Self-Competition: The Most Beneficial and Important Type of Competition

Life is full of competitions. When most people hear the word “competition” they automatically jump to the idea of competing against other people in games and tournaments. However, people often forget about another type of competition, self-competition. Self-competition allows people to reflect back on their past selves and pushes them to improve, with the intent of doing the best they can, and not necessarily winning. Self competition can be viewed as the “preparation” aspect that usually comes before competing against other people. People take many practice tests or do repetitions before competing against others, because they want to make sure that they have competed against themselves thoroughly and are ready to take it a step further and compete against others, although that’s not how most of us think about it. Although I believe that competitions where people compete against others are important, self-competition is more important and beneficial in the long run.


We are constantly surrounded by competitiveness, whether it’s studying to do better on the next science test, or practicing to try to win the next basketball game. In fact, many teachers in school like to have their students play games such as jeopardy or Kahoot where they compete against other students in the class to answer the questions quickly and accurately. These competitions motivate most students to do better through a fun, competitive approach. However, they negatively impact other students. Low performing students often feel that there’s no point in participating or trying because they feel that winning is impossible. In addition, these competitions can add stress and anxiety to some students because they feel that winning is most important, causing them to perform poorly, therefore lowering their self esteem and attitude.While competing against others allows people to gauge where they’re at and can push them towards working harder and becoming better for the future, it can negatively impact others by adding stress and making them feel that there’s no point in trying.
Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to be the best. However, that’s not always going to happen, and I believe that this is where self-competition comes in. I believe that self improvement and the hard work is the most important and most beneficial in the long run. Sure, if you win the next state tournament for whatever activity you’re involved in, there’ll be a great amount of happiness and excitement since all your hard work paid off, but what will matter most is hard work spent in self-competition trying to become better than you were before. Self-competition and setting goals for yourself are very important because they help YOU become better without focusing on winning, but rather focusing on become better and doing your best. As said by famous author Jaachynma N.E. Agu, “You are not in competition with anybody except yourself; try to outdo your past not other people.”

–  Shruti Sathish

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