Should your success come at the expense of others? One of the common themes I notice with people who struggle with anxiety is the idea of cut throat competition. The idea that their ability to be successful is being measured against someone else’s partaking and doing better than them in the same activity.
Of course it doesn’t help that this mentality is still enforced in various institutions of learning to include various occupations. Don’t get me wrong competition is a good thing, in order to achieve any measure of success you need a good frame of reference. However, that doesn’t mean that you should experience reoccurring episodes of anxiety over the idea that you that someone does something better than you. For instance in my field of work, I am always on the lookout for new strategies for helping clients. This means that I am more than willing to learn from someone who has figured something out that I find of value. So that means encountering someone doing something better than I, fills me eagerness and excitement at the possibility of learning something new.
If you find yourself in an environment that encourages cut throat competition, where the idea of someone doing something better than you spells some type of doom for you, then you are living in a unhealthy environment and at best you should leave. If leaving such an unhealthy environment isn’t necessarily the best feasible option for you, then at the very least you should begin practicing the process of abandoning the mindset that others should not be better than you at certain or various skill sets. Also yes, I do recognize that with the abandonment of said mindset, it will motivate you to leave the environment. By the way, leaving such an environment can be literal or metaphor for changing the types of people you associate with.
In reality, there is always someone who’s better than you at particular skills, and subsequently there is always somebody who you are better than at particular skills. It is irrational that this should spell any measure of doom and gloom for anyone, on the contrary it’s a good thing. It is a good thing because, it means that you can always learn something new from someone and you can always teach something new to someone.
Our ability to succeed, comes from the relationships we forge with others, if you are using what you know to help others, you will find yourself surrounded by others with the same mindset.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and owner of Road 2 Resolutions PLLC