Competition is all around us.
Everywhere we look, someone or something is competing to be the best. Whether it’s Darwin’s survival of the fittest in nature or an athletic sport, competition is a way of life. We all compete. It’s up to us to determine whether or not we win…sometimes. We all get a bad break here and there, but it’s what we do with that luck event that can really turn things around.
I’ve been attending a series of inspiring Enactus competitions this Spring (disclaimer: I work for Enactus) and have discovered that everything seems to fall into categories. As a job seeker or lifelong student, check out these three nuggets gleaned from competition:
Compete against others. This is the easy one. We see competition as a way to best others in a particular area like sports. It doesn’t stop there, though. Competition fosters innovation. Don’t believe me? Check out this article on pro snowboarder Shaun White. A little healthy competition is good for us. I think that ideas and innovation would grow stagnant and eventually cease to exist if there wasn’t someone or something urging us to take it one step further.
Compete against yourself. You’re your own worst critic. Use that to your advantage. Keep pushing yourself to do a little better. Try new things. Approach challenges with different solutions and from different perspectives.
Compete to win the war, even if you lose the battle. We don’t always win, or do we? I think that if a person learns something through defeat and failure, they’re more likely to come out of the battle stronger. Think big picture. When Thomas Edison was asked about the light bulb, he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Be enthusiastic about your successes, but learn from your failures.
What have you learned about competition? Please share by leaving a comment!
One thought on “Winning (and Losing) in Your Career”