Competing Up And Competing Down

in GEMS6 months ago

I first came across the concept of the title from a business context and its relation to strategies a business could take when in a competitive situation.

But I'll first like to explore it from a broad and personal context. Because there's much relevance in viewing it from that viewpoint, especially in the modern and fast moving age we live in.

Traditionally, competition is always one sided so to speak, that is moving forwards faster and becoming better than one's competitor(s). This hinges on the fact that competition is mostly perceived as a zero-sum game, a win-lose situation.

But times have changed now, the tools of the trade and our way of thinking have evolved. This has changed the dynamic of competition and how we videow it. Previously, there was only one way but now, there is more than one way.

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Peaks And Valleys

In a personal context, competing up means challenging oneself against stronger opponents or higher standards, which helps in fostering growth and improvement. It is said that the more resistance we face, the higher the potential for growth.

Competing down, on the other hand, usually means facing less challenging situations or opponents. Here, there's a potential of hindering personal development but the silver lining is that it brings a greater understanding to the overall situation.

An analogy can be seeing personal development as a vast terrain with peaks and valleys, it will be quite hard to navigate the terrain without experiencing both landscapes.

Opting to compete up is akin to setting our sights on towering summits, which entails pushing beyond our limits to reach those summits.

For me, the journey of scaling through these peaks is a test of resilience and a quest for continuous improvement.

I often enjoy the thrill that comes with facing challenges head-on and seeing them crumble by the wayside only to find bigger challenges ahead. This makes each step harder to take despite knowing that it takes me closer to the mountain peak.

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Why do we hardly succeed in the first or second try? Half way or two thirds through the journey, there's often this moment where we slip, lose our grip and fall into a valley. Perhaps, we bit more than we're able to chew or the timing wasn't right?

Whatever the reason may be, we find ourselves in a more familiar territory. This valley may offer us respite, allowing for a different kind of reflection on the journey so far.

But the main takeaway with competing down is the understanding that the journey is not always a straightforward or continuous ascent. There are times when it is unavoidable to compete down, even if it may be temporarily.

Yet, it's crucial not to linger too long, as complacency can easily set in, preventing the climb back up to towering summits.

At first glance, many challenges seem unconquerable. But with sufficient attempts at tackling it, we realize that they are not as formidable as they appear.

In Closing

Life's a dynamic game where we sometimes need to face the tough levels and, yes, occasionally dip back into the easier ones.

In a fast moving age, dipping back into the easier ones may seem like we are being left behind but this is really not the case.

Because those "easier" levels often hold valuable lessons and moments of reflection, which also allow us to recharge and approach the challenging levels with renewed wisdom and perspective.

Thanks for reading!! Share your thoughts below on the comments.


I often enjoy the thrill that comes with facing challenges head-on and seeing them crumble by the wayside only to find bigger challenges ahead.

I enjoy it as well for the thrill and zeal to do better. Whenever I don't feel up to doing an important task I challenge myself.

Yes, I think the resistance in the beginning makes it hard to do the task but once we're in it, continuing to finish it is usually less hard.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Right on the head.

The pleasure is always mine.

Yay! 🤗
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