Some people are afraid to be competitive. They might not naturally have it in them or think it’s a bad thing for several possible reasons. If this sounds like you, this article is for you. I hope to show you why you might want to become a bit more competitive and how to do it the right way.
If you’re just looking for some tips to become more competitive, here’s the list;
- Rationalize why it can be good for you
- Get started
- Find your personal motivation
- Don’t be afraid of losing
- You can always learn something
- You can make your opponent reveal his tricks
For a more in-depth explanation, keep reading.
Compete with whom?
One of the first thoughts that come to mind is who to compete with. And it’s a good thought.
The first person you should be competing against should be yourself. You should always be trying to better yourself, get a better result than before.
Other people are the obvious other group you can compete against. Of course you don’t have to compete everyone on everything. Compete in things you like, are necessary or you can learn from.
Reasons for competing
Why should you bother competing? It’s tiring and no fun. You just have an opportunity to lose, right?
1. Judging competency
The most important reason to compete is to measure your skills against yourself or others. That is what competition is. You might think you’re very good at something but actually discover you aren’t when going against others.
The other way around is also possible. You might think you’re really bad at something. When competing you might actually discover you’re not as bad as you imagined.
This can be a great boost for your confidence.
Of course, it works the other way around as well. It’s a way for you to judge the competency of others.
2. Become better
Competing is not only a chance to win, it’s also a chance to become better at something. There is nothing better to improve your skills than to be in a group with other people that are better than you.
Even if you know you can’t be the best in that setting, trying your best will improve your skills. You see what is humanly possible in those other people. This gives you something to aim for.
3. Forming bonds
Sometimes competition is just for fun and not too serious. So why do it? It’s a great way to form social bonds. Especially between guys. There is a certain level of trust involved in competing. It shows you can be trusted to a certain degree and you see you can rely on the other people you’re with at that moment.
For guys to form bonds, it’s good to do something together. You might work together on something or compete over something, it doesn’t really matter. It shows you’re socially adjusted and can work together with other people.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some common objections people might bring up.
1. It makes people feel bad
Maybe it does make people feel bad when they lose. If it was something very important that makes sense. Or maybe you thought you were very good at something but you still lost.
There is a certain amount of ego damage that occurs when you realize you aren’t as good as you thought. This might be uncomfortable in the short term. In the long run it doesn’t help to protect yourself from these feelings however.
Realizing you’re not the best at something can do a few things;
- Motivate you to improve
- Reflect on what you can do better
- Pick something else to compete in
- Gets you used to handling disappointment.
If you never experience any losses, winning doesn’t feel as good.
Sometimes you can’t choose to compete in some way. Life tends to throw weird things at you. If you’re used to dealing with negative emotions in casual competitions, you’ll be better prepared for the serious challenges in your life.
Of course it’s not good for someone to ALWAYS lose. People need the confidence boost winning/performing well provides.
Avoiding competition might shield you from the bad feelings from losing but, it also prevents you getting confidence from winning
2. I don’t have to prove myself
Are you sure about that? Maybe you’ve lost some of your skills over time and you didn’t notice. Also, if you’re the absolute best at something, why don’t you give other people an opportunity to learn from you? Maybe you can give others something to aim for and improve themselves.
How to become more competitive
Now this is for people that aren’t very competitive. If you’re someone that already makes a competition out of everything you might want to skip these tips.
Some people are just not naturally competitive. What can you do? If you don’t have much of a natural drive to compete, maybe a logical approach works better. I’ve given some reasons above that might help you rationalize why it’s a good idea.
2. Get started
Pick something and try competing in it. Maybe you’ll discover you actually like it.
It also becomes much easier to do something after you’ve already done it a couple of times and are starting to get a feel for it. Doing something new can be stressful for anybody. Just get started and you might be amazed how much your perspective changes in a short time.
3. Find your personal motivation
The motivation to want to win is not the same for everyone. It also depends on the situation. Try to find a reason why you want to at least compete. Maybe you don’t care much about winning. You might care about forming social bonds and improving your skillset.
4. Don’t be afraid of losing
While losing isn’t fun, try to put it in perspective. What really happens when you lose? In most situations, nothing. You might feel a bit bad. That’s not the end of the world.
5. You can always learn something
It’s not an opportunity to see who is best at something, it’s an opportunity to improve. Even if you’re the best at something, other people might be doing things you could learn something from.
6. Make your opponent reveal his tricks
If you’re not the best at something, it’s a great opportunity to make your opponents reveal their tricks. Pay attention and you will see plenty of things you didn’t know were possible. You’ll know what to expect in the future and you will find some things to aim towards.
How to do competition the right way
Above are some tips to become a bit more competitive. Now there are some problems that might arise when you’re not used to being in competition. Usually you should try to avoid any extremes.
1. Don’t be bad loser
Losing is part of competing. You cannot be the best at everything all the time. At some point you are going to lose. That’s when the problems might start.
Now if you’re feeling competitive about something it’s going to be difficult to not be disappointed when you lose or even don’t win. That’s OK. It’s how you handle those emotions that make the difference.
Control your emotions. Don’t act like a 3 year old child that didn’t get the candy he wanted.
Be the gentleman;
- Accept your opponent was better
- Congratulate the winner
- You can express disappointment you didn’t win but in an adult way
- Analyze what you can do to do better next time
For more covert competitions, you can leave these things for what they are but, then it’s even more important to control your emotions.
2. Don’t be an obnoxious winner
While being a bad loser is bad, being a bad winner is even worse. People might sympathize with you a little if you’ve lost. But if you’ve won and are rubbing it in people’s faces in a bad way, others will hate you for it.
Of course it’s really dependent on the situation. In a business situation, trash talking and gloating are completely out of the question. After a football game they are perfectly fine usually. So be sure to judge the situation.
In most situations you can do these things however;
- Shake your opponents hand (or something similar, depending on situation)
- Express your appreciation for their competition
If it’s more a covert competition, play it cool. Again, be a gentleman.
3. Don’t make everything a competition
Maybe you’ve found out you are actually really competitive. You like it so much that everything starts looking like a competition.
That friend that always has to
You buy something nice, your neighbor has to buy something a little nicer.
Keep in mind what competition is good for. Some things are completely useless to compete for. Of course, if you enjoy it, you can do it.
Just make sure your opposition doesn’t get tired of your antics however.
4. Be honest
You’re competing to improve certain aspects of your life. Being dishonest probably won’t yield the results you’re looking for. Looking at the reasons why people compete, it should be obvious that being dishonest might not be the best way to go about things.
You won’t improve your skills and people will hate you if they find out.
If you’re interested in more about the Masculine Mindset, check out some of these articles;