities and committing to doing the things that we feel passionate about. The choices we make every day should be in keeping with our values and the personal goals we would like to accomplish in our lifetime.
4. Set your own goals and standards.
Instead of using others’ accomplishments as benchmarks for success, replace them with your own standards. When you are focused on your own life path, you will find it easier to set clear goals. Create a strategy with time-bound action steps you can keep track of on a regular basis. Take time to celebrate accomplishments and learn from mistakes that occur over the course of your journey. This way, you'll make steady progress toward reaching your highest potential.
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