THE problem is not competition, it’s comparison.
Our society is built on judging one another by finding flaws and weaknesses to make ourselves feel better. We think that, if we don’t stand out, we are nobody.
Honestly, I love competition!
When I was growing up, my family and friends always found it amusing when I try to compete with the bigger boys in my squash team or my elder sisters. I kept playing against them even though they kept beating me every single time.
What they didn’t realise was that the more I kept playing against them, the better I understood their strengths.
The more I observed, the more I gathered knowledge on what I needed to do to bring the level of my game higher.
Competition was not a comparison to me. Instead, it became a platform that helped me see improvements.
Competition should not make us feel overshadowed, instead, it should make us aware of our strengths and weaknesses. That process of self-discovery will only make us better.
Even after being at the top of the game as No. 1 for many years, the only reason I didn’t lose my position was the competition with the others.
There is no harm in competing against one another, it’s all about how we decide to approach it that can change the way we develop ourselves as a whole.
When we have a positive outlook on competition, whether it is in the work place or the sporting arena, then it becomes a healthy environment to be productive.
I believe it also helps us develop successful teams.
Everyone has a role to help each other grow without creating friction or jealousy among one another.
Success is not built by just one person; it is a team effort and everyone contributes to it.
My team consisted of a squash coach, mental coach, physical trainer and physiotherapist.
Each one of them had a role in the team, each one had an expertise, each one had a strength and each one of them knew the objective was to complement each other to obtain the bigger goal.
When we know the roles we play, having a positive environment for development is possible.
The thing I’m most thankful with competition is that it has made me humble.
When we know there’s more people like us striving to be better - to get better education, jobs, careers, etc; we come to the acceptance that we’re just people trying to grow.
We’re not unique or exceptional.
I think one of the main reasons I achieved the results I’ve had was because I never thought that I was No. 1 or anything close to exceptional.
I was just a squash player who saw the circumstances, opportunities and the environment around me and kept working hard to improve.
That mindset has given me the most beautiful victories as well as the hardest lessons.
We are the result of our hard work and discipline.
When we change our mindset, we will stop criticising everything and everyone.
We’ve to stop comparing ourselves with others. Everyone has a different journey and talents. We can be more encouraging and positive towards the success of others.
If we can start being humble and start working together, we can be so much more than we can possibly be!
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Star