Who’s your competition?

In the early years of my martial arts journey, I used to panic when someone else performed a technique differently from how I did.

I would always assume that I was the one in the wrong, and that the other person had got it figured out, so I would try to copy their moves.

Naturally, I looked even more unsure of myself, because there’s a time lag between me observing a move and then trying to replicate it.

It was worse during gradings.

Under the pressure of performing with a crowd watching, and instructors walking around scrutinizing our every move and trying to unbalance us or catch us off guard, my mind would suddenly go blank and I would forget a technique I had done hundreds of times.

Or we would get asked a (trick) question, and I would ignore my intuition and go with the response of the people around me who appeared really confident (even though they were doing the wrong thing).

It took me years to learn to tune out everyone else and just focus on my own technique.

To have the patience, perseverance, and humility to keep refining my craft, and really pay attention to what I was doing.

What an incredible way to practise mindfulness and being 100% present.

It was only when I was able to tune out others and stop competing and comparing, and decide to compete only with myself, that I started to make progress.

I was no longer distracted.

I was learning to stay grounded, to notice what my body was telling me, and to trust my muscle memory to deliver up the right move.

The same goes in other areas of life and business.

The more I stop comparing myself with others, the faster I improve, and the more reasons I find to celebrate.

I trust this is helpful for you.