Competition is normal. Everywhere you go, there is competition – business, sports, school, and yes…life. There is nothing wrong with it though, as long as it is executed in a friendly manner to push the other (and yourself) to greater heights. Some people, however, associate rivalry with conflict and aggression. Others find it normal to envision competition as a fight or strife. To improve your outlook on competition, change how you deal with it. 

When the source of motivation is external, it pushes you away from self-knowledge, self-discovery, and the truth. Over-competitiveness and fear of failure might be the outcome. Both are misplaced motivations and are a distraction from the primary goal. When you are worried about being the champion and defeating the others, you can’t focus on developing your own potential. You become outer-directed, instead of inner-inspired.

Ask yourself where your inspiration comes from? What is the source of your motivation? Most likely, they are rooted in the desire to be satisfied with yourself. Even the fear of failure, in its most fundamental form, conceals a desire to feel great about ourselves — competitiveness also derives from the need for self-esteem.

So, the roots of even these motivations are established.  They are present in all of us to a certain extent.  How we frame our desires and how we define the benefits we expect to receive will determine what drives us forward, and how far it will take us. This will result in your strategy.

If you just focus on the positive, healthy motivations and let the pessimistic thoughts pass you by, you can cleanse the source of your imaginative power.  The more you focus and the longer you work on it, the easier it becomes to mold your motivation toward a positive and intrinsic achievement.

Sourced from The Psychology of Motivation

-Denis Waitley