Sure, competition is healthy in small doses (and certain situations). It can increase your drive, but should never occur at the expense of collaboration. When we have too much competition, particularly in the workplace, we see unhealthy behaviors begin to develop. And, when we become too competitive, we move solely towards our individual goals and away from teamwork. This can cause a lot of distrust, jealousy and sneaky behavior, while negatively impacting the bottom line.

So, what can you do if you are super competitive (like me)? As they say, the only person that you should compete with is yourself, or an earlier version of you.

Here are several ways that you channel your competive energy in a more positive (internal) way:

  1. Come up with a plan for self-improvement. No one else can have a more significant impact on your progess than you can. Give yourself the tools and roadmap you need to get to where you want to be. Planning is the key to growth.
  2. Track your progress. You must strive to continuously improve, but won’t be able to monitor your progress unless you are tracking it. Make sure that you are pulling out a measuring stick here and there, and checking. I’m positive that you will be pleasantly surprised at how well you’re doing when you stop to check.
  3. Invest in yourself. You are only as good as your last big accomplishment. Personal development is the way to go when it comes to further improvement in terms of competing with yourself. You can improve by taking classes, reading books, or getting advice and input from others that you look up to.
  4. Put it on a bucket list. If you could do whatever you wanted to, what would it be? By asking and answering this question, you will identify where you want to aim your efforts related to internal competition. Once you create your bucket list of accomplishments, you can then start striving to make them become a reality.
  5. Self-assess frequently. Check in with yourself from time to time. Where are you at in terms of the big picture? Where were you at a year ago, and where do you want to be a year from now? Become mindful of these milestones and your progress towards them.
  6. Be kind to yourself. Don’t go negative, no matter what happens. Anything good takes a lot of effort and a long wait. You are getting better all the time, even if only by tiny increments. Be patient and kind towards yourself.