Some of us come out of the womb with it and others have to work to develop it. It is often our greatest ally to goal attainment but has also been known to get in the way of goal if taken too far. Competitive drive is the “x-factor” in athletes, elevating mediocre fitness to amazing results by pure will.
For me, I get butterflies in my stomach if I am playing a board game with my kids. The competitive animal inside me comes alive and is hard to ignore. I simply love competing. Others don’t possess this same desire and must work to develop it for race day – oftentimes relying on inner competition with him/herself instead of external competition.
There is an optimal level. Too much competitiveness and you may feel burdened by it or race/train to the competition rather than the path that will lead to the most improvement/results. Too little competitiveness. and you may lack the motivation to achieve your optimal performance. In competition, we need to balance the two extremes.
Where are you on scale? Identifying this is the first step to finding your personal optimal level. Now, where do you think you should be and how can you get there? Developing more competitiveness usually comes from self assessment of your inner motivation. Peel back the onion of why this goal really matters to you and what you are willing to do to attain it. Find the core, and you will find competitive drive. If you feel you are too competitive, you may need to put the competition or goal in perspective releasing yourself from unhealthy expectations and embracing those that are central to your motivation. Either way, we will want to always be moving toward our optimal level of competitiveness.
Be More. Live Red.
EF Founder & Head Coach