Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to quickly enjoy Competition in Your Life

Most people are uneasy about competition because for them it equates to pressure, stress and the fear of loosing. Competition in athletics and business are very closely related in that you fear the same negative outcomes. Some of us learned early to enjoy rivalry and make the best of it whereas many others feel anxious and stressed when the competition is on.

One of my great friends is a fantastic tennis player right until someone suggests to play a real game and count the wins. Then it is impossible for him to achieve points which it turn makes him frustrated. People often struggle with the same problem at work or school. So how come some of us only get good in competition and others feel under pressure and can’t manage to perform well?

As you might remember from this post, which thoughts you think throughout the day determine the quality of your life. The thoughts in your head are a constant series of self-evaluation questions and answers like “What does this mean?”, “Why me?”, “Is this important?”. So whatever you tell yourself in a competitive setting is exactly the outcome you will achieve. When you tell yourself “I hate rivalry”, “I am not competitive”, “This is no fun” or whatever negative self-talk you use - it will directly affect your momentum and the outcome of your game. We have all know that everything in Sports is mental, and so is everything in Business. What do you tell yourself about loosing? What would it say about you if you failed in the competition? Make sure to understand yourself and your relationship to competition - otherwise you set yourself up for failure. Your associations to competition are easy to change as long as you are aware of them.

Individuals who enjoy competition tell themselves “Now make it count”, “I give my best”, “Let’s make it a fun game” for example. They were able to early on create positive associations. Competitive people in business or sports associate competition with achievement, fun, accomplishment and strength. Individuals who under perform in competition associate it with seriousness, rules, failure and pressure. Those associations might have been there since you were a small child but they become habits and determine you achievements every day of your life. The great news is that since you can only think of one thing at a time - you are in charge of creating your own associations and developing fun in competitive settings. 

What do you tell yourself about competition? Do you think you are competitive?

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