Finding Your Competitive Spirit

Monday’s post about the Strengthsfinder Strength of Competition leaves a little bit more to discuss on the subject.

Competition often gets a bad reputation. Some people feel it turns things negative or they just don’t like the feeling of competing with others. Some people love it. Both feelings are okay. It’s important to recognize that we are all competitive in our own way, and that competition is a good thing.

Let’s think about the different types of competitive motivation. Imagine you’re running in a race. Which one of these would motivate you to run faster?

  • The runner in the lane next to you is creeping up on you
  • Watching the clock, you are about to beat your own personal best
  • Your friends and family are in the stands loudly cheering you on
  • Thinking about your name on the plaque when you win, to be on display in the school forever

These are all very different motivations, but they all show a competitive spirit. They can each drive you to be your best. While there are different ways to be competitive, there are also different situations in which you might be competitive.

Some of us are competitive in Rainbow, but not in school. Some are competitive in school, but not in band. Some might be competitive in sports but not in dance. Perhaps it has to do with the others around you and how they affect you. Maybe you’re more relaxed in some situations. Maybe you do some things ‘just for fun’ whereas other things you participate in build your confidence and your skills.

No matter where you get your competitive spirit, you should embrace it. If comparing yourself to others brings a positive result, then keep it up. If you feel your only competition is yourself, then you’re right. Do what works for you. It’s when we try to be something we’re not that we experience the biggest discomfort. Also, don’t forget to allow for the fact that others will feel differently than you. Let’s all encourage others to do their best in the way that works for them.

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