We often think of competitors as rivals – as enemies in some cases. In reality, a worthy competitor is our teammate.
Our real enemy lurks within. It is the part of us that causes us to withdraw in fear, procrastinate and avoid doing important work. It causes us to shake in fear when we speak before an audience. It comes up with the most compelling excuses to destroy a passion project which we have worked so hard. We call it by different names: William Irvine called it his ‘other self’, Steven Pressfield dubbed it the Resistance while Seth Godin refers to it as our lizard brain.
Our competitors might be our rivals in a race that is external to us. But we fight this internal battle on the same side. Our rivals push us to work harder, get better and prevail over the inner voice that holds us all back from striving for excellence.
If you looked back at your life after a few decades, what would you resent more? Would it be a worthy adversary who raised your bar? Or would it be the voice in your head that sabotaged your attempts at making a meaningful contribution?