Are you too competitive?
To the point where the idea of being a copycat crosses your mind - because what matters is winning, no matter how? Try a fairer approach to yourself: let yourself be inspired by those who spur your competitive spirit.
Confused? Let's break this into smaller pieces.
It's not that competing is a bad thing, quite the contrary, as long as it's in a constructive context. Constructive of character, that is to say.
In a game, sport, or contest context…. It makes perfect sense to be competitive.
But not everything in life is a game, sport, or contest.
And in personal relationships, they are an area where competition is increasingly seen when such a motivating element doesn't even make sense.
The meaning of personal relationships is to add human value, to enrich emotionally, to create healthy bonds, and strong connections: you are not supposed to create divisions, distances, or gaps.
Furthermore, in contexts where competition is justified, the first competition, before the one that involves others: is with yourself, to do your best, to be the best possible in that competitive context.
The first competition is always to overcome any limit of yours, to surpass yourself. It is a very personal, intimate competition, in which the opponent is the "you", that has not yet crossed a certain limit.
Only after you beat that limit of yours, will you eventually win the competition with others.
1. After all, what is it about being “too competitive”?
Having something competitive can be healthy if it forces us to push ourselves to give our best, overcome our limiting beliefs and get better results, instead of being content with the median.
But being “too competitive” means taking competition beyond areas where it is needed, to the point of harming ourselves and others.
This being “too competitive” has to do with the context of competition and what you can be sacrificing when, winning at any cost, is the only thing that matters.
The alarm signals? Here are some:
#1 Entering Infinite Comparison Loops
In reality, these comparison loops are born from feelings of insecurity and inferiority, which in the mind of the “too competitive” will only be neutralized if they win. It can become an obsession that only undermines self-confidence.
The reality is that there will always be someone more “something”. That is why self-worth must be intrinsic and the comparison, to take place, must be with the person you were yesterday, instead of validation by comparison with external elements must take place.
#2 To Win, Anything Goes
To the point of losing the sense of self, as an individual, and the essential objectives that would really bring us genuine joy, because the focus became a competition and the opponent: there is no longer any mental room to dedicate ourselves to what really brings us personal fulfillment.
Sometimes we don't even have time to find out what it is (that brings us fulfillment), because if someone spurs us on with some kind of competition, the focus is on competing and winning. Whatever. However.
#3 Getting joy out of the failure of others
… Because it allows us to feel a (false) sense of superiority.
We celebrate the defeat of others more fervently than our own victory.
And this happens because, deep down, we feel that we have little value – and that our victories are not deserving, they are less worthy. And for that, we celebrate so much the defeat of others.
It becomes easier to celebrate the defeats of others than to celebrate our achievements. Deep down there is a feeling of not being worthy of victories.
The fact is that the loss of another does not make us victorious: we are only victorious if the victory is ours.
#4 Losing is a drama
The ego collapses in the face of defeat, because everything is a competition, and the self-identity revolves around winning or losing.
The most uplifting approach would be to analyze what you failed to do better next time, and adopt Madiba's mindset:
“I never lose: either I win or I learn”
~ Nelson Mandela
#5 Relationships turn into battlegrounds
Because everything that is said is understood as offensive, such competitive nature is the spirit: there is the need to always be right, to give the last word, the will to prevail, to dominate...
And this gives a place for resentment to grow, instead of developing harmonious and trusting relationships, because someone is always in a position of attack, in a battle they have to win, in verbal arm-wrestling, or in relational power games.
2. How to master the competitive spirit
It may not be easy for someone with an ingrained competitive spirit.
Apart from the obvious examples where competition makes sense (games, sports, or contests), the best way to minimize the competitive spirit is… to eliminate competition.
And the best way to do that is to be as authentic as possible:
"When you are your authentic self, you have no competition."
The two best combinations for dealing with situations are as follows, in this order of importance:
1st Cooperation or win-win: my success depends on your success
2nd Independence of goals: my success is not affected by your success.
The worst combination, especially when not justified at all, is competition in which the attitude is that my success requires your failure.
On the other hand, it helps to understand and accept that life experiences are part of an entire learning process. No matter how hard the lessons were.
One only loses when nothing has been learned from those experiences. And nothing has been learned if the only thing that remained was the bitterness of the soul.
Our mistakes, setbacks, and “failures” have to serve more than just making us angry, bitter, and unhappy beings: they must honor our existence.
And that only happens if, instead of letting ourselves be crushed by defeats (due to an excessively competitive spirit) we allow ourselves to transform into better human beings.
But there are also those who, instead of being authentic, in order to eliminate competition, succumb to the “temptation” to be an imitator, because they think it is a shortcut to, in any competition existing in their mind, show up at least, to appear to be “as good as”. And choose to mimic.
3. What about being an copycat? Wouldn't it be a "shortcut" to “modelling” as in the Neuro-Linguistic Programming field?
In the field of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), the concept of modeling emerges as a technique of reprogramming the mind: we use someone as a model, who has already obtained the results we intend to obtain and we replicate their behavior patterns, to try to obtain the same results.
This is put simply.
But it involves a whole lot of work to identify one's own values and acquire new values that are aligned with the goals that are defined.
And the values of each person are really very personal: the hierarchy of values that each one of us gives is very personal, it depends on what we experienced and the way we treat these experiences.
It is deeper than the social standards or any religious doctrine that is professed.
Just look around and see how much some people “preach” and don't practice: because their personal values are different from what they say they profess.
Perhaps there are those who believe that being a copycat is a shortcut to “modeling”, in the sense of neuro-linguistic programming.
It's not at all.
Because if we limit ourselves to replicating behaviors, ignoring our own essence, the so-called essential values of each one, the only thing we are doing is making a copy.
Even if equivalent results are obtained, they may not have any intrinsic value: because our own values have been surpassed or neglected.
And then comes the unbearable sense of fraud. And frustration.
And no one to blame but ourselves: because we defrauded ourselves.
Furthermore, when we stop being imitators: we are limiting ourselves, we are not being fair to ourselves, and we are not honoring what is unique in each of us.
And that is more than dishonest: it is high treason to ourselves.
We are left with the constant feeling of homesick, because our home is us and we are constantly absent.
Because we are trying to be someone else when we should become or at least try to be our best possible version.
4. How can inspiration serve us better?
Nature can be an excellent form of insertion.
Much of what is created by man is inspired by nature. The plane was certainly an inspiration created by the movement of a bird.
It is not out of nowhere that the power of an engine has horsepower as its unit: because the car came to replace the horse as a means of transport. And a backhoe loader? Imitates the movement of an animal digging a hole… These are just examples.
But there are other ways to get inspired: from people, books, movies, music...
Anything that takes you out of your “mental comfort zone”, that takes you out of the habit and off your routine, from the things that you do in auto-pilot mode, and… boosts your imagination and creativity.
Keep in mind that you are a universe.
You are what you know about yourself, plus what is to be discovered, and that you have no idea you have it inside until the idea comes to you.
And if it runs through your mind, it's possible. For good and for bad.
But to seek inspiration from other people: it's normal, it's healthy. It's just that you have to stimulate the genius that lives in you: and let the creativity, which is yours, of the unique being that you are.
#11 Ways to Get Inspiration (short and sweet)
1. Surround yourself with things that make you happy: this will inspire you.
2. Listen to music. Puts you in a better mental state (relaxed) which is when inspiration flows best.
3. Dedicate yourself to reading and learning more about the subject you are looking for inspiration.
4. Change your routine but keep the essential (exercise and rest). It is not possible to have a dynamic and creative brain with deficient oxygenation and without the necessary rest for cell regeneration.
5. Take a trip, even to the nearest village, or to a new restaurant that has just opened: it helps to spur creativity
6. . Train your mind to think “What if?” instead of “I can't.
7. Try learning a new art form or explore the cultural offer (theatre, exhibitions, cinema, shows) in your local area.
8. Get inspired by other people: whether it's biographies of people you admire, or brainstorming ideas you want to explore.
9. Meditate: the best way to access your creativity is to listen to it. It exists, it is there, and we're just to have it sparkled.
10. Start working on your idea, even if it's an imperfect outline: perfectionism can be paralyzing and put you in a procrastinating position
11. Persist in you. Don’t give up on yourself just because you are lacking inspiration at some point: there are days/phases like that. Avoid the easy way out which would be to jump to the conclusion that you have no talent, or that something is not for you. If it’s in your mind: it’s possible, it’s doable.
Getting Better Every Day
References and Related Posts
Hey! I'm Eunice Veloso and you'll find more about me on my About Page
Antoine Lavoisier, 1789
The Law of the Conservation of Mass