Success has undergone many changes throughout history. The reason for this change is that the criteria for measuring success rate are totally dependent on prevailing values in society, and these values and members of society are in constant flux. Competition syndrome is one of the results of these changes.
Studying the life satisfaction index of over-65s reveals that people regret taking many of the paths they have chosen in life, regardless of their success or failure. The reasons for regret can be different for different people. In the opinion of American psychologist and researcher Ken Dichtwald, this regret is due to the inconsistency between the current realities of life and the idealistic expectations that every individual has for achieving success in life.
What is “Competition Syndrome”?
After spending a considerable amount of time in a particular job, place or mood, you may realize that all that energy and effort wasn’t worth it. An experience like this can be very painful for any individual because it induces a sense of failure and loss. The reasons for these negative feelings can be traced to changing the nature of existing definitions of “success” in society.
Children and adolescents define success according to criteria that guarantee social status, wealth, and power. By the time they reach middle age or old age, many of them realize that they sacrificed much more important issues such as family, true love, and friendship in order to achieve the values that society values. In a situation where time makes it nearly impossible to make up for it, kneeling before a giant of defeat is inevitable and understandable.
Failure is a negative consequence of fragility. One of the most important and obvious is falling into the competition syndrome. Abby Eileen, an American journalist and writer, defines this syndrome as a psychological reaction to an unpleasant sense of inadequacy. It manifests when a person is incapable of achieving ideal personal growth, maintaining healthy friendships and romantic relationships, and living happily, setting goals, and feeling useful.
Acquiring and maintaining all of these values is difficult and sometimes impossible, but the mind sees the inability to achieve them as a failure and stimulates the individual to do much better than he or she has shown. He is slow and has not accomplished it. When one compares one’s achievements with those of others, this sense of failure becomes even more painful.
There is no specific group of people affected by competition syndrome. A man’s innate desire to achieve perfection and the best leads him to never be satisfied with what he has and to continuously seek better things. Due to the advent of technology, comparisons have become more serious and intense. With one glance at social media we are disappointed by the current living conditions and despise our accomplishments.
There are also seemingly harmless behaviors that can contribute to this syndrome. It is a common but destructive practice to focus on the successes and abilities of oneself or others and to express excessive optimism and hope that these will continue in the future. Observations and scientific findings suggest that being surrounded by people who want to succeed in this way is usually more of an unfortunate than a blessing.
In constant exposure to different standards, a person spends all his energy trying not to disappoint those who set those standards and does not enjoy life at all. Furthermore, even when those people are not present, he is burdened with their expectations and becomes frustrated and depressed that he cannot meet them.
Competition syndrome and acting less than expected:
We may not always have this syndrome because of the unrealistic expectations others have of us. Various moments in life are defined by underemployment or actions below expectations. As a result, excessive motivation or fatigue usually prevents us from appearing with all our might and makes us constantly feel defeated. These are some signs that performance is lower than expected and can cause competition syndrome.
1. The quality of your work is only as good as your ability to avoid getting in trouble
This kind of experience is so common that it does not require much explanation! When you do things of relative quality that you just do and do not care about improving your performance, you are probably trapped in a lack of motivation. In addition to affecting job or academic performance, this condition can also affect more serious aspects of life, such as maintaining good health and communicating effectively with others. From your perspective, you are only concerned with “survival” in such a situation.
2. You are constantly procrastinating
If you have to write an article, study for a test, or focus on important projects, it probably occurs to you to postpone everything and spend your time on other unnecessary tasks. Watch social networks or browse the web. The most important slogan of people who want to postpone things until the 90th minute is “I’ll start tomorrow,” but it seems that tomorrow will never arrive!
Lastly, you have to do everything together with very low quality to not miss the chance to deliver the work. Even though you may get good results in this process, the voice in your head always reminds you that if you had planned, you could have achieved a lot more. This is called competition syndrome.
3. Your management and planning skills are very weak:
Sometimes you put forth your best effort, but still do not achieve the desired outcome. It is best to review the effectiveness of your management and planning skills in these situations. Even if you are the smartest and richest person around, if you don’t know how to manage time and plan for the future, you won’t be able to act in the way you expect.
A simple to-do list is a small, but very effective step towards improving these skills. In contrast, writing down what you have accomplished from this list will make you feel useful and successful. It motivates you to keep planning and improve your performance in all aspects of your life.
4. You are always looking for excuses
If you consistently act less than expected, you must have many explanations small and large! When one makes excuses, it’s important to recognize the absurdity of the reasons given for failure, but see no other option. If you want to stop making excuses, you first have to admit that the procedure you have adopted is wrong and no one likes it. It is worth living with proper performance when you accept this difficulty.