How to deal with competition?
Compete, do more, be better, grow taller, run faster. Sounds familiar? For me, it seemed like the world was all about who is going to do more, who gets better grades, who earns more money, who travels more, who eats more organic, who is more successful. Until one day I asked myself, what does it even mean to be successful? How do I define success? Such a good question to start this article with. It has changed the way I see everything and most importantly, how to deal with competition.
Start by defining success
Before I even start with the competition, I want you to take a minute, right now at this moment, and think about this. What does being successful means to you? Take a break, one whole minute or more if you need it, and think about it. You will need this in the future.
Done? Okay. I’ll leave you alone with your thoughts. What is important here is that when you are aligned with your own aspirations, when you know where you are going, you will be affected less by others.
Success definition will be different for each and every one of us, and it is crucial to sit on it. For a student, success will mean getting a good grade on an exam, or finishing homework. For a stay at home mom, it will mean preparing lunch, getting things in order, etc, but it will vary from day to day. I know what I’m talking about, I was there for 3 years straight.
What is success for you?
For someone who is looking for a dream job, success will be finding the right one. If you are starting your business, success may be doing all the paperwork, branding, putting up a website, finding an office, or employing people in the first phase.
Second phase goals may be creating a product or service, marketing, finding customers. The third phase may be creating connections and building relationships. You see how it changes? Wherever you are, define what is it that you are aiming for, what is your next goal. This way the only competition you will have is with yourself. A goal once achieved will remind you of your own success.
Bonus tip: whenever you reach even the smallest goal, PRAISE YOURSELF. Out loud. And never forget this, because it will change the way you think about yourself, for better. And be easy on yourself. There is no destination you need to chase, only your path to follow.
Speaking of this, what you might also like is How to take better care of yourself. It is all about taking care of your physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual body. And I highly recommend you read it because self-care and self-love will definitely be your allies on your journey.
So, what is competition in the first place?
According to Wikipedia, competition is an interaction between at least two parties who are aiming for a goal that cannot be shared. Basically, when you are in some sort of danger (of another taking the only one of the goal that exists), competition becomes relevant.
In sports, it’s understandable. There is only one first place, right? But in real life? The truth is – there is plenty of everything. Competition is a behaviour we have learned, not what we are born with. It has come from survival instincts where the one who got the food – survived. And today, we don’t live that anymore.
Are you comparing yourself with others?
Are you one of those always looking at what others are doing? If you are comparing yourself with others or you tend to feel less than when you see all the amazing products/services others are offering, I feel you.
Before I continue, I figured out you might also read my post about Having self-worth in a world of comparison.
Anyhow, this was me, for many, many years. It was so easy for me to get into the rabbit hole of comparison. I would often withdraw and think I was less than others who do the same. And that was keeping me back, for the longest time.
Not only that. Looking at the work of others would make me feel what I was doing wasn’t enough. That I should be doing more. This would often lead to procrastination, because, apparently, my path wasn’t what I wanted it to be at the time. Talking about beliefs and trust, right? And then one day, after many processes going in and out, I realized there was no competition out there. At all.
Bonus tip: use competition only to see what is possible. Look for patterns, different perspectives, notice ideas, find inspiration that you can incorporate into your unique presentation and creation.
Make competition irrelevant
From one perspective, yes, there are others out there doing the same, making a living doing what you do and in a way taking your clients away. On the other end of the stick, you are the one making your story and you are the only one responsible for how you do what you do. Others are not to blame.
There are a ton of people out there doing the exact same thing as you do. Coaches, educators, creators, storytellers, brand designers, knitters, jewellery makers, #soulfulentrepreneurs, bloggers, youtubers… you name it.
What you do has probably been done before, and there are many, many people doing the exact same thing as you do, right? What makes them different is not only their uniqueness, their authenticity, but also their goals and dreams, as well as their vibe.
Here is my point.
The times have changed
We live in the New Age. Old beliefs and systems don’t work anymore. Not in the long term. We as humanity have raised our level of consciousness and we have opened the well of many, many possibilities that were unknown before.
Here’s the truth. We don’t really buy ‘what’, but we do buy ‘why’. This means that we tend to have an emotional connection to what we buy. If you were to buy a ceramic cup for your tea, and there are two exact same cup designs from two different brands, guess which one you would buy? The one you are connected to more.
This is where you come into place. You are unique as much as one can be. Your entire life has shaped you in such a specific and special way, that there is no single person like you. Yes, we do have the same interests, taste, style, presets, filters, accents, and clothes, but how you present it, the way you vibrate is unique to you only.
Dance to your own vibe
Imagine this. I so love visual examples.
You were invited to an outdoor dance party. You come to this place and what you see is 10 different groups of people with about 5 to 10 people in each. They are all dancing to the same music, but each group has a different dance style. Some resonate with you, some don’t.
Now, here are two case scenarios.
In the first scenario, you try to choose one, none of which is a perfect match. But you take in consideration what you like, number of people, the way they dance, and you choose one. You feel weird at first, you try to follow their style, you notice how you feel and you try to relax. You don’t really experiment much, because no one does. Congratulations, you have just become a follower.
Now the second scenario. You watch them all, you walk around, you notice. But you don’t resonate with neither one perfectly, so you start dancing on your own. You feel weird at first, being the only one that is separated and alone. And you continue the dance.
Only a few minutes in, you surrender to the beats, you close your eyes and you start your own dance, from your very own depths. What happens next? It is only a matter of time when others will start joining you. One by one. Congratulations. You have now become a leader. An influencer. People will be looking up to you.
Bonus tip: Don’t chase others. Build your own empire. Create your own circle, and let them come to you.
Where does this bring us?
Just as there are no two same stars on the night sky, there are no two same persons on Earth. We are all a complex combination of genes, thoughts, emotions, experiences, and spirit, and the gifts that you have are the most unique ever. Your story, your way, and your vibe will only attract a certain amount of people that can resonate with you at a certain moment in time. Your ideas are not only ideas but traffic signs that will lead you on your own unique road.
We are evolving throughout our life. We start having new interests and discover new ways, perspectives, and shifts. Eventually, this leads to changing our businesses and incorporating the new us in it. If you were in the yoga industry, you might have a baby, and switch to kids yoga. Or, if you make jewelry, you might get interested in crystals and turn in that direction. Furthermore, if you do marketing for small business owners you might start doing it only for females.
With each new step we take in our business, we niche more down and we find new ways of satisfying our audiences. This is how we create an authentic product or service and build relationships. Incorporating our uniqueness is how we connect emotionally with our audience, and for that, there is no competition.
Creation over competition
Instead of competing, create. Focusing more on the content we create we build our credibility and position ourselves as experts in our field. This is where you lose all the (nonexistent) competition. The more you do that, the more you niche yourself down and create a community around yourself that needs exactly what you are offering. Your vibe, your story, and your emotions are without competition.
This Universe is an abundant place. The Earth itself is an abundant place. We are abundant, and it is up to us to see, feel, acknowledge and accept it in order to live abundantly.
Bonus tip: when people start coming to you, make sure you find a way to encourage and teach them how to dance on their own.
I hope you loved this article, and if you did, please leave a comment. It will help me create more valuable content for my community.
Bonus tip: don’t take it all so seriously. Play. Experiment. See what works for you, and what doesn’t. Don’t attach to the outcome to get there sooner.
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