There’s Unhealthy Self-confidence

And you need a balance

Olabanji Stephen
3 min readMar 22


How do we balance “I’m enough” with the need for constant growth which is like saying “I’m not enough”

Or how do we make sense of “I’m in competition with only myself” with the idea that life is actually tough and you are pretty much going to have to put up a fight to take your desired place, which is like saying, “I’m in competition (with people and things I’m not even aware of)”

There’s definitely a balance and it starts with simply understanding that it’s not an “either-or” situation.

Yes, you are enough and that’s a matter of self-confidence and belief in yourself. As a matter of fact, if you do not believe that you are enough (adequate, worthy), you might live an unpleasant life because you’ll never strive for what you really want! You have to be enough, no matter the situation or stage of life you’re in. So, get a healthy dose of that.

It’s also true if you say that you’re in competition with just yourself (and you have to be!) Firstly, because no one is really like you so there’s no ground for competing with other people. They don’t have your family, childhood, experience, genes, personality, likes, dislikes, opportunities, intelligence, etc. What are the rules of the game? Where is the pitch? How do you compete?

Secondly, because there’s always going to be someone better, something bigger or whatever size it is that you are competing for. That’s a fast race to the bottom and an even faster race to poor physical and mental health. People have lost it! And there’s so much on the internet to paint a picture of success and trigger a sense of competition, so if you think you’re in competition with yourself, congratulations! You are both sane and have a positive mindset, and you should hold on to it as though your life depends on it because it does!

The other side to this is that knowing you are enough and that you’re not in competition with anyone but yourself is not enough if you want to take your place in the world. You need to grow and be able to stand up for yourself.

So how do you do that?
It’s a simple complex.
Be enough but make efforts to grow. It means, applying for the job anyway, starting your podcast anyway, writing your book anyway, running the marathon anyway, shipping the project anyway, asking her (or him) out anyway.
Read, seek guidance, make mistakes, and grow (and don’t stop growing) but always know that you are enough.

Being in competition with yourself means that you get better every day. It means you’re making effort to be a better person than you used to be, do a better job than you used to do, be healthier than you used to be, or __________ you fill it in.

It’s not entirely untrue if we say that life is a race but perhaps it’s helpful to know that when we run OUR race, we are better positioned for life’s race. In fact, the most efficient way to run life’s race is by running ours.



Olabanji Stephen

I see the world differently and attempt to interpret it in ways that inspire genius