Think competition is good? Think Again!

Are you setting your bar based on what others are doing or accomplishing?  You may be selling yourself short.

If you find out that I sold 50 widgets last week and you work hard to sell 51, you’re going to feel good.  Right?  Well answer these questions for me…

  • How are you going to feel when you find out that the guy across town sold 60?
  • Did you stop working hard on Thursday when you hit 51, because you had me beat?
  • What if your profit margin on 51 widgets won’t pay your bills this week?
  • Did you sell widgets this week (just to beat me) when you could have made more money selling sea shells?
  • If your focus was on how I sold 50 widgets, did you sell 51 your way or did you just try to do what I did (but just a little more or better)?
  • Do you LOVE selling widgets?

You get it.  If you keep measuring yourself by another person’s yardstick you are really missing the boat.

It may harder to determine your own path, set your own goals, create your own challenges, and decide what you really want and need.  However, the pot at the end of that rainbow will have YOUR name on it.  Not my name with an asterisk next to it.

Seth Godin expresses it well when he tells us:

Competition as a crutch

We often point to competition as a tool to bring out the best in people. You will run faster or work harder or fight more ferociously if there’s someone breathing down your neck or a record to be broken.

The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way. When you have competition, it’s the pack that decides what’s going to happen next, you’re merely trying to get (or stay) in front.

Competing with yourself is more difficult, requires more bravery and leads to more insight.

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4 Comments

  1. Dianne Baer /Reply

    Love this….I think you wrote it just with me in mind and where I’ve been the last week or two. So very true. Time to get my focus back on ME!!!!

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @Dianne – great to hear from you Dianne. Take action TODAY! 🙂

  2. Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg /Reply

    Boy you got that right! I struggle not only to not set my bar according to what I see others accomplishing but also what I wished I could accomplish, even though I am going against disabilities and health issues. I need to take your advice. What are my goals for myself? What is realistic for me to be able to accomplish? What parts of my own dreams can I work on now and leave others for later? When is “good enough,” “good enough?” Thanks again for such wonderful advice Dr. Legge!

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @Linda – The best part of private practice is that it is all yours. You get to choose about many things. Celebrate it. Being able to limit your time around illness or disability or just the desire to spend more time on the golf course, it a real blessing.

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