Who Is Your Biggest Competitor?

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Business consultants enjoy asking the question, “Who is your biggest competitor?” This is a question that elicits a common response. The person being asked the question inevitably responds with a name of a company that is in the same business industry. The person that is your biggest competitor doesn’t always have a physical presence. There is something else that is likely competing against you in business that you do not realize.

Many people think that their biggest competitor is the person or company that is selling the same product or service that they are. The real competition is not the other person or company — it is the person looking back at you in the mirror. The person in the mirror has it out for you. That person is filled with fear and doubts. The person in the mirror is the one who could stop you from being successful.

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Yes, that person in the mirror is you. When you look at that person, you can feel the fear that person harbors. You hear your voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough.

Why is it that you know in your heart and your mind that you could be very successful at something but you do not travel down that road to achieve the goal? You have the talent, smarts and ambition. You have the drive and the desire. Fear is what is stopping you from reaching that goal.

You probably have said many times, “I will do it tomorrow,” but don’t. You analyze why you cannot get on that path of success. You use the safe excuse of being too busy. The real reason is there is a fear of traveling down that road to reach this new goal. What is that fear? You see yourself doing all the work and not seeing the reward in the end. The fear is not seeing the reward.

You have had success in the past. You had to travel down a path to reach the goal. You have done this many times in the past, and there lies the problem. You likely traveled similar paths each time you reached a goal in the past. It was easy to see the reward from the work because you had traveled a very similar if not identical path in the past to reach many goals. Since the paths you forged were similar, it was easy to always see the reward that you would reach.

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This new goal that you have been putting off is traveling a new path, one that you have not been on before. Let’s explain it this way: You begin to travel a new path. You envision the path as curvy and cannot see the goal off in the distance. As you begin traveling down the path, you keep looking backward to see where you started the journey. Just before you begin to take the first curve on the path, you stop, turn around and run back to the starting point. The fear of not seeing the goal and its rewards is causing the starting and stopping of traveling a new path to a new goal.

The person in the mirror is stopping you from achieving success. That person’s fear, if you allow it, will control your thoughts and decisions. The goal that you have envisioned reaching within your mind so many times might never be achieved.

While reading this, you may have actually felt a burst of energy or a marked change within yourself. You had an aha moment: It is often your own fears, self-doubts and uncertainties that hold you back. It is not your competitor. It is not your employees. It is not any other outside entity. It is yourself.

This revelation can give you the ability to break the fear habit. You can actually see the goal and the rewards it will bring. The path that was once too curvy has straightened. You can see the goal off in the distance. You realize for the first time that once the goal is reached, the reward will certainly follow.

We all have fear. It is easy to give into fear. You just cannot let that fear control you from getting what you want. Having an understanding that it is fear that was created within your own mind by you will give you the strength to break the hold and move toward the goal.

The next time you are asked who your biggest competitor is, answer with, “The person in the mirror.”

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