Like most people I found myself veg’d out in front of the television last week watching hour after hour of college football which got me thinking about competition. From the time we’re little kids we try to be the fastest runner, the highest jumper, the best drawer and the highest test scorer. In our adult world not much changes as we now compete for praise from our boss, a promotion or raise, and the coveted corner office.
I grew up in sports, but my sports (swimming and tennis) were mostly individual. I was no Michael Phelps, but I still had a time to beat regardless of where I finished in the actual race. I might be 3rd, but if I had my best time, then there wasn’t much to complain about. I could measure my individual improvement. Conversely, I could actually win the race but if my time wasn’t good I could count on extra workout time the next morning.
In sports competition is celebrated – even revered – and sadly while it may drive us to be better athletes, as adults it generally brings out the worst in us.
“You need to be better at ____________.”
It’s exhausting actually and very hard to measure.
These competition “tapes” probably play in your brain all day long. We talk to ourselves in ways that we’d never allow our friends or peers to talk us (at minimum they wouldn’t be very fun friends or very welcome peers.) What if for 2015 we change the tapes?
The problem with competition is that it assumes there isn’t enough for us all. But what if there is enough for everyone and what if we could use the tapes to eliminate competition and encourage each of us to look at the world from a position of abundance?
“I have what I need right now to do ________.”
“That feedback was harsh but really is meaningful. “
“I’m better than expected at _____________.”
What do you want to have more of this year? As you set your goals for 2015, think of how your current situation can help you get there.
Perhaps you’re challenged to get funding. The first instinct is probably to run (and re-run) your balance sheet and see the deficit in several different ways. You look at other companies as competing for the funding you think you deserve from that Angel network. I’d encourage you to flip the message, reflect on the past year or so and objectively determine what you know now that you didn’t know before. Then figure out who (or what) can help you learn that much more in the next 12 months. Keeping what you’ve done right at the forefront encourages the universe to send more positive energy to you. And if you need energy in the form of capital investments, you’ll likely get it.
Maybe your challenge is to determine a feasible way to grow your business. You know you can’t hire a team of operations and marketing experts and the person you were relying on to help you has either stopped returning your calls or won the lottery and run off to Bali. Have you taken advantage of the mentors around you? What resources to do you have to help fill the gap left by your partner? Creating abundance isn’t about getting a paved road to success; it is keeping the challenges that are presented to you in perspective and seeing them as rungs in a ladder meant to propel you forward.
Finally, perhaps your company or idea is at a crossroads. Let’s face it, not all ideas are going to change the world. There’s still no reason to see the situation as hopeless. You’ve likely learned a lot in the process of developing your idea(s). You’ve inevitably gained experience from the research and development you’ve done. Your contact list should be much bigger than it was when you started. As painful as it is to mourn the death of an idea, seeing how it changed you and created new space within you should ultimately be invigorating.
As we go into 2015 I find the idea of changing my tapes and reducing competition to be a wonderful challenge. Can it really be true that there is enough room for us all to succeed? I think so and I’m excited to prove it. I’m incredibly excited to see what I can create and share with you all.
I wish everyone the best of luck with whatever you’re going to try to create. I’d love to hear about it!