How Competition is Canceling your Confidence
I’ve been thinking about competition a ton recently, as it’s been a recurring theme in client calls and there’s an undercurrent of discontent in my DMs about the feelings associated with competition.
As Stephanie and I sat down to research and unpack competition and its relationship to confidence, we were able to pull out some pretty staggering themes.
- Competition by nature, forces you to look EXTERNALLY for validation.
Whether you’ve create the construct of competition (watching what others are doing and measuring your effort up against it) or you’re in an established system of competition (corporate, athletic, or organized infrastructure) the measure for success is always outside of you. And we know from our research that the only things that build confidence are INTERNAL. It’s impossible to be looking outward for validation and feel strong inward.
- Competition, 9 times out of 10, is not seen as a solo mission, but a group exercise.
You can say that you’re “only competitive with yourself” until you’re blue in the face, but ask yourself when you create these ideas of “besting yourself,” what is the outcome? Are you proud when you do better? Are you still proud when you don’t? What is the function of internal competition, and what will out-performing yourself give you?
The bottom line is this:
When we’re focused on external measures, we always experience disappointment.
If you’re looking at others and feeling some kind of way about your efforts/outcomes based on what they’re doing - it’s your signal that competition is canceling your confidence.
So what do we do about it?
- Get curious about what you’re feeling, and try to understand where it’s coming from.
- Try to dismantle the (untrue) story your mind has craft about how you’ve measured up.
- Craft the new (abundant and true) message you prefer to adopt
- Set and enforce new boundaries to protect and support your desired feeling around other people that experience success.
And ask yourself, how does (my contributing) to systems of competition help support me in my life goals and mission? You’ll likely find that your purpose work isn’t a race with someone else. Your purpose work doesn’t likely require competition at all.