How to Handle Competition
You are going to deal with it at every stage of life. Whether you are applying for a retail job at the Gap, signing up to be a summer camp counsellor, applying for a job at your neighborhood Taco Bell or even applying to university or college, you will face competition.
Competition is a good thing, depending on how you look at it. Competition allows an employer to pick the very best person out of all the people applying for a given job. Competition allows an admissions committee to choose the brightest student out of the pool of applicants applying for a particular university or college program.
On the flip side, competition means that the more people applying for a given spot, the tougher it will be for any one person to get that spot. Often times, there is only one or a limited number of spots available which everyone seems to be fighting for. (This is the part most people don’t like about competition!)
Interestingly, there are some people who thrive on competition. To these people, the thought of competing among other individuals for the same spot drives them to be the best of the best. It pushes them to excel farther beyond their potential. It pushes them to improve so they stand out from the rest.
Other people, however, find competition daunting and even debilitating. The thought of so many individuals vying for one or a few spots scares them so much that they may not even bother to compete. They may also feel that the competition is far better or has much more to offer than they do, so they worry that they aren’t good enough and bring themselves down. If you fall into this group, rest assured you aren’t alone. There are a lot of people who find competition nerve-wracking. Since you can’t avoid competition (it’s part of life, after all), here are three tips that can help you handle it better:
1. Forget about the competition — This may sound crazy to you at first, but hear me out. Focusing on who your competition is can sometimes negatively affect you and bring you down. Don’t think about all the people applying for a job at the Gap, for example. Instead, focus on you and what you have to offer to the Gap store manager.
2. Do the best you can — The key word in this statement is “you”. Everyone’s best will differ. Don’t focus on trying to be better than someone else – it can be stressful and hard to match. Instead, focus on being the best you can be. For example, do whatever you can do to be the best applicant for the camp counsellor position this summer or to be the best candidate for the college/university program you are applying for.
3. Keep pushing forward — If you got the job or university/college spot you were applying for, then great! If you didn’t, that’s okay too. Unfortunately, you can’t win them all in life. Every successful person knows this. Every successful person also knows that it doesn’t mean you stop trying – you have to keep pushing forward. Apply for a job at another retail store or fast food outlet, apply to another school or apply next year to the same program. Always pick yourself up and keep pushing forward!