Home Discussion Forum Is a competition with your own self healthy or unhealthy?

Is a competition with your own self healthy or unhealthy?

Please feel free to answer this from a psychological base or spiritual base or however you want!
A little background to explain why I am asking this right now: I am not too thrilled about competition with others…but upon further introspection I realize that I am pretty competitive with myself, at least in certain areas.
How are things viewed from your perspective? Is the inner competition I am experiencing all my ego, or is the higher self competitive at all…as in growth and learning? I am almost entirely sure this is just another ego trap, but I am curious to hear what you all have to say 🙂


  1. Being competitive with yourself is very healthy and conductive to success, at least to a point. If it starts to get to an obsessive level, then it’s a problem, otherwise, it’s great. Always trying to improve and challenging yourself is fulfilling no matter what you’re doing. I don’t think that ego has too much to do with it, I don’t think that this is an “ego trap”. Challenging oneself to succeed to greater degrees leads naturally to increased success. I think that this behavior, when non-obsessive/obstructive, is very healthy, both psychologically and spiritually.

  2. The notion of self is a vast one and many perspectives are offered that can speak volumes and for most offering such they are individual truths. From my point of understanding per my journey, I too am struggling with myself.
    As far as competitiveness goes, I must say that we are so often spurned on by challenges from others. It is a natural instinct within us all, as survival has been so profoundly critical for humanity with the exception of only being the last few centuries.
    Is it right or wrong, to be competitive with others, or more pointed to your question, with yourself? It is neither, so long as it serves you in Love.
    The “ego trap” is our whole existence and our desire to annihilate ego only furthers the ego’s expanse. The ego is what identifies us. It is who we are but not it is not what we are.
    In the most simplest of gestures I can offer you is that what ego is not is Love, therefore to transcend ego is to be… Love.
    Many Blessings

  3. PSYCHOLOGICALLY speaking or more directly Personally I believe its not only healthy but comes naturally even if you are unaware—were it not so how then is not only possible to sell golf clubs but at a fairly high mark-up !
    Crossword puzzles still exist,as do many, many other self-only pastimes/games.
    How many games of solitaire get played everyday on the world computers.
    The unhealthy part comes in when these pastimes descend into masturbation of one sort or another,and or lead to destructive notions (self,or otherwise).
    Any time you are practising anything [speech, lines for a play/presentation, music-dance routine, or any other activity where preparation is paramount] you are trying to improve by bettering what you have previously done.
    To improve my accent/pronunciation of another language (50 years ago !) I set up my tape recorder to repeat,listen,re-record corrected version while practicing a text I would read unto the tape. Keeping at it till I was satisfied I had correctly ennunciated each word I was able to master a diffficult foreign language—-which incidentally facilitated learning the next foreign language.
    Each time I heard my voice my critique became more acute.
    I am not sure but I believe today there maybe software that does this—–the point is it was me versus me! Eventually I beat my competition, so I congratulated the winner with no feelings of defeat or sorrow, afterall the better man won !

  4. Healthy. And I haven’t done it for a while, but should. It’s a simple question of living up to one’s potential and being the person you want to be. We should try to do our best in everything we do. But not to be sucked in by the inner critic, not to wallow over failure, nor get carried away by success. More, to smile at all things. We all love a challenge, and a challenge to outdo ourselves is the essence of greatness, to reach at things just beyond our grasp and perhaps grace can make up for the gap.

  5. At least you don’t have to worry about being the winner each time! 🙂
    But seriously, don’t we compete with ourselves every time we take a test or learn a new skill? Without the need for competition how would be better ourselves?
    Would Olympic athletes ever get better if they did not try to beat their previous score or time?
    Is it better to drive off the road and crash or strive to become a better driver by trying to be better than you WERE?
    Sometimes WE are our ONLY competition! Look at Michael Phelps! Who can he compete against if not himself?
    And don’t we often try to beat ourselves before we allow ourselves into competition with others?
    When I was learning how to ride a motorcycle I would set up events for myself … like skidding to a stop after crossing some “line” and seeing how fast I could stop and still maintain control of the bike. Without that I would most likely not be alive today.
    Healthy? Surely! Stressful? Perhaps. But then we simply have to learn how to ACCEPT ourselves when we get so good that not even WE can beat ourselves!
    I AM

  6. God’s creation is Perfect in every way. We have fallen into the belief
    that somehow we separated from God and must become perfect to
    be welcomed back by Him.
    However, what God created is and was Changeless – still Perfect
    in spite of our dream of separation. All we have to do to regain our
    state of Perfection is awaken from the dream.
    I think the higher self would nudge you toward activities that help
    you awaken, and would probably want you to help others too.

  7. Yup; =ego trap.
    The “higher self” as you call it, is not competitive and is infinitely patient, being timeless.

  8. Healthy if it help rise to higher level of being, unhealthy if it fetches inner misery and stagnation or hurt others self and their growth.

  9. This is a question close to my heart right now, and I think the answer hinges on two things –
    1). What do you mean by your ‘self’? Are you talking about the conditioned ego; cunning, manipulative little thus-and-so that it is? Or are you talking about the higher Self, the true you?
    The ego messes around within itself, setting targets, giggling and whingeing, moaning and generally making life both interesting and frustrating. That’s its job.
    When we set about spiritual development, the ego doesn’t like it at all and marshals all its defences against what it sees as its imminent death. We then find a conflict between the ego and the Self, which can become competition . . .
    2).What you resist persists! If you gird up your loins and do battle with the ego it’ll just get bigger and stronger.
    The trick, it seems to me, is to see clearly what is happening. Look closely at the way the ego arises, the way it tries to trick you. Observe it. Notice the way it feels in the mind. notice the way it feels in the body. Allow these feelings to evaporate from lack of sustenance rather than feeding them energy by allowing the ego to fight/compete for victory against yourSelf.

  10. Competition sounds like there will be a winner and a loser.
    I don’t know if you can defeat yourself and beat yourself at the same time.
    Certainly, it’s a good thing to push yourself as far as you can go, and to try and achieve as much as you can.
    But it does sound like the ego at play.
    You sound like you will only be complete if you ‘win’ somehow.
    Which isn’t true – you are complete right now.

  11. Healthy, cuz it helps u to improve and better the best of your abilities…………. sure fire way to success….

  12. all about Shiva Shiva Shiva
    all about him !!!!!!!!!!
    all about the blue man, arghhhhh !!!!
    when is it gonna be about me ?????????
    I dont care, im gonna grow horns and steal this away from Him, know what I mean ?
    : )

  13. First of all I want you to know that competition is everywhere!
    All of us has these need for competence such as need for recognition and need affiliation.
    It is more healthy to keep your competition to yourself than others.
    First competence to yourself is more of self improvement. You are urge to find improvement to whatever you did for your own convenience and not just to rub it to someone’s face.
    You are more focus to your self and not to anyone else.
    However, as I said competition is everywhere.
    You may not see other as competition but in really they are still your competition. Whether you like or not enemies, friends, co-worker, group mates. All of them are in the category of healthy competition.
    hope it helps.

  14. I prefer competition with myself to competition with others. It promotes going for a personal best rather than comparing yourself to another. People who see themselves in a competition with others can get ugly and nasty. When you compare yourself to others rather than concentrating on your own performance you let jealousy and envy cloud your progress. I do not think competition with others is healthy at all. I choose to concern myself with my own abilities, but be careful not to let “it” be all consuming or you could become self involved; balance in all things is necessary.

  15. healthy, always try to improve your PB (personal best).
    because maybe one day you can join the italians in conquering Rome.

  16. Competing from your self is very much healthy rather than from other people because it’s for your own good that can be result for that competition and it’s very much better because if it’s for other people, well it can pull you down most of it.

  17. Competition with those outside of you LIMITS you because it is based entirely outside of you.
    Competition with yourself makes you GROW because it is based entirely within you.
    Anxiety ceases to develop and in its place, a warm, soothing wave of calmness spreads throughout your body from head to toe as you realize that your actions will now be dictated from within.
    You no longer harbor any anger, resentment, or ill-will toward others who you previously viewed as “competition”.
    You become at peace with them because now you are at peace with yourself.
    You don’t waste any time thinking about what other people are doing.
    Your sole focus is to become the best that YOU can be, based on the standards that YOU set.
    When you realize this, you start to develop that virtuous quality known as action, not reaction.
    (various source from net)

  18. I do not like that expression. I struggle with perfectionism a great deal and the idea of being in competition with myself to be “the best version” leaves me in a place where I can NEVER celebrate where I am. I need to take time to celebrate who I am, to feel good about where I am, and to appreciate all the amazing things around me.
    If I wake up everyday saying “Yesterday’s version of you is no good! You have to be better than that guy” then my initial thought of myself is that I am not valuable. I struggle to stay out of this pitfall and I do not endorse the idea, “I am only in competition with myself”.


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