Ep104: Unhealthy Competition

24 minutes

Ever found yourself in the middle of a “who slept less or worked more” competition? It happens to the best of us, and it is always weird. So why do we do it? Let’s see what our intrepid hosts have to say about this entrepreneurial misery one-upmanship.

Why is that important for business?

Even if we would never admit it – or worse, outright deny it – busy working people often take a strange pride in being overworked. But if there is honour in being too busy or not sleeping – which is nonsense- then there is, conversely, dishonour in taking time off or taking care of ourselves. And that is also nonsense. We establish these rules for ourselves about how hard we work or how hard things are, but we can’t ever construct a rule for ourselves that only affects one side of the continuum. If we make it honourable to suffer, then we accidentally make it dishonourable to not suffer, or to take care of ourselves.

There is often a distinct difference between the things we think we believe, and the things that show up in our behaviours. Although we might say we value sleep, time off, and spending time with loved ones, our behaviours can belie these assertions.

It is prevalent even among entrepreneurs and leaders, a typically ambitious and focused group who still succumb to this weird socially acceptable form of victimhood. When we don’t take responsibility for our choices, it is important to catch – there is something insipid about victim energy that keeps us from getting what we want.

We need to take ownership of our choices by first recognizing that they are choices. This means taking the time to step back and realize when we have, even inadvertently, prioritized something over something else. Only then do we have a shot at the clarity to say either “that’s the right choice for me right now”, or “something needs to change”.

If we don’t see the door is unlocked, we will always remain in that cage. Noticing when we are entering into an unhealthy competition with someone is an opportunity to pause and notice the choice we are making.

Do I really want to value being busy or tired to the point that I will compete for it?

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