Comparing ourselves to others and competitiveness are the side effects of thinking that our value comes from external things like knowledge, power, status, etc..
This produces two fears: the fear of not being good enough and the fear of being “surpassed”.
This produces anxiety and unhealthy ambition.
And so the endless chase begins until the whole premise is exposed as illusory.
We happen upon the vicious circle when we adopt wrong conclusions, perhaps because we were valued for our abilities as children. Then the cause goes away, but the conclusion stays with us. And so the effect becomes the cause that keeps the circle spinning.
That is why change doesn’t happen by willpower alone. It is understanding that is truly transformational.
“To understand is to transform what is.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti