Competition is healthy – it’s just got to be done the right way. I was in competition for 14 years in professional football, and each week and each year I could potentially win. That was fair. What’s not fair is competing against idealised versions of people on social media. Or competing against someone much younger than you. That’s really demotivating. You can't win.
What you need to do is find a competition that you can potentially win, and you don’t have to look far. Comparison to other people is usually a mistake, but comparison to yourself is really important – particularly yourself three months ago or six months ago, or a year ago.
If you're an elite athlete, it's a competitive binary environment where you either win or you lose. If you want to be better than someone else, you have to do something that they're not prepared to do. And that something, obviously, has to be useful to performance.
How does that translate for your personal fitness journey? If you want to be better than you were a year ago, then you have to be prepared to do something that that person wasn't prepared to do a year ago. Compete against that version of you. And be accountable to your future self.