The Downsides of Being Competitive

emotions
Who are you competing with?

Being competitive is good, in moderation. After all, when we are competitive, we often push ourselves harder, have a goal to reach or have a way to measure our own skills or progress. But too much competition can also be a bad thing. Here’s why:

Being Competitive Is Stressful

One thing about being competitive that isn’t good for you is that competition leads to stress. From always comparing yourself to others to always trying to reach more, competition can really get you down. In fact, in one study, those who were more competitive had an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Competition Can Lead to Compromised Values

Another reason why competition can be bad is that sometimes, you may compete purely for the sake of competition, rather than because you value what you’re doing, to begin with. Think about it: Are you doing something just because you want to do it better than someone else or are you doing it because you really care about it? If it’s the former, you need to rethink your value system.

Competition Can Lead to Resentment

Do you hate “losing?” Can you just not stand it when someone does something “better” than you? If this sounds like you, you need to stop comparing yourself to others and stop competing. Remember, life is not a competition! You are doing yourself more harm than good by holding yourself to others’ standards, talents, and abilities. Push yourself but love yourself and what you have to offer, too.

When one is too competitive it can make you myopic and hyper focused, often on the wrong thing. The Dalai Lama had some sage advice here talking about these three commitments leads to compassion.

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