the only competition (is yourself)
I recently went to an AMA by a person called Nick who floated the idea that the only competition should be with your past self. There's some pieces of advice that only resonate once you're actually in the trenches going through the thing, and this was one of them.
Yesterday, one day after the event, I was feeling overwhelmed with all the stuff I had to do, so I went outside and exercised for a bit because that usually solves my problems.
It didn't. But later that day I did some reflecting and realized, hey, that was cool. I say that because past me would've tried to push through, and the idea of exercising would've seemed like a waste of time.
These are the types of wins that I truly appreciate. I think when people give you praise or acknowledge how you've grown, it only matters or really sinks in when you've made sense of it yourself. The praise doesn't matter because they don't know you and your context.
But someone who knew you from day 1? From when you were still at the very bottom? Well that's you. And it's funny how despite that, the person to least acknowledge your wins is yourself.
It's small steps, but it's worthwhile to give yourself a pat on the back every so often (and literally too). Or even a self-hug.
In the practical sense this means setting aside time to think about how you acted differently that day. What were those actions that deviated from ones you've made in the past? What were you proud of yourself that day?
It's those acknowledgements that come from myself that I find the most meaningful