All the lives we were taught to compete against others. Our loss is someone else's gain. And that if we don’t perform your best someone else will steal the show.
Is it true? Of course, it is. There's a cut-throat competition no matter where we go. Whether one wants to be an actor, designer, writer, lawyer, or a corrupt politician, there's always someone better at all of it.
But does being ahead of everyone else is all that counts? Why didn't anyone ever teach us the importance of competing against ourselves? It's simple! Because we have always believed that we aren't enough. External validations are our source of self-contentment. Sadly, it always has been.
It's 2020 and you're not pretty enough if your pictures don't have enough likes. You're not successful unless you make more money than everyone else your age. You're not right if you speak against society's notions and you're most definitely not cool if you don't follow the trends set by some people you couldn’t care less about.
Why do we fail to understand...
We aren't in competition with everyone.
We are competing against who we were yesterday.
We are all that matters to ourselves.
We are all waking up each day to fight our own demons.
And in the end, it's us up against ourselves.
No one else can pull us down if we don't keep them close enough. No one can hurt us if we don't allow them to. We are in charge of our own happiness and the enemy of it. We can either channel the fire within ourselves to light up our worlds or to burn it down to ashes. The choice is ours!
But we've been taught to perceive things a certain way all our lives, a way that's acceptable and appreciated. Just because we grew up learning it, doesn’t make it the right. So the next time someone tells us a little learning is what we need, all we should be telling them is a little unlearning is all they need.
Who knows, our real potential may be buried somewhere deep down within ourselves because we have given so much more room and importance to the meaningless external validations.
The only way to leave behind who you used to be and to move towards who you want to be is to be more self-aware. Understand yourself better. Not rely on external sources to validate yourself. And to let nobody else tell you what you're capable of or not.
Once we learn to be content with ourselves and the growth of others doesn’t bother us, there's no stopping after that.
The grass is always greener on the other side because they're busy watering their side and we're busy watching them do it.
It's not living in denial, it's being focused on yourselves.
But if we are willing to give up all the distractions and meaningless pleasures, we will see how others are here only to distract you from your goals. Imagine everything we can achieve if we don't let the norms of society, unhealthy competition, and other's success be the cause of our personal failures.
After all, they and us, both have 24 hours a day each, don’t we? If “they” can do wonders in those 24 hours, I wonder why not us?
Image Source: Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash