Who is your biggest competitor?


“My greatest competition is, well, me.”

~ R Kelly

Who are you in competition with?

I have found that I am probably my biggest competitor.  I am always looking to beat my personal best.  When I went back to college a few years ago,  I had to get straight “A”s to prove to myself that I am smarter than who I thought I was.  When I was going to my workout classes at a local gym,  I had to beat my own time when it came to my endurance in the plank position.  More recently, I ran four miles for the first time in my life.  It was a goal I had set a few weeks ago and have now been able to run a four mile course on three separate occasions which is absolutely incredible to me (considering I just took up running less than two years ago).  Running those four miles that first time about killed me but I was not going to lose to myself!

I have never pictured myself as a competitive person…  I never played formal sports… I never played chess (or even checkers for that matter).  I never was interested in being better than someone else but as I look back,  I always wanted to be better than my current self… to push myself to greater endurance… greater strength…greater skill… greater intelligence.   I forced myself to learn how to play more complex songs when I was taking organ lessons as a young girl… I wanted more badges and pins on my Girl Scout sash… I wanted to master advanced jump roping skills on the playground at recess.

I set my goal to run four miles when my three mile run started to feel easy.  When I am not in demand of myself,  I get lazy.  When I am not stretching myself mentally or physically or when things feel status quo, I become a bit complacent and my natural enthusiastic personality begins t0 wane.

I do not need to compete in races with others because my race is within…

I believe it is my competition with myself that has served me well in my career.  I did not have to compete with others for more responsibilities or leadership roles… it occurred naturally as I honed new skills and deepened my knowledge and business acumen…always seeking to improve my personal best.

There are times that I stumbled in my race over the course of my career.  Sometimes my competitive training had to slow down or halt due to varying transitions in my life – family, personal injury/illness or changing job responsibilities.  When looking back over my career (and life), this is what I have learned:

  1. When I stumble, I need to stand up, brush myself off, find secure footing and move forward one step at a time.
  2. Sometimes if I fall hard,  I need to find the tools and support to get myself upright again.  Those tools and support can be friends, family, co-workers, coaches, mentors, classes and books.
  3. When the track I am on is full of potholes and I am constantly slipping and sliding through the muck,  I need to decide if that is the best route I want to be running on or if a new track is a better solution.

What have you learned when competing with yourself?

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