Your Biggest Competition: YOU (#14)

Man starring at himself in mirror.

One summer while working at a gym I became curious about how fast I could sprint 40-yards. I decided to time myself on the indoor track and my first sprint came out to around 4.8 seconds. As a former athlete I didn’t think 4.8 seconds was very fast, and so it turned into a self-competition to reach a โ€œfast enough timeโ€.


Notice, I never gave myself an actual goal of how fast I wanted to run.


The only “goal” I had was to keep beating my best time.


Competing against the yourself provides an intrinsic motivation like nonother.


This went on for months until I finally peaked at around 4.49 seconds.


In “Why Not Me”, we learned to narrow our focus on becoming the best version of ourselves. Moreover, we ultimately become the best version of ourselves by competing against ourselves. Perhaps the best thing about self-competition is that it prevents you from comparing yourself to others. With self-competition the focus is on you. This is why I suggest visual strategies like journaling to help focus you on your daily progress (and not anyone elseโ€™s ๐Ÿ™‚ )


Self-competition makes it easier to stop comparing yourselves to others.


What are some things you did yesterday that you can do even better today?


  • Can you exercise for 5 more minutes today?
  • Raise the intensity?
  • Increase your sets and reps?


Even if you’re new to the gym start by recognizing where you’re currently at and take baby steps from there. If you only go to the gym once aย  week, try going twice a week for a month. If you only know how to use one cardio machine, try learning a new one next time. Regardless of skill level, the key is to continuously have something to work towards.


Soon enough you’ll notice that you’re not just your greatest competitor, but your greatest ally as well.


Key Takeaways:

  • Self-competition requires practice
  • We ultimately become the best version of ourselves through self-competition
  • Self-competition prevents you from comparing yourself to others

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