In this podcast we discuss overgeneralization and competitiveness and how it can affect anxiety, ADHD sufferers, and anyone for that matter. This podcast episode tackles these issues and more.

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Overgeneralization is defined as taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations 

We often see circumstances in our life as fitting a narrative, we place limits on what we cannot do.   We see the narrative of comparing ourselves to others whenever we compete.  In the long run, this is unhealthy if we generalize these events to our self-esteem. 

I want to talk about what a police officer who discusses when you join the SWAT team you’ve got to put your ego aside.   

He talked about a young officer who comes in and turns out to be a better shooter even though he had less experience.   

The trick is to localize your competitiveness to specific tasks and goals rather than generalizing it to self-worth.  Don’t treat everything as an evaluation of yourself.  

You can feel good about your accomplishments but just recognize that your accomplishments do not define you.   

Going back to police officer example.  Why that’s important because like egotistical you have guys in the bravado, the cool image, even they’re saying put aside your ego.  That’s really the point: if you want to think of it every situation as a form of competition and you want or need to resolve the situation one way or another so in a way it’s doing your best in the moment.   If you put your ego aside, you can actually better focus on the task in the present moment.

Your pushing yourself aside, your pushing yourself hard, to do your best, but not thinking of it as an egotistical competition.  Rather it’s a localized challenge for ourselves rather than general competition that goes to the heart of many people’s self-esteem.  The ego can sometimes be death for our performance. 

It’s really important to recognize that if you want a better situation,  

I’m not saying don’t be competitive at all, but I am saying be locally competitive and be more performance-based. 

In the podcast we discuss some strategies. For example: 

What re some strategies for localized competition: 

Be surgical, be precise, avoid distractions  

Think about process more than outcomes. 

Outcome tends to be linked with how you see yourself and how you generalize to yourself.
Process tends to be more linked with the specific task and being in the moment.
Don’t try to hard, but do try hard enough. 

Trust your inherent ability to do the task and don’t force it.
Try moving on quickly to the next task on your list of goal, if you did poorly, so you don’t wallow too much.  Rumination makes your performance worse in other tasks.  The next task should be something different.  That way you are not just moving into another competitive task to quickly and having your performance negatively effected.  Then return to the original task and you’ll often have a renewed perspective.