The dark side of competition

dark side 300x300 The dark side of competition

Competition is good. It helps us strive to be better. But there is a dark side.

Have you taken the Strength Finder test?

I have.

Twice.

‘Competition’ was my #1 strength. Both times.

By a lot. ‘Competition’ STOMPED all my other strengths.

Here is part of the definition of this strength:

“Competition is rooted in comparison. .  . No matter how hard you tried, no matter how worthy your intentions, if you reached your goal but did not outperform your peers, the achievement feels hollow. . . Over time you will come to avoid contests where winning seems unlikely.”

Besides the constant comparison, which according to Theodore Roosevelt is the  “the thief of joy,” the last sentence has come true.

Over time you will come to avoid contests where winning seems unlikely.

I do that. If I don’t think I will win, or I determine that winning won’t be valuable – I don’t play.

This applies to everything – from business to bowling to playing games with my family. It is WHY I don’t like to play games.

There is no joy in the game, only in the victory. 

Besides making me sound like a cold, vicious meanie – sometimes I don’t try new things when I want to.

Making a cold call, trying a new sport – all of that loses joy when I compare myself to everyone all the time.

In business & life, trying new things and being open to failure is the key to success.

I work on that ALL the time. 

Sometimes our greatest strengths can cross a line and become a weakness.

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