People are competitive. You see it every day, in sports, at a red light turning green, in school and in the gym. In the workplace especially. When a colleague is viewed as a greater success than you. When there’s a new show in town and suddenly your product or service doesn’t have the attention it once garnered. It’s easy to look at the competition as a threat or as a reason to be jealous, but why not use the competition instead as motivation?

When you’re watching a baseball game, does the losing team go home and pout that they aren’t as good as the winners? No, they go back to practice, look at what they did, and figure out a way to improve. And it may take several games, but with enough practice, the motivation of the competition can be a catalyst for improvement. There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, and it doesn’t have to stop at the ball field.

The Competition Can be Your Greatest Resource
No matter who or what your competition, they can be a resource for you. They’re your competition. You both want the same end goal. Whether it is that promotion or a monopoly in your field, you’re working towards the same. So rather than viewing the competition as a threat, why not collaborate? Why not work together towards the same goal.

Even in your industry, it may seem counterproductive to collaborate with the “enemy” but realistically there are going to be people that choose them, while others choose you. If they are competition, it means that you are offering similar services, quality, and cost. If one of you is clearly better than the other, then you realistically aren’t competition, as your client base will likely vary differently. So look at what you’re doing well, and look at what they’re doing well, and see if there is anything you can learn from them or teach them.

The same can be said in the work place. Your day to day life in the office will be infinitely more enjoyable if you’re able to work as a team with your coworkers rather than looking at them as a threat. You’ll want to do better and improve if those around you are doing better and improving. You may be able to work on your weak spots if you you’re able to help someone else on their week areas using your own strengths.

If They Can Do it, So Can You. And Better, too!
The competition can get your butt in gear better than anyone else. When you see that sweet young new employee making waves, if that doesn’t inspire you to spend a little less time surfing the web and working harder, then you’re probably a lost cause. For most people, it just takes a little bit of competition to be inspired to be the best version of yourself.

So many times you see one house in a neighborhood start to up their curb appeal game, and before you know it, the whole block has new landscaping and a freshly painted house. The same at the gym when the guy next to you is lifting just five more pounds than you and you just know you can add a little more weight on there and do it better. It even goes back to childhood when kids want to be the fastest in the mile run, and anything you can do, I can do better.

The same happens in the work place. The person next to you offers to take on an extra project and suddenly you’re more willing to do the same. The competitor in your industry may have earned 15 new clients last year, wouldn’t you like to have 20? We all want to be the best, the smartest, the funniest, the one with the nicest car. Why else would awards be so coveted?

Staying Motivated Can Be Hard, But When Someone Else is Already Motivated it is Easy to Ride their Coattails
It’s hard to motivate yourself to stay motivated. But if you are motivated by the competition, don’t have to motivate yourself to improve, because the competition does it for you. Every day, they wake up and work towards improving their product, their service, their performance. You see that happen, and suddenly it is easier for you to try your best to improve your product, your service, your performance.

If someone else can do it, you can use their motivation to create your own motivation. It will push you towards improvement, which will help you to be the most successful version of yourself. Motivation is hard to come by, so when it is standing right in front of you in the form of a friendly competition, it would be foolish to let that bypass you.

When opportunity for motivation presents itself through competition, it serves as a catalyst for improvement. So let someone else be your motivation for improvement, and ride the wave that goes along with it.

The Power of Motivation
It can be hard to motivate yourself. So for those of us who enjoy a little competition here and there, it can be used as a positive way to motivate, to go the extra step, to try just a little bit harder. So the next time your cubical neighbor goes the extra mile on a presentation, rather than rolling your eyes, why not use it as an inspiration to improve on your own half-assed presentation?

Chances are, you know you could be doing better or trying harder. At least that’s the case if you’re concerned about the competition. If you already know you’re the best at what you do, why would you be concerned about a little competition? You wouldn’t be. So if the competition scares you, use them as a reason to motivate you to do better than you ever thought capable. If they can do it, so can you. And if you put your mind to it, you can probably do it better.

Powered by Marion Fernandez & The Galiano Group Writing Team.