Don’t Compare, Compete!
Have you heard the reference to life as a “Rat Race”? It specifically refers to an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit (like when rats attempt to earn cheese, in vain). It’s commonly associated with “an exhausting, repetitive lifestyle that leaves no time for relaxation or enjoyment”. And it’s a common reference for a reason because humans are naturally competitive, and we innately want to “get ahead” – even if it’s not helping us.
Here’s the Secret – We don’t have to Compete it in an un-healthy way!
Healthy competition starts with your perspective and attitude. How you view things will determine how you internalize them. Competition can teach critical thinking skills and teamwork. It also encourages people to master a skill. Therefore, use that competition to your advantage (while maintaining a good attitude)!
Don’t Compare Yourself!
Generally speaking, there will always be someone better at something than you — AND there will always be someone worse at something than you. No two people are exactly alike, so no one has the same exact skill set, circumstances, abilities, etc. So if you compare yourself to someone else, it’ll never match up. Even if you try to compare one specific thing – it all correlates to the person as a whole. Which again, will NEVER be the same. Simply put, comparing yourself to someone else is ultimately futile and can be destructive.
Compete Against Yourself!
The healthiest form of competition is when you’re competing against yourself. Aim to meet a higher goal, achieve a higher level of success, and analyze your improvement process along the way. When you are a healthy opponent of yourself, you’ll be able to improve many areas of your life by motivating yourself naturally.
Why do I specify being a healthy opponent of yourself? Because if you fail to enjoy the journey of the experience, forget that there were lessons learned, or choose to beat yourself up for not meeting specific goals, it’s easy to become mentally self-destructive and damage your self-esteem. Your motivation will cease to exist and likely your attitude will struggle to be positive. That “attitude of gratitude” will fade, and you’ll see and experience less positivity around you.
Healthy, successful people want to see other people become successful and are not intimidated by them! There’s an abundance mindset because they know that there’s enough opportunities for (and definitions of) success. Many people can be successful without being seen as a threat to you.
Examples? Look specifically to the VO world. There are many actors that have read or learned of a part but knew a better actor for that role. Instead of being jealous, they either tell the casting director of the more ideal candidate and/or they reach out to the ideal actor and tell them to go audition for that role. This is what healthy actors do. They choose not to be burdened by the external competition, but instead uplift those around them and lead by positive example (while still practicing their craft and improving their skillset, etc.).
Healthy Competition is About Growing
The Rat Race is a trap! Life is not about winning or losing — it’s about learning, growing, and experiencing the journey. Healthy reflection allows you to be accountable and restructure your path to success and update your goals as you grow. Healthy competition is a source of inspiration and motivation. And remember to consider that YOU could be that inspiration or motivation for others!
Do you know everything? Didn’t think so! Neither do I
Healthy competition acknowledges more minds and more ideas can be beneficial. So instead of feeling threatened or jealous…. welcome the additional input, understand everyone has something to offer, and learn from other people’s experiences and input (even if it’s learning what NOT to do!).
Focus on progress instead of some level of perfection. If you must compare and compete with someone… compare your current self to your past self. Be better when, where, and however you can. This can keep you growing.
After spending multiple years assisting Steve onsite at various conventions, Gwendolyn happily joined Blumvox Studios in March of 2020. Mostly focused in marketing and social outreach, she creates and edits content, measures analytics, and heavily engages with the community.
Gwendolyn has a B.A. in Business Administration with a dual focus in Marketing and Management from the University of Washington. She also sits on the board of directors for Village Theatre in greater Seattle and is a musical theatre “junkie” with many passions in the artistic and creative world.