Competition can be a great motivator. It can move you to go that extra mile and do that much better. But things start to go wrong when beating somebody becomes your only goal. At every step along the way, you will be compared, whether with fellow students or siblings. Competitions and comparisons are a part of every student’s life, but as a student, you have to learn to deal with these comparisons and not let them get the better of you.
Whether you ‘win’ or ‘lose,’ if you lose sight of what really matters, it is only going to distract you away from your growth. No matter how well you do, letting your success get to your head can be disastrous. It takes you away from the things that really matter, and your complacency might even hamper your performance the next time around. And at the same time, when you look at the performance of another person as your benchmark, you are bound to be disappointed at some point. Irrespective of how well you do, at some point or the other you are bound to come across someone who is a shade better than you. And when a comparison is done, how you deal with it could define who you are and what you will become. Her is some advice
1 Compete with yourself: Do not judge yourself by how others have performed. Set your own targets and raise the bar for yourself.
2 Know yourself: You cannot be the best in every sphere. Identify your strengths so that you can reach your full potential. At the same time, be aware of your weaknesses and work towards overcoming them.
3 Do not bother about what others think: Students often tend to worry about what others would think of them. Do not get swayed by what others think. Know your priorities and do the best that you can.
4 Focus on the effort, not the result: When you compare yourself with others, you end up focusing on the outcome. Instead of getting distracted in such comparisons, focus on putting in your best effort.
5 Learn from your peers: There is a great deal to learn from your peers. Rather than focusing on one-upmanship, try to pick up on the positives of your peers and imbibe them in your life.
6 Celebrate each other’s success: Do not let another student’s success put you off. Be happy for someone who does well.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare