Being a competitive person can offer you a supreme advantage in life.
Competitive people often push themselves to find new and innovative solutions to universal challenges. In the race to be the best, competitors tap into a force that propels them into unimaginable spaces and places. You can see this manifesting when you watch sports – unbreakable records are broken and athletes show that the human body can definitely pull off some superhuman feats.
Young athletes are routinely trained to see the individuals across the field or court as the enemy. The goal is most often to “beat” them and therefore victory is always tied to an external force. More mature athletes evolve and begin to understand one of life’s most important lessons - your only competition is YOU. The other team only exists as a training space for you to further develop your greatness. While there are championships to be won and titles to be had, when the arena lights go off – every competitor has to go home and deal with self.
Competitors are not just found in the gymnasiums of the world. They are everywhere or rather WE are everywhere. If you spot a great parking space from two rows over at the shopping mall, you better believe it’s game on with anyone else who peeped it. We compete for jobs, promotions, love interests, and the last big screen tv on sale for 50% off. Advertisers know this and embed competition into promotions. If you see “while supplies last,” it’s a note is specifically designed to inspire you to buy before your neighbor nabs the final one. (And trust me…if a manufacturer has a hot selling item, there are PLENTY of supplies.)
Social media, for better or worse, amplifies the spirit of competition as billions of people share clips of possessions and experiences. We can easily get caught up in seeing someone’s world captured in snapshots and feel like somehow, we have to do more and have more.
The healthy response to seeing someone’s success is to be happy for that awesome being and look forward to perhaps having a similar experience. The unhealthy response is to feel like you are less than because you are not living your life in the same way. Fierce competitors don’t ever say they feel less than, they resort to posturing in order to tell the story they want others to believe about them and not what is actually their personal reality.
No matter where you land, know that the understanding mature athletes have about competition is a universal truth for all things. The only competitor you have is YOU. Learn this and the doors of opportunity will fly off the hinges. Push yourself in healthy ways to be the best person you can be and only focus on that which truly pleases you. Just because someone appears to be winning at life, doesn’t mean they really are and regardless of their outcomes, your focus should always be on your own outcomes.
Below are a few questions to help you assess whether or not you are in unhealthy competition:
Are you upset or frustrated when you see someone post a possession or experience you don’t think is deserved?
Do you post pictures or share stories with the intention of letting people know you’re doing well even when your personal reality is not a match?
Have you started a venture or made a purchase in order to show someone else up?
Do you feel bad about your progress in life when you look at someone else’s progress?
Do you measure your success in a venture by the number of likes, follows, and comments on a post over the good feeling that comes from the actual venture?
Did you feel bad for responding “yes” to one of the questions listed and as such, reworked your answer to make it “no?”
Responding yes to any of the questions doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a human, subject to external influences. This post is not intended to make you feel less than, it is here to make you more aware.
You can begin deconstructing and reconstructing who you are based on the insights you gather. Understanding how you think and why you do what you do is the first and most important step to creating effective and healthy ways of being.
Transitioning into a space where you are internally motivated is a beautiful place to be. When you discover what you love, why you love it, and how much you love the journey to access more of it – you enter the end zone of perpetual winning.
You’ve won the game of life and you didn’t need a single spectator to bear witness. You are there at the finish line enjoying the victory with your only competitor – YOU.
If you want to spend more time focusing on strengthening yourself to be a fierce self-competitor start my 7-day Unstoppable Challenge here!