My Competition

better than yesterday

With all the pressure to be the best in our respective environments (school, work, gym, etc.) this quote seems to have a good message: Don’t compare yourself with others, just with who you were yesterday. But my Type-A personality takes this quote to a whole other level…

I have a history with putting pressure on myself. Pressure to get an A on a test, to workout X number of times a week, to eat balanced meals and to be the best version of me. I understand that this quote can be motivating and that many people might not interpret the quote in such an intense or in-depth way. But for me, I’m often my own worse competition.

I’ve had instances when I’ve taken this pressure to another level in order to “beat” yesterday’s me. For example, if I ran 4 miles yesterday, I have to run 5 today. If I got a 90 on a test next time I have to work harder to get a 95. This is an unhealthy cycle and one I’ve gotten trapped in as I tried to reach an unattainable level of perfection.


Even today I had some negative, competitive thoughts as I contemplated how much I wanted to run. Yesterday I ran 4.5 miles so I thought I had to run at least 5 today. But 3 miles into the run I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to stop but my mind was telling me to keep going because I hadn’t even reached yesterday’s mileage. Luckily, I realized how silly it sounded that I was forcing myself to run farther because I had to meet or beat yesterday. I’m not training for anything right now and no one is forcing me to run, so why should I add any pressure? I stopped my run at 3 and called it a day.

I’ve gotten better at recognizing instances of self-competition and have made an effort to reset any “expectations” to a normal level. I hope to reach a point where I can apply this quote to my relationships, attitude and service and not things like grades, exercise or food. I just want to feel content with today and not worry about surpassing tomorrow’s goals.

How do you interpret this quote? (Top quote)



  1. pickyrunner says

    I can relate to this so much. I’m my own worst enemy- with swimming I used to have panic attacks in the pool, with track I used to cry if I didn’t Pr, and with school I wasn’t satisfied with any grade less than 100%. It’s exhausting trying to be perfect all the time and I’m really glad I have begun to let that go overtime. And that you have too :)

  2. Emily says

    Exactly…it’s so exhausting! I’ve had many similar experiences with running and school. It’s weird how we can place so much emphasis on something as trivial (in the big scheme of things) as grades or race times. Glad we’ve started to ditch that mindset :)

  3. jessielovestorun says

    There is no such thing as being positive 100% of the time. However, we do have the ability to make our future & our lives as happy and positive as possible. Good for you on taking a step forward today and cutting your run short instead of having to improve from yesterdays. I really appreciate you opening up & shaing the honest truth :)

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