Life can feel like a competition, especially in our social media age…who can go on the best vacations, climb the corporate ladder fastest, look the fittest, or even just keep up with social norms of getting married, buying a house, and having kids…amiright? How can you win?
Trying to keep up or beat out others is not what’s important or going to help you reach YOUR goals. And it’s certainly not what’s going to make you happy.
Focus on you and competing with yesterday’s self, it’s you versus you! If you have the you versus them mentality, you will never win. Why? Because you have no idea what underlying factors have contributed to where others are or where they are going – it’s not a fair comparison. The only logical person you can compete with is yourself in order to actually make it relative and to actually measure progress and success.
So how can you get ahead in life? In your career? How can you feel that sense of accomplishment? We talked a lot about setting goals in our previous post and how to effectively reach them. But here is how to compete against yourself and win every time.
1. Focus on your career path and become the expert
Every career path is different, every career path advances at different speeds and levels. Focus on how you can do better each day, week, and year at your specific job. And while you’re at it, become the expert. Don’t worry about what others are doing, figure out your strengths and skills you enjoy using and capitalize on those – carve out a path for yourself where you can use them and advance. Focus on you and no one else!
2. Set attainable metrics
It doesn’t matter what field you are in, there is always a way to do better. This doesn’t always mean quantity it could also mean quality. Whether you are in a sales career or marketing or finance or admin there are ways to outdo yourself everyday. For example, when building your client base, instead of making 10 sales calls per day like you did last year, make 15, see how a little more each day helps your bottom line. Just like you are always trying to increase your speed or distance in running, do the same at your job, a little progress each day will add up to a lot over a year’s time.
3. Believe in yourself
In order to push yourself to the next level, you need to have the self confidence to do so. Don’t get comfortable, believe you can do better and you will. Matthew McConaughey, said it best during his Oscar acceptance speech for Best Actor for “Dallas Buyers Club”: skip to 3 minutes and 25 seconds in and you’ll see what I mean! He basically says to be your own hero, however, the hero is you in 10 years every time. Meaning you will never necessarily be your own hero, but you will always work and chase to be better. While it’s healthy to celebrate little and big wins along the way, you have to have the confidence in yourself and drive to be able to keep going.
Yes this post is definitely a bit preachy, but it is what will get you to the next level: planning, focus, and self confidence are the ingredients to always winning. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, but to actually get ahead in life and in your career, it’s all about beating out yourself. You are the only fair and true competition to yourself. Never forget that!