In any venture you partake in, there will be competitors that you will be forced to defeat. This is a fact of life that, if realized early in your pursuits, is beneficial to understand. You need to know and accept that competition will follow you in all facets of life, and you will need to learn how to win against your competition to continue on your path.
A critical mistake is to pay too much attention to your competition. You need to know your competition enough to let you win over them. There comes a point however, when your focus on your competition becomes detrimental to your own success. You start becoming an entity that makes them even more successful, as they begin demanding your time and energy to be focused on them rather than what needs to be done on your end.
Study your competition, what makes them successful, and what their weaknesses happen to be. Know your competition only to limit their strengths and exploit their weaknesses. After you formulate a plan to do that, you must forget about what they do and seize all attention, focus, and energy that you show towards them.
Your Attention is a Commodity
An important aspect of winning against competition is to never give them your undivided attention. You must direct your focus on your own venture, and make sure that you are your own worst critic. Relying on anyone else to critique what you’re working on is secondary to relying on yourself to know what needs to be done by analyzing in an unbiased way. The opinions others have should matter, but not be depended on to keep moving forward.
Analyze your efforts from a third-person’s perspective, be engulfed inside what you aim to do and practice forgetting about your competition. Compete with yourself day in and day out, and in order to grow your venture, project, business, or anything that you’re working on, you must be willing to focus all your energy and time into it.
Become the competitor that others watch, focus on, and study. Become the example for your competition to aim at, and remember the fact that there will be target on your back. Keep moving and do not look back. If the eyes of your competitors rest longer on you than your eyes rest on them, it means you are ahead.
The longer that you watch and study your competitors the more overwhelmed their efforts will make you feel. You must always remember that the results you see are an accumulation of work which you can be doing instead of focusing on what your competitors are doing.
We keep repeating this fact, but it is paramount to understand. Your competition grows with every second of attention and focus that you direct towards it. Treat your attention and focus as a commodity that your competition feeds off. Direct all your efforts towards your own ventures and forget about your competition.
Do not get overwhelmed by the results of others, as that is exactly what they need to win against you. Do not be impressed by the results of others as that is exactly what they need you to feel. You must be cold when dealing with competitors, and do not for a second think that you must be kind to those who aim to take food out of your mouth.
The answer to the question in the title is simpler than most expect, but its reasoning can be written about at length. Direct your attention towards what you are doing and learn how to improve your efforts. There is always something to improve about what is in front of you, so you should never focus on the improvements that others make instead.