Competition is Key

By: Zach

Does anyone want to arm wrestle, see who is knows more historical trivia, or should we just test our luck with a good ol’ fashion game of Jenga? There are definitely times when my competitive edge can get the best of me, however, it is definitely a personal quality that I would never want to live without. After first seeing my StrengthsQuest ‘top five’ personality results, I was surprised to see competition listed within my top strengths. It was something that I had not thought much about. I consider myself to be a compassionate person who is most often team oriented rather than individual. How and why did I correlate with a more aggressive attribute?

  • If you judge other based on their performance, as well as compare yourself to them.
  • If you feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction when you outperform peers.
  • If you need others to compare yourself against.
  • If you gain energy from contests and competitions.
  • If you are envious of others when outperformed

After reading through some of the traits, I soon realized that I do have many competitive qualities. Taking a step back, I recognize that being competitive can be a very healthy quality in many aspects.

Competition

Competition is at the core of what keeps me driven, motivated, and on task. Breaking down my competitive quality, I recognize many attributes. I find myself instinctively aware of other people’s performance, and use it a benchmark to go above and beyond. My competitive edge is what keeps my curiosity and creativity flowing. By comparing yourself to standards, yet asking questions, and being aware of your environment, you are in turn able to harness resources and take a crack at strategizing success. Ultimately, I see competition as a tool for learning. I seem to have a heightened sense of what my peers are doing, and will use their accomplishments as energy to motivate my own ambitions. If you possess a competitive edge, it is key that you keep yourself motivated.

  • Choose environments where you can measure your own achievements.
  • Monitor your own performance and find joy in competing against yourself.
  • Take time to celebrate wins and look at what factors helped you be successful.
  • Seek competitive friends and peers who will inspire your productivity.
  • View ordinary tasks as competitive games to stay motivated.
  • Look back at failure in order to create successful strategy for the future.

One major way in that I differ from the stereotype, is in individuality. It is true that I seek opportunities where I will be recognized for my individual abilities, however, with me on your team, we will shoot for the moon! Because I am competitive in nature does not mean that I am not team oriented, in fact, I would most always prefer team competition over individual. For me, there is greater accomplishment when teams are able to coordinate and harmonize their strengths together in order to reach goals. I believe the skills within team organization and performance are more rewarding than individual. If have competition as a strength, and you are in a team setting, use this quality to create direction and goals for the group. Great competitors can make great leaders! Just remember to be insightful and motivational with your ‘super powers’…

Yet another way in which I am different from the competitive stereotype is that my biggest competitor is myself. The biggest benchmarks I reach for, are most always my own. As important as it is to always give ‘A+’ effort, especially in a competitive world, I must remember that there will always be someone out performing myself. Others may surpass my own achievements, but it will always be within my own power to keep myself motivated and driven!

At the end of the day, it is important to remember to be able to take the competitive ‘blinders’ off every once and awhile. Remembering that success does not come without failure. You know as well as I do of the countless philosophers before who have spoken of the 1,000:1 ratio of failure to success. And rightfully so it is 100% true! Failure is what engages learning and understanding, which in turn sprouts opportunity for success and accomplishment. Overall, I believe by being able to control and cultivate a competitive edge, is ultimately what creates a catalyst for future success!

Until next time, friends!

Cheers, Zach

Read Zach’s other posts

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About ellenhatfield

New professional in the field of Student Affairs in Higher Education. I am a Career Counselor at the University of MN Duluth.

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