When Competitiveness Threatens to Steal Your Joy
I have a confession. I have a competition problem.
It’s not what you think.
You know how some people have OCD where things have to be a certain way, or just clean? I have an obsessive competitiveness problem. Let’s call it OCP.
I like to win. No, that’s not right. I have to win. I like to be the first car in the line of traffic. I want my kids to get the most awards (I’m working on this as my kids get older). My team has to win. I have to be the fastest. The first in line. Have the best service. The best product…. you see where I am going.
And it’s about to wear me to a breaking point.
I’ve always been competitive. Anyone who has known me for a long time knows how competitive I am, but I didn’t realize just how competitive I was until I owned my own business. I’m like that Monopoly player who wants to have all the properties and all the hotels. Life is easy when you have it all and no competition to deal with.
But that’s not how life works. And #thestruggleisreal.
I’ve had four situations over the past year that have really affected me, where this OCP (obsessive competitiveness problem) has reared its ugly head. I’m not going to go into details, but this fourth one almost broke me. It took twenty minutes on my heavy duty boxing bag in the garage to get me out of this funk. And my husband tell me I was overreacting (THAT didn’t go well).
Why should it matter if, as business owners, we have competition? Shouldn’t that push us to do better, and be better? Not send us into crazed-maniac tailspins (total exaggeration here) thinking it’s war. The small business world isn’t Game of Thrones even when in one’s mind it feels that way. Business goes in cycles – what goes down, must come up – and vice versa.
We shouldn’t let uber-competitiveness steal the positives we have seen in our journeys so far. I know sometimes trying to stay positive and seeing the bright side is easier than done – TRUST ME. I’m writing this post mainly as a reminder to myself.
All business owners have been there. I have friends who own businesses in a variety of industries that have thought the same thoughts and felt the same way. How we process it all is key. Having an outlet is a must. For me, it’s the boxing bag. What’s yours?
Maybe I can harness this OCP into something better rather than something threatening to wear me down. Only time will tell. In the meantime, if you see UGA is losing a football game – you may want to steer clear 😉