We experience competition in our daily interactions. Being competitive has both benefits and disadvantages.
On the negative side, being competitive can be viewed as being self-centred, aggressive, inflexible and self-absorbed. Those who are competitive because they have to win at all costs often create more stress for themselves and those they interact with.
The origin of the word competition means “to enter or be put in rivalry with.” Competition is part of our lives from sports competition to educational and career competition.
Like most things in life, we can use being competitive to our advantage. We can harness it in a way that will assist us making faster progress towards the outcomes we want.
When I was in my early twenties as a university student, I was extremely competitive at sports. I hated losing and oftentimes, if I believed I could not win at a sport, I would not even participate. To me, winning was the reason why I played sport competitively.
Looking back, that was a very limited way of thinking and wasn’t healthy.
Competition isn’t always about trying to win. It’s also about getting better at what we do and who we become. The best type of competition is one where we compete against ourselves, by challenging ourselves to do better than what we’ve done previously.
This is why the metric “personal best” is highly regarded in competitive sports and in business. We always want to continue to strive to do the best we can and challenge ourselves to set new or higher standards.
One thing to remember about being competitive is that we don’t want to fall into the trap of having a scarcity mindset, where we believe in order to win or get what we want, someone else has to lose or miss out. Instead we want to develop an abundance mindset, where not only do we win, others win as well and get what they want.
5 Reasons Why Being Competitive is a Good Thing
- It will keep you motivated. Having a competitive nature prevents complacency or settling on past achievements. If we’re competitive, we can acknowledge and be satisfied with what we’ve achieved, but remain motivated to continually improve. If we fail at something, we’ll be able to use it as motivation to keep going.
- It will generate more clarity. We cannot be competitive at something if we don’t know what we’re aiming for. By staying competitive, we’ll set ourselves new targets or goals that we want to achieve and do thing that will cause us to achieve faster progress.
- It will inspire greater creativity. By wanting to do things better or achieve at a higher level, we’ll be required to become better problem-solvers and be more solution driven, which are traits of being more creative. This can also lead to new innovations or breakthroughs.
- It will cause you to do more self-reflection. If we’re competitive, we’ll be driven to do things better, which means we’ll have to evaluate our strengths, weakness and our habits. In order to improve our strengths or weaknesses, we’ll have to identify things we need to get better at, which are part of self-reflection.
- It will make you develop new beliefs. How we see ourselves is often reflected in how we act. If we see ourselves as someone who continually gets better, that will require us to take on new beliefs or strengthen our existing beliefs. It will cause us to persevere and be resilient during tough times, while setting new boundaries or higher limits.
If being competitive is causing us to grow and improve, while being respectful of others, then it’s something we should embrace and not try to hide. If we’re being competitive in order to be the best version of ourselves, then it will help us to be more successful and create a better life.
Question: What is another reason why being competitive can be beneficial and lead to more success?
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