The nature of competition is quite a complex concept. Competition breeds humans with the mindset of supporting the failure of someone who may not even be in the way. This concept may lead people on to a ongoing staircase, a loop, or as Kohn stated, “a treadmill,” with need for accomplishment and dominance. Competition is deleterious because it promotes dissatisfaction, betrayal, and insecurity.
When one accomplishes a goal, that goal should not be compared to that of another. It should just be celebrated because it was an accomplishment completed due to one’s skill. The nature of competition strips this prosperity and ultimately eliminates the idea of self-accomplishment. That is because one will constantly compare their greatness to another’s. As the writer stated in the passage, “When my success depends on my being better than, I am caught on a treadmill, destined never to enjoy real satisfaction.” As mentioned, dissatisfaction in a goal or milestone derives from the fact that one will always strive to be better than someone else instead of striving to be better than one’s former self.
Betrayal is a dishonorable act and can stem from hatred or competition. When a person wants to achieve dominance over opposing competitors, anything will be done to achieve so. It depends on the the measure an individual is willing to take. It has been established in history that betrayal can lead to success but is not an honorable act or valued act. The author and lecturer, Alfie Kohn, stated in the passage, “The cost of any kind of competition in human terms is incalculable. When my success depends on other people’s failure, the prospects for a real human community are considerably diminished.” The author emphasized the point concerning the chances of a human doing bad things to achieve what is perceived as “success” in one’s eyes. All of this stems from the desire to be better and more prosperous than someone else.
Insecurity is a heavy weight on one’s shoulders and can lead to many impactful feelings in one’s life, including lack of confidence and anxiety. After engaging in competition with another, if victory is not guaranteed, insecurity will follow. Since one can not accomplish greatness by defeating another, the first thought that comes up into the person’s head is that they’re not good enough. This can eventually spiral down into many reflective mental breakdowns. This downfall to competition may also lead to the person giving up and quitting on his/her dream in entirety.
As stated in the passage by the author, “Someone is always one step higher, and even the summit is a precarious position in light of the horde waiting to occupy it in my steady. I am thus perpetually insecure and, as psychologist Rollo May points out, perpetually anxious.” In that quote, many points and claims were emphasized and tackled by the author including anxiety and insecurity due to competition. The author stated in other words that there will always be a person at a higher level than another person and the person striving to get to the very top will never make it and soon be affected emotionally by that fact. The effects are typically insecurity and anxiety.
Some may argue that competition help people to strive for better and accomplish greater goals, but in reality, people get wrapped up in the nature of competition and forget the original goal was not to beat another person but to be a better self.