Everywhere in life there is competition; it’s a fact of nature. How our accomplishments and failures make us feel shape us as people and determine a large part of our confidence. Discouraged, some people forget that competition is an overall good thing. There’s no doubt that untempered competition can be corrosive and destructive, but that depends on the individuals involved and how they perceive obstacles.
1. You Don’t Fear Failure
Some people get too wrapped up in the fear of failure, while others just realize failure is not a big deal! There are always other opportunities. You don’t regret mistakes because you remember the lessons. In other words, you don’t fail– you learn. The idea of failure can make us feel insecure, but you know security isn’t worth it if you sacrifice growth to have it.
2. You Are Antifragile
Something that is antifragile grows stronger from stress and disorder. Lack of stress weakens it. Too much stress breaks it. Think of an over protective soccer mom who deprived her son of stress his entire life; when he becomes a young adult he will be incapable of coping with stress. Our muscles are antifragile. We put stress on our muscles, the stress resolves, and our body grows back stronger. If we deprive our body or minds of stress, it weakens and withers away. This is because nature is antifragile; stresses in the environment encourages survival of the fittest. Competition is a positive stressor that makes you stronger; without it you weaken.
3. It’s Invigorating
There’s nothing more invigorating than a little competition. Life without a little conflict is boring (too much conflict is problematic). People love competition and conflict. It’s why so many people watch sports and it is what we look for in fiction narratives and films. People know a story without conflict is uninteresting. That’s why a little competition in our lives can uplift our spirits and get us excited. Whether we’re playing a board game with friends, or trying to get that job promotion at work– you live to feel that little spark.
4. You Aren't Afraid To Try Again
You are not one to dwell and lick your wounds too long. If at first you don't succeed, you try again. Many people realize after they fail at something that it isn't such a big deal. Whether you lost a game, failed a test, or lost a business– life doesn't just stop. It's innocuous to say, but how you feel about your failures really depends on how you look at them. Fear is a good emotion to protect you from danger, but it's not good when the emotion misfires and prevents you from trying again. You know how to buck up. If you get knocked down, get back up.
5. You Like Self-Improvement
You have found yourself in competition with yourself before and you don't mind setting the bar a little higher. Perceived sense of progress makes you happy. You understand it is important to be content with what you have and to be secure with who you are, but that doesn't mean there isn't always room for improvement. Complacency is the beginning of stagnation. Healthy competition forces you to be more critical of yourself, which is fine because you love to grow!
6. It’s Motivating
You love a good challenge. It can be like a jolt to the senses, jump-starting you to action. You focus on the tasks at hand and do what needs to be done without losing sight of the big picture. Competition primes your mind to innovate and be creative. It get's your mind thinking and your juices flowing.
7. You Are A “Good Sport”
You love to win, but know how to lose gracefully. You realize just because you lose a battle, does not mean you've lost a war. You might steam a little inside, but it just helps fuel your fire. You appreciate worthy opponents and respect competition. The way you look at it, you either win or you learn. You know you'll be a little better next time. It's a cliche, but it's not about whether you win or lose, it's all about how you play the game. But that's only because you plan to win and winning is awesome (and losing is not the end of the world).
8. You Are Cooperative
Some people forget how much cooperation can be involved in competition. We can be competitively cooperative. Playing a game with someone depends on each player following a certain set of rules. Friendly competition is a supportive pursuit; we look to improve our peers and for them to improve us as well. We understand that friendly competition within a group helps the team thrive against other opponents.
9. You Don’t Give Up
Ever heard of fight, flight, or feint? Some people have higher tolerances for competition than others. This depends a lot on how we size ourselves up against our competition. It can be demotivating to be in competition with someone (or something) if they seem too far ahead, but you don’t easily fall for that trap. Everyone loves an underdog, especially you. On the flip side, in the moments when you are top dog you are careful not to let hubris blind you from making careless mistakes.
10. You Love Life
Whether you like competition in small or large doses, life is great! It's a miracle to be alive at all! Our achievements boost our self-esteem, but the satisfaction we derive from them is fleeting. This doesn't matter because there will always be new challenges in life. Don't forget to have fun and enjoy the journey. Though it can be tough, you know not to let negative experiences and chronic stress grind you down. There will always be areas of conflict to resolve, and you will get stronger with each obstacle you overcome. That's is how the game of life works. Your mind is the filter of all your experience, and you've learned the benefits of tuning your mind to be constructive instead of passive or self-destructive. What are you waiting for? It's game time.
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