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How do you use competition — do you use it or get used by it? Well, does it typically make you better or feel worse? Competition as a tool and can be a very healthy thing; it motivates you to dig for things you didn’t believe you had. It gives you a picture of where you stand among your peers. It can help you decide what the most important thing to work on is. It shows you if your perceptions about yourself are accurate. Competition can also be harsh — it can lead you to come to conclusions about how you “should” be and drive frustrating comparisons between you and others. It can cause you to lose focus on what’s important in the moment if you let it
It’s important to have a bag full of tools — competition, intensity, focus, determination, control, restraint, patience — and to know when to use them. Even though we apply it here often, competition isn’t always the appropriate tool to use. The wrong tool at the wrong time can be the thing that takes you to those harsh, judgmental places — being competitive when focus and patience is called for or vice versa, for example. Knowing what your short and long term aims are will be your guide in what to pull out of your bag today. Each day’s workout is only a small part of your journey, not the end of it.
Where do you find that you use competition to make you better and where do tend to get used by it?