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Do you love to win and hate to lose? Are you excited or inspired by the idea of setting a new record? Admit it, you are competitive. And me too. You don't always have to stand on a podium to feel fulfilled, but you prefer that there is a podium to aim for at all. To quote RuPaul & # 39; s Drag Race candidate Alyssa Edwards: "Winning isn't everything, but wanting is it."
Recent research published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies shows that competitive streaks are likely ingrained in us. When research participants were asked to come up with ideas, the group who was told the exercise was a game outperformed the control group in both the number and quality of ideas produced. In addition, a University of Missouri study found that social competition was the primary reason for increasing skull capacity in Neanderthals. Perceived competition and the desire to survive have actually made our brains bigger.
I recently did a Gallups StrengthsFinder assessment and lo and behold, competition emerged as one of my top five strengths. Entrepreneurs who have this strength want to have schedules, deadlines, and daily performance goals for both themselves and their team, but can also get on their heads when things don't go their way. Instead of viewing a competitive spirit as an unattractive quality, consider it an important asset for an entrepreneur.
That being said, sore losers tantrums are never a good look. Here are three ways to harness your natural competitive energy without preparing to fail.
Related: How to Get Out of the Comparison Trap
Leave the jealousy at the door
Comparing yourself to others may motivate you to act, but those feelings can easily become jealous when someone else wins the gold medal – or just boasting about their latest achievements or vacations.
For many, jealousy has been exacerbated by our daily social media experiences. When we see the perfectly curated lives of influencers and even our co-workers, we feel unworthy or less than. Studies have confirmed that excessive use of social media can undermine your sense of self-control and increase feelings of jealousy.
Remember, you control your input, but not necessarily your results. Embrace the fuel that goal setting gives you, and also acknowledge how external factors can arise that will force you to reevaluate your progress. Last but not least, this year has reminded almost every entrepreneur of the importance of being nimble and responsive.
Related: Why Not Being Confident Can Be A Good Thing Sometimes
Gamify your hustle and bustle
When you jump out of bed in the morning at competitions and matchups, capture this lightning bolt in a bottle and use it to fuel your passions. You are motivated by short-term challenges and writing down your goals. Instead of trying to belittle your competitive side, prepare for it.
What could gamification look like for you? Consider one or more of the following best practices:
Race the clock. Set a goal to get a task done as quickly and effectively as possible. Take the time to let you know the clock is ticking – use your phone, a kitchen timer, or a free online stopwatch.
Make a pact with a friend. A study of exercise motivation published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that exercise time doubled when participants had a virtual responsibility partner. Use the same energy of accountability to your advantage in different business activities.
Break income records. What's the highest sales month you've ever had? Identify the bar and think of creative ways to hit and punch it. If you are competitive, this is probably what you feel like doing today.
Related Topics: Identifying your "Curiosity Type" is key to achieving more
Make yourself your toughest opponent
A SWOT analysis shows strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks for a company or a market in order to determine internal and external influences on the performance.
Opportunities and risks are well known. However, strengths and weaknesses can have greater power because the control point is within the organization. There's a reason SWOT analytics are so popular in companies: it identifies what can and can't be controlled, and gives you insight into where to channel your competitive energy.
And even within SWOT, the quadrants of strength and weakness are the same, but your strengths are better improved and you should often focus your energy first.
In response to market trends and in-house talent, Netflix has restructured its product and positioning from DVD rental services to online streaming. As of this writing, it has 167 million subscribers. In contrast, Blockbuster never jumped on the streaming cart, and subsequently its last surviving location was recently converted into an Airbnb experience. Opportunities and risks are easy to anticipate, but growing your strengths will propel you and your business forward.
Related Topics: Your Free SWOT Analysis Template for Scoring Business Ideas
Yes, having a competitive personality can be unsavory at times. But that doesn't mean you should tarnish the stars in your eyes. Learn how to convert your competitiveness into constructive action, and you will quickly be motivated and inspired to take your next step.