Important!! Avoid Burnouts!!
Summer Elisabeth Sanders, the American former competition swimmer and Olympic champion and now a sports commentator, reporter, television show host and actress, advises, ‘It's not really about the competition. Your biggest challenge in a race is yourself. You're often racing against time.
You're frequently running everything through your mind. You're always competing against preconceived ideas. It's not really the person next to you that you worry about. Once you start competing with yourself, you start discovering your flaws and that is when you start to actually improve from the core. Competing with others comes later.’
Make no mistake about it; the idea of competing with your own self is simple but not at all easy. It requires a huge effort, everyday hard work and thriving on a challenge. It’s about being able to embrace the pain and not being afraid of it. The foremost reason why most of us don’t even try, is the fear of failure. Inside, we are always afraid what others will think or say when we fail, so we end up not even trying. Theodore Roosevelt the 26th president of the United States, was also a passionate reformer, author, statesman, explorer, soldier and naturalist. He learned, ‘Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.’
WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU SHOULD BE THE PRIORITY, Competing with others or competing with self?
Fearlessness comes from self confidence and self confidence roots from self esteem. The trouble is that every day we take hits to our self esteem on different levels. We feel insecure, lonely, embarrassed, ashamed, guilty or inferior in some situation or the other. Lack of self confidence has become one of the biggest psychological complaints.
The society has become impatient and mutual tolerance has evaporated. Thus risk to our self esteem has increased manifold. Thus the key to harnessing your strength lies in competing with yourself first. Consistent daily improvement and focus are vital. Another good tool to be used in such a situation is to connect to your mortality.
As Steve Jobs once said, ‘Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.’
Fear of failure will vanish when you are passionate about self improvement. Wilma Rudolph, an American track and field sprinter who competed in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash and who was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960 said, ‘Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.’