How To Beat Competition Headaches

By Preeti Narayan

Co-author, Success MindwareTM


Just yesterday, my friend’s son came home with a report card. He had scored well. But he was not happy. Because he had scored less than the boy who sits beside him in the class.

“But you have scored more than your previous result. You have improved your performance,” I said, trying to lift his spirit.

“Yes, but I still got less than him,” replied the boy sullenly, apparently, referring to his classmate whom he was determined to beat.

Well, he is not alone in thinking like this. I have seen many students like him, who fiercely compete with others. The main goal of such students is always like—“I want to score more than that girl” or “I want to beat that boy.” They always want to get ahead of others.

And even study harder to reach their goal.

Now, it’s good to study more. But it is not good to study more just because you want to beat some one. Competing with others always brings headache.

Here’s why:

  • When you compete with others, you begin to compare yourself with them. Is he studying more than me? Has he covered more topics than me? Has she written better answers than me in exam?

    Such comparisons lead to anxiety, frustrations. Because you cannot control other people. You cannot make them act according to your wishes--like make them study less :) So you end up feeling out of control.

  • You could be doing well in your studies, but constant comparison with others can make you feel unsatisfied and even inferior to others.

  • And what’s more, it is not possible to have good relations with people whom you are constantly thinking of defeating!

Now, it does not make much sense to add more trouble to your life when you already have to face the stress of performing well in exam, isn’t it?

Instead, here’s another way: Self competition.

Compete with yourself. Aim to score more than your previous report. Aim to do better than before. Aim to improve yourself. This is the best way to compete and to increase your study performance.

Here’s why:

  • You stay in control. When you are competing with yourself, you are comparing with yourself only. And you can always control yourself. You can always control your actions, your thoughts. You can stay in command.

  • Since you stay in control, you feel calm. And confident.

  • Leads to personal improvement. To win over yourself, you have to do better than before. This means you have to improve your knowledge and your skill steadily.

  • You automatically reach the top. After all, have you ever seen a student, who is steadily improving himself or herself, remaining at the bottom of the class?

And how do you compete with yourself?
Easy. Just do this:

  1. What is your previous result? Check it out.

  2. Decide to do better than that. Set a goal.

  3. Plan and start the action.

For e.g., if in your previous report, you have got A grade in two subjects, try to get ‘A’ in 3 or 4 or all other subjects.

In this way, you can compete, stay in control and improve yourself. What’s more, use self competition in all other areas of your life as well—personal, career, social, etc. Your motto should be—‘to better yourself.’

After all, your life is affected only by what you do, and not by what others do.


Welcome any exam with open arms using this quick help book for students:  
Study Secrets




Preeti Narayan is an author, mind trainer and self-improvement expert who helps people discover their inner power and live more fulfilling life. 


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