3 reasons why I don’t believe in competition
In 2006 I was at the top of my game. I had spent six years as a Track athlete. I was a sprinter and a damn good one at that. As I was gearing up to run the top heat at the District Qualifications for the 100 meters, I knew who I was running against.
We had the same goal, winning that first place trophy. As I waited for my race to be called, I did a few stretches to try and calm my frantic mind.
I envisioned the race and winning first place. I started to hype myself
mentally by jogging and energizing my muscles and repeating “I have this!”
If there was one thing I learned, first place is not guaranteed every if you are in the best shape of your life and running the best times of your career. I trained for months prior with grueling training regimens and diets to keep my bodies in maximum shape. So had the other seven girls.
Sometimes I became nervous depending on my rival. The pre-race jitters would set in and send my mind in a downward spiral I recalled “the girl in lane 5 won 1st last race” or “she qualified for Championships already” hindering my thoughts from focusing on my leg work.
“On your mark,” the ref screams. I shook out my legs and put my
thumb and first finger flush to the line. Kicked back my legs and set them into the starter blocks that firmly held my stance. Then I stilled my body and mind —waiting.“Get set!”
In those seconds there is no competition. There are no seven other girls. There are no screaming fans, and there is no arena. There is only me and my sheer will to push myself beyond the limits.
“BANG!” The gun goes off and not a thought went through my mind. I was a pure force. Before I knew it, twelve seconds later the race is over.
When I cross that line. I disovered where I placed in the line of 8 girls. However, it is my running time that ultimately mattered most.
Shaving off that .5 seconds meant that my week of training paid off. Those girls were a positive driving force that helped me to train and push harder. So I could get that first place trophy.
That is when I always realized that these girls were not my competition. They were my coaches and the force that strived me to be the best version of myself.
When I moved to the business world as an entrepreneur, I took those lessons and applied them as I went through failures and triumphs. So if you feel like the competition is overpowering your thoughts. Three few reasons why you should shift your focus:
1. You’re focused on them instead of you
You can follow everything your competition does and how they do it. But there will always be a first, second and third place in every race. Even the best runners fall to third.
In this large space, people need whats makes your company unique.
Just keep focused on your unique qualities and keep training hard!
2. You’re working out of fear
Why compare yourself? Your business is unique for a reason. Pepsi has unique qualities that differ from Coke, but they compete in the same market. Both are highly successful. Rejoice their success and rejoice yours.
When you begin to see the competition as “them”, it makes life harder. Always!
3. You feel you must beat their best instead of your best
Just because you may not be first, doesn’t mean you won’t find a way to being the best. Both the Tortoise and the Hare finish the race. You don’t have to be the tortoise. Focus on your weakness and strengths and use them to your advantage.
You forget to look at them as an opportunity.
Keep an open mind to others in your market. They help lead your way. They push you to evaluate your work and to make you go back to the book, change, and progress.
Why not sell to your competition was a quote I heard a few years back from a very wise businessperson who has been in the industry for more than 4 decades.
In a nutshell. Competition is a mind frame that can hinder your performance with fear and envy. Use others in your market to inspire your vision, drive change, and force your business to be the best it can be by directing you.