Compete Only With Yourself

Spring is just around the corner.  It’s time for me to get back on my bike.  But every Spring when I get out on my bicycle it’s the same old story.  I don’t go as fast as I did when I put my bike away for the winter.  People pass me.  I used to get frustrated when this happens, now I let it go.

I learned an important lesson from my early Spring bike rides – the only person I compete with is myself.  Sure, others go faster than me – but a lot of folks go slower.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I keep improving my time on my training rides.

This is a lesson I learned on the rugby pitch too. When I began playing as a Freshman in college, I often found myself in scrimmage front row battles with seniors – bigger, stronger, more experienced guys.  I learned the hard way that there is a big difference between a 22 or 23 year old man, and a barely 18 year old boy.

I was frustrated that I wasn’t as good.  I focused a lot of my time and energy on beating these guys.  This was futile.  They were better than me.  One day I would be as good as them, but for the time being I had to content myself with measuring my progress against myself.

I got faster in training runs.  I built up my strength so I could bench press more weight and do more reps every week.  I focused on winning the battles against my B side opponents on Saturday.

All of this gave me confidence.  I was getting better.  With a lot of work and more match experience one day I would be the bigger, stronger, more experienced guy that would frustrate others.  When that day came, I always gave them one piece of advice…

Compete only with yourself. Get better at all of the little things you need to do to become a complete player.

Any athlete knows this is true – making the jump from high school to college is tough, and a learning experience.  Taking that next step, to becoming a professional athlete is even more difficult.  Sure, there are Super people like LeBron James and Diana Taurasi who have made these transitions look effortless.  The rest of us mortals have to learn and grow.

The best way to learn and grow is to compete with yourself – make your game better, become the best you can be and then set a new goal, and you will be on top sooner or later.

The same is true when you leave college and transition to the business world.  You’ll be competing with folks who have been in business a lot longer than you.  You will stumble at first.  But if you keep focusing on getting better – competing with yourself – you’ll achieve your post athletic life and career success goals.

Compete only with yourself. Keep getting better and you’ll create the life and career success you want and deserve.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.