( ENSPIRE Health & Wellness) Not Allowing Competition to Disrupt Good Judgment and Connections with Your Peers
ENSPIRE Contributor: Naomi Stamps
It’s often preached that in order to be successful in life, we must fend for ourselves and refrain from helping the potential competition. We’re taught to have a willingness to do almost anything to secure our dream job from others. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stand out from other candidates in your desired career field (in fact, you should always give your best in everything you do). But we shouldn’t allow this to prevent us from instilling tools to help our peers to move ahead.
Many of us forget that there’s plenty of room for everyone to excel and that helping others not only connects us to each other but also gives us a sense of purpose. By viewing everyone as competition, we rob ourselves of maturing in our personal growth by stressing over opportunities being taken from us. I would be lying if I said no one wants to steal your ideas. But this doesn’t mean that everyone who crosses your path wants to pick at your brain for their advantage. We shouldn’t allow the prize that’s ahead to blind us from seeing someone who needs assistance.
When I was a part of an after-school program in high school, my peers and I took a trip to Stone Mountain, GA. The program facilitators felt that walking to the top of Stone Mountain together would help us to connect with each other. We were split into small groups of 3 for a scavenger hunt, which would lead to a prize. As my group made its way up, one of our team members struggled to catch her breath a few times. I encouraged our other team member to stop walking so we could make sure she was okay.
Unfortunately, competition (and wanting to join everyone else) led our team member to ignore someone in need. I was shocked and angered as I watched my team member boldly leave us behind. Thankfully, an adult leader stayed to help me provide assistance to my out-of-breath team member. Despite my attempts to make her feel better, I could tell my team member was disappointed by her peers leaving her behind.
A month later, the young lady proved my point when she penned an article about her experience and how it inspired her weight loss journey. I commended her for making positive changes in her life, but it bothered me that I was the only one (outside of an adult) who stayed to help her. This experience happened years ago, but the storyline is still relevant today. Many of us are so focused on making it to the top, that we neglect to see those having a hard time.
We all have different paths to follow, and some people might reach certain goals before we do. Sometimes we believe this is because we’re viewed as not good enough, but that’s not always the case. Some of us still need to work on our personal growth and other times, opportunities we thought were for us actually don’t fit into our lives. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to work on ourselves and explore our interests. Unfortunately, we live in a society that promotes the “survival of the fittest” mentality, which leads many people to view success as a competitive race. Instead of uplifting each other, we tear everyone else down to get ahead.
Before destroying someone’s spirits or withholding valuable information from others, we should ask ourselves “If I was in this person’s position, would I want someone to help me? Would I appreciate someone leaving me behind when I’m only trying to better myself?” Viewing things from this perspective helps us to remain humble. When we embrace the idea that we’re all unique people on different paths, the competitive nature dims and allows us to grow. Let’s motivate one another to succeed instead of viewing others as the enemy.
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