Competitive Spirit is the desire to succeed and to reach your full potential
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” ―Confucius
Competitive Spirit is the desire to succeed, being the best and winning. Harnessing your competitive spirit to achieve high performance. A ‘competitive spirit’ drives you to be better, deliver a higher level of performance and ultimately lifts you to be the best version of yourself on any given day.
As a former professional athlete, I spent decades shaping both mind and body to deliver high performance as a foundation for everything I do. Winning in professional sport is about pushing your limits beyond high performance to advance from the competition and achieve excellence.
As both a competitive swimmer and a professional road cyclist racing for my country, I know what it takes to be the best in my chosen field and the commitment and focus required to be regularly on the podium.
I firmly believe that a 'competitive spirit' is a mandatory mindset when competing at elite level sporting events and is also a transferable skill within the workplace, in the way of motivating individuals to perform at the best of their abilities, increasing productivity, enhancing team morale and boosting profitability.
When considering the key behaviours of high performance, we often think of talent, dedication, perseverance, strong work ethic, and discipline as major contributors to successful results, however, these behaviours are all included in representation of a 'competitive spirit'.
Harnessing your 'competitive spirit' to deliver leading outcomes requires a strong sense of awareness, focus and control. Here are some tips to consider when tapping into your 'competitive spirit'.
When considering the ability to succeed through the most adverse circumstances, we are delving into what touches our heart, at the centre of our heart lies a critical attribute of success, referred to as passion. A passionate athlete/individual/team is one who puts their heart and soul into everything they do, and not just during occasional training/performances, but consistently every time they train/practice and step into the competitive arena they strive to deliver their best possible performance.
Performance is not something we deliver just for ourselves, but for our country, teammates, sponsors or company that we represent.
“Passion is what drives you to push yourself harder than you thought possible and strive to achieve goals, propelling yourself beyond mediocracy and into the elite status.”
You must have faith in your talent and ability to achieve your goals. Self-confidence provides athletes and teams with an unshakable belief in their ability.
“You must have complete faith in yourself, your talent, your abilities and your internal strength if you are to become the best possible version of yourself.”
Pride is self-gratifying and is exemplified through feelings of self-satisfaction. This satisfaction is derived from individual achievements, team achievements, or from qualities or behaviours that are widely admired.
“Be proud of the efforts and sacrifices you make on your pathway to winning.”
4. Ensure your focus is laser-sharp
Competition is most powerful when you have committed to a specific goal, a scheduled race or a business presentation within a specific time frame.
Once you have decided on your key event it's best to work backwards and map out what's required during each training phase building up to your event and execute each session, interval and training zone with clear and decisive precision to ensure you approach the start line in peak condition.
In a business context, once aware of budget deadlines, forecast commitments or new initiatives to be launched, similar to above, start by breaking down the task into relevant data source sections, allocate resource and apply timings for task completion which are prior to the due date.
“Strive to deliver excellence in everything you do.”
5. Measure your growth
There are two focal reasons for competing. The primary goal is to test yourself against your peers and achieve a desired result i.e win. The secondary goal is to improve your performance. When lining up to compete, your opponents will push you to work harder, getting you ‘in the zone’ ensuring you apply absolute focus and will improve your overall proficiency.
Studies indicate when performing in group environments that through increased motivation the willingness to suffer by entering the ‘red zone’ intensifies and strengthened mental fortitude is applied consequently, enhancing critical thinking, which enables successful split second decisions to be made, which can make the difference of winning or not.
You may find the prospect of winning more exciting than the idea of personal growth, factoring in the improvement when reviewing your results can add another layer of motivation for the next time you compete.
“The teams that often succeed are the ones that are always looking to continually improve. Never accepting “good enough” with eliminating mediocracy from your program.”
6. Set high expectations
It is imperative that you consistently strive to improve your weaknesses and build upon your strengths to become the best of the best.
Striving to deliver excellence every day is important because it creates the habit of holding yourself accountable to these high expectations (whether at practice or competing / preparing or delivering business objectives) and during training/preparation, you are not finished until your expectations of specific objectives are met.
Self-evaluation needs to be frequent and consistent, always connected to the next level up from where you are currently at, always striving to be performing at a higher level.
“Always keep expectations for yourself at high levels, never become complacent, and you will never lose your sense of direction.”
Individuals and teams who demonstrate a 'competitive spirit' display this by pushing harder than others, demonstrating a higher level of skill, consistently performing at an elevated level, and are the people that others look up to as leaders and role models. These high performers make a difference and rise to the top in their chosen field.
Harnessing your 'competitive spirit' will drive you to be the best possible version of yourself, propelling you well past your proposed potential. Success is infectious, and your positive growth is likely to inspire and elevate the performance of those around you, rapidly igniting a positive team morale and creating a desire to continue striving towards high performance outcomes.