Competition Is Cooperation
Women aren’t often rewarded with positive social feedback for being competitive. In fact, most of us feel uncomfortable fully owning our competitive sides, for fear of being called a not-very-nice term that starts with a “b.” Most of us were taught from an early age that it’s more important to be liked than to excel. As a result, many girls and women feel uncomfortable with competition, especially when competitors are friends or colleagues.
Imagine how many girls hold themselves back or hesitate to fully give their all, because they might hurt someone’s feelings. Imagine how many women (athletes included!) struggle between their desire to excel and their desire to be liked and hinder their own performance as a result. Well, we have good news: embracing your inner competitor doesn't make you unlikable OR a bad person!
Competition is a form of cooperation. Ask any athlete, and she’ll tell you: she always performs better in competition than in training. Competitors bring out the best in one another.
As “opponents” our competitors provide the additional motivation necessary to push ourselves to perform at levels we may never have thought possible in training. Our competitors also help us to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Your competitor is actually your greatest ally in your quest to improve, and you are in turn her best ally.
Your competitor actually helps you, not only by providing the impetus for peak performance, but also by clarifying your strengths and weaknesses. Guess what? When you compete, you help your competitors in exactly the same way.
As competitors, we teach one another how to become better athletes, and through competition, we can all learn from and teach one another.
The more prepared you are, the more competitive you are, the more helpful it is not only to your own progress as an athlete, but also to all of your competitors. Don't hold back. Giving everything you've got is not selfish; it is actually the best favor you could do for your competitor, and for yourself.
Now imagine how much untapped potential we could unlock if every woman embraced her inner competitor and never hesitated to give her all!