When I hear the word ‘Competition’, it triggers stress and anxiety. It triggers the conditioning ‘women should play nice’ and the fear of loss and humiliation. It takes much emotional work for me to get ready to compete.
Being in business, I cannot avoid competitive situations.
The persistent strategy of the head to head competition, in business or life, is detrimental to long term growth and success.
Compete is to ‘strive to gain or win something by defeating others’.
‘Striving to gain or win’ is vital for every business.
It is the need for ‘defeating others’ that creates stress. It introduces win or lose, success or failure, to the equation.
To compete with others, we focus on a particular result. This result is only a little bit better than what others can achieve. It limits us from getting to the highest level we can. We overlook or even ignore mastery of any skills that do not benefit our chances of winning in the short run.
In comparison, there is a type of competition that results in gains to the highest level possible. There is no loss or failure. Only success and win is at every stage.
That competition is Self-Competition. As individuals and businesses, Self-Competition is the best competition for long-term growth.
Some of the benefits of Self-Competition are:
1. Only Win, Win, and Win: Every new milestone achieved, every skill mastered, roadblock overcome, is a win.
2. No Rush, All Win: We can take as much time needed to achieve each type of win. There is no external pressure, yet we are committed to master, win, and succeed.
3. No Fear, Only Abundance of Energy: Each success motivates and encourages us to keep going.
4. No Loss, All Growth: There are no losses, thus no fear, stress, or anxiety. We cannot lose on a journey of self-improvement. We keep trying until mastery is achieved.
5. Every Challenge Conquered: Confidence grows with each win; we continue to overcome challenges.
When starting, most of us have no idea how to compete with ourselves.
I have learned, this is a competition between our past and present selves. Our future self wants to be better, stronger, smarter, and more prosperous. To make this a reality, our present person has to be better than the past one.
How to do that? Follow the steps below to get started on competing relentlessly with yourself and for yourself.
1. Growth Mindset: Create a mindset of continuous learning and growth. Read, listen, and practice new ideas in your line of work. Warren Buffet spends 80% of his day reading! Bill Gates reads one book a week.
2. Begin and Improve: Start from where you are and then improve upon it. Know and accept yourself, then compete. I am not Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, I had said to myself at the start of my ‘self-competition’ journey. I cannot read one book a week now, but one each month is doable. That is better than four or fewer books a year I have been reading for years.
3. No Holds Barred: Compete in every area, not select few. Importance of getting better at cooking, organizing, managing money, making healthy choices is the same as improving sales and marketing skills. The goal is to win as a complete self. Bill Gates does dishes every night he is home.
4. Self-Fulfilling: Try not to expect recognition for the wins. People around you will recognize the successes and growth in their own time. Do not expect or wait for them to acknowledge it. Continue moving to higher levels of competition after every win.
5. Your Game, Your Rules: Only you decide what areas to compete in at what time. Do not let what others may find interesting and valuable impact on your decision. Decide based on the acceptance of yourself and goals that inspire you.
6. Let Go Old Companions: Last but not least, Fear and Limiting Beliefs will show up every step of the way in this journey. Last year, fear and shame became roadblocks in my writing competition with myself. I paused that competition and started a new one to be almost fearless. I read books, watched videos, meditated, and worked hard for six months to concur the fear. Now I have won!
If you are a snail in a jungle full of zebras and cheetahs – be the fastest snail you can be. Be the Snail-on-fire like the one in the illustration at the top of this post.
Others have their challenges, let them worry about those. You focus on being a better and better version of yourself every day.
Self-Competition is the best kind of competition, pursue it relentlessly.
The more wins you have in this competition, the more your business will grow for the long term. Also, you will experience a happier, joyful, content life with each new win.
So the message is: Compete Relentlessly with Yourself. Be on fire every day to experience the joy of winning every day. Long term growth, prosperity, and happiness are guaranteed when your present self exceeds what your old self could do or imagine.
If my thoughts resonate with you, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments of this post. I look forward to reading them and learning from you. If you feel more people need to hear this message, share this with your family, friends on social media. Subscribe to the blog for new post notifications.