Who is your biggest competitor?

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Business consultants like to ask the question, “Who is your biggest competitor?” This is a question that elicits a common response. The person to whom the question is asked inevitably responds with the name of a company that belongs to the same sector of activity. The person who is your biggest competitor doesn’t always have a physical presence. There is something else that is probably competing with you in business that you don’t realize.

Many people think that their biggest competitor is the person or business selling the same product or service as them. The real competition isn’t the other person or company – it’s the person looking at you in the mirror. The person in the mirror has it for you. This person is filled with fear and doubts. The person in the mirror is the one who might be holding you back from success.

Yes, that person in the mirror is you. When you look at this person, you can feel the fear they harbor. You hear your voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough.

Why do you know in your heart and in your mind that you could achieve something, but you’re not going that route to achieve the goal? You have talent, intelligence and ambition. You have the motivation and the desire. Fear is what keeps you from achieving this goal.

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

You have had success in the past. You had to walk a path to reach the goal. You’ve done this many times in the past, and therein lies the problem. You’ve probably walked similar paths whenever you’ve achieved a goal in the past. It was easy to see the reward of hard work as you had walked a very similar if not identical path in the past to achieve many goals. Since the paths you made were similar, it was easy to always see the reward you will achieve.

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This new goal you’ve been postponing is going down a new path, a path you’ve never taken before. Let’s explain it this way: you’re starting to walk a new path. You envision the path as winding and cannot see the goal in the distance. As you begin to travel the path, you continue to look back to see where you started the journey. Just before you begin to take the first curve in the path, you stop, turn around, and return to the starting point. The fear of not seeing the goal and its rewards causes the starting and stopping of a new path to a new goal.

The person in the mirror is preventing you from succeeding. Fear of that person, if you allow it, will control your thoughts and decisions. The goal you have envisioned in your mind so many times may never be achieved.

As you read this, you may have felt a burst of energy or a marked shift within yourself. You had an aha moment: it’s often your own fears, doubts, and insecurities that hold you back. It’s not your competitor. They are not your employees. It is not another outside entity. It’s yourself.

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

We are all afraid. It’s easy to give in to fear. You just can’t let that fear keep you from getting what you want. Understanding that it is fear that has been created in your own mind by you will give you the strength to break the hold and move forward towards the goal.

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