I don't believe most people enjoy competing. Not really.
People enjoy winning. Oh, that they love. But that is wholly unremarkable. After all, who doesn't love to win?
The idea of competition, as in watching rather than participating, is what most people enjoy.
They are attracted to the energy around competition. People fill stadiums to watch their favorite teams and athletes compete. For local pride. For world championships. For bragging rights.
People watch shows like "The Bachelor" or "Dancing With The Stars." The dynamics are fake and the reward is hollow. Viewers know this and they don't care. The competition itself, any contest, draws a crowd.
While people flock to TVs and stadiums to watch a competition, there is much less enthusiasm to enter the arena and become the competitor. Even among those who step onto the field of play, a stark difference exists between those who mainly want to win and those who love to compete. It doesn't take long to find out.
Competitive arenas are highly effective at sniffing out insecurities and surfacing the truth.
Not everyone wants to be a competitor or a great competitor. For some, it is enough to participate and enjoy the experience. I can't overstate the importance of this self-awareness and the integrity to live it with conviction. There is no honor in being competitive. It is simply a quality like any other. There is also no honor in pretending to be competitive when you know better within yourself.
But for everyone else, if that is you, there is work to be done if you hope to become a worthy competitor — inner work: mindsets, emotions, attitudes, perspectives, and more.
I'm not talking about being a winner. That is what everyone wants and so few attain. A competitor is something different. Something stronger. Something definitively superior.
The discipline to become a winner is preceded by the discipline to become a better competitor.
That is our topic this week.
Answer the call. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.