You’re Only In Competition With Yourself

Posted by Yomaira Escano on March 23, 2020

This week was rough in so many ways. With talk of COVID-19 dominating every news hour, and watching the numbers of confirmed cases rise, we are all trying to adjust to a new normal. As we watched the news unfold, my family and I started our isolation in the most unexpected way. For starters my husband and I were fighting the flu all week. Being sick in the middle of a global pandemic is not the way I was hoping to be taking care of myself and my family. We were forced to stay home which I welcomed. But with schools also closing we had to find ways to isolate from our own children inside our apartment. My son loves to give hugs and kisses, so this has been really hard on him - and me too as the former recipient of all that love. Since I wasn’t in the right headspace to do anything of substance (being in a fever fog is not exactly ideal for being productive), I decided to use my time to reflect upon life, my coding journey and where I’m going from here.

We don’t always take advantage of the quiet moments to really think and ponder about life and how we got here. When you’re in the middle of busy work and projects, you don’t take the time to really think about the accomplishments that brought you to a specific point in life. Even though I was sick all week I welcomed the opportunity to recharge and refocus my energy where it should be - making myself better. Yes, I needed to get healthy again which is the most important thing. But I also wanted to take the time to focus my thinking into how I plan to improve on my coding skills. The one thing I kept coming back to is making sure that I remembered that I am only in competition with myself.

I don’t like comparing myself to others. I’ve always known that my path is my path. But every now and then I need to be reminded to be kind to myself. Comparing myself to others won’t help me make the necessary improvements to get ahead and to feel accomplished. However, I will say this - having taken the last few days to reflect on my journey since I started learning to code almost 3 years ago helped me see how far I have come. I know I need to get better and will use all the tools at my disposal to do so. Reading more, practicing more, building more. That’s it!

Don’t fall into the trap that you have to be like anyone else. It’s easy to look around and see people like you seemingly being more successful than you. We have to put in the work to improve our skills, learn better coding techniques, and take a look at where we can always be better technologists. The key is not in looking outside at what others are doing, but in looking within yourself to know that you are in competition with yourself and no one else.