Motivated by Rivals or Colleagues

Whether you participate in a competitive sports league or you’re looking to move ahead in your career, finding a never-ending supply of motivation can be the difference between monumental success and monumental failure. Finding this motivation inside of yourself can be difficult, so sometimes we turn to outside sources to push us along in the right direction.

With this kind of sentimentality in mind, I started to wonder if it would be more effective to be motivated by your rivals or by your colleagues. Many of us are already familiar with the quandary of comparing yourself to others, but this can also help you achieve much more than you ever thought possible.

The Power of the Rivalry

On the one hand, you will find that some of the most successful people in this world seem to be motivated by their rivals. This is particularly prevalent in professional sports, because they are motivated to be better than their rivals.

Would Magic Johnson have achieved the success that he did if it were not for Larry Bird? They feel like they have something to prove and they use their rival as a measuring stick. Bragging rights and self-satisfaction go a long way.

We Shall Rise Together

On the other hand, you can choose to focus on your strengths and find motivation with your colleagues. The idea here is that you aim to bring the rest of your “team” up with you, motivated to bring out the best in everyone to bring about the best overall results.

You feel good when you see your colleague succeed and he feels the same in kind when you manage to achieve something. Is this an inner competition with teammates? Perhaps, but it works.

Some Healthy Competition

While it can also bring out the worst in many people, I think that some healthy competition can serve as a very powerful motivator. You may or may not want to be someone else, per se, but you likely want to outperform your rival. If your rival is able to do the 100-meter dash in eleven seconds, you want to do it in ten.

Without a rival (and not necessarily an “opponent”), you may not find the motivation to reach into your reserve tank for that last stretch. Picture a horse race like the one depicted above. You push harder, because your fellow racer is neck-and-neck with your horse.

The Unreachable Peak

This will naturally lend itself to a competition that cannot end. Each time you “one up” your rival, he or she will fight to outperform you again. At that point, you’ll find the motivation to outperform him or her again. It is through this perpetual climb toward greater and greater success that we come to realize impossible is nothing. Push your limits, believe in yourself, and you just may be surprised by what you can do.

What do you think? Do you find greater motivation from your rivals or your teammates?