Growth in competition

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Competition is a natural part of life, and it’s in dealing with competition that we grow.

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Competition is a natural part of life: competition to achieve, to work, to learn. Sometimes, competition can be a great motivator, and other times, it’s a weakness that leads to frustration; it’s not hard to picture people whose competitive natures have either driven them to soaring heights or brought them crashing down. 

Regardless, competition won’t be leaving anytime soon, and learning to properly utilize it can help individuals become stronger.

“[Competition] gives us motivation,” Hellen Adams, a team leader for UVU’s Apex Legends (Esports) team stated in an interview with The Review.“But it can get frustrating.”

According to an article by Kou Murayama with the American Psychological Association (APA), our motivation is altered in competitive settings. He continues, “Performance-approach goals are goals that focus on positive outcomes of the competition … [and] positively predict task performance.”

In other words, when individuals create competitive goals similar to “I will outperform the others in my group,” they are more likely to perform better, which falls in line with Adams’ claim.

However, “there are good and bad reasons to compete,” Adams would go on to explain. 

This claim is backed by Murayama’s article, which states, “[P]erformance-avoidance goals focus on negative outcomes … [and] negatively predict performance.”

Performance-avoidance goals are competitive goals that fall along the lines of “I will not do worse than others.” If a person is competing just to “not do bad,” then they are likely to do worse, which can provide negative outcomes when competing.

When asked about how she and her team deal with loss, Adams responded, “Trying to reel in the frustration can be difficult. … Sometimes you just need to remind yourself why you like playing the game in the first place.”

Sometimes it’s okay to break away from competition to reset. Doing so can help individuals remember why they enjoy doing what they do.

Melanie Greenberg of Psychology Today shares in an article, “Try to figure out why [you are] being competitive and what [your] needs and goals are.”

Being able to understand the pros and cons of competition is a great way to begin using it as a vehicle for motivation and growth. As life grows more competitive in looking for jobs or promotions, it’s important to keep track of how it can help motivate and encourage.