Unhealthy Competition

Our very nature as humans presents us with life’s challenges, and you will agree with me that as these challenges get tougher, so does our desire to satisfy our aches, wants and primal needs. In such situations, humans and both animals alike tend to look for a means to survive. The Darwinian theory of Survival of the Fittest states that “organisms sharing an equivalent set of resources compete with each other. Those that fight better get more of the resources, thus increasing their chances of survival”. Thank God we are not organisms and/or animals who must fight and destroy each other for survival, because in as much as we are allowed to compete, we ought to choose our competitions wisely. Is it healthy or unhealthy competition?


Don’t get me wrong. Competition is a good thing. Back in school when we were divided into different houses with each house tagged with a particular colour, the aim was to compete. But, we all know that with competing comes results and I wonder at times why parents and teachers pitch us against ourselves so much so that we subject ourselves to unrealistic expectations, thereby breeding unhealthy competition.


Competition can be fun and engaging when it is healthy and constructive, but when taken out of this context, it becomes something destructive when not controlled. A (the) labour market is a place where classmates are thrown into after graduating. Some find their footing quicker than others, while some take longer. As humans, we tend to want those positions occupied by our mates, without giving a second thought as to how they got to where they are. Imitation and pretence become the order of the day because we have made ourselves to believe that we can only achieve those things by copying them. But, we forget that each one of us was created differently and to serve a different purpose. Using others as yardstick to measure our attainment, only aids to mug us of our potentials and personal growth.


Social media also influences how we approach competition in life. In social media, you will find all sorts of fake and pretentious life. That’s not to say social media is bad, but the manner at which people live lives that on a normal day they cannot afford is alarming. Places like these are snares for people who cannot discern their wants from needs. Often, you see people trying to be like or even want what they cannot afford just to be better than their peers. But, we often forget that our biggest competitor should be ourselves because in whatever we do in this life, we must strive to be a better version of our past self and not limit ourselves by imitating others.


Life is all about survival and in surviving we sometimes find ourselves competing. But the question we need to ask ourselves is “what type of competition am I nurturing?”; the healthy or the unhealthy competition. So friends, choose your competitions wisely.


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