Have you become too focused on what is going on around you rather than on yourself?

As I go for my morning swim today I will resist the urge to try and keep up with some of the other swimmers in the fast lane (especially the ones that are a lot younger!). The reason I will be there is to stretch myself and fulfill my own potential.  I should be focused on striving to push myself and improve my technique to achieve my potential.

Don’t get me wrong, keeping an eye on our competitors and watching what is going on in our market is important. But this drives us to a place of scarcity rather than abundance. It takes us to a place where we see competitors as the enemy, rather than as potential partners and allies.  We are fearful of what the person has next to us or what they could take from us. We are in competition through fear.  We see resources as being in scarce supply, whether they be potential clients or the next great idea. This drives behaviour that is typically focused on the short term.

I would suggest that our thoughts serve us better if we focus on our own potential and on being in competition with the potential person we can be. 

This is true of life in general and business.  The true greats may pick up ideas from around them and check out what others are doing, but their true battle is with themselves. It is to be courageous and be all they can be. To trust their own judgment rather than those of others. They trust their instinct.  

This touches on the concept of Self Actualisation.

In 1954 Maslow proposed the concept of a “hierarchy of human needs”.  According to Maslow we are motivated by forces that ensure our survival but which also enable us to realise our full potential. 

Self Actualisation is the peak need and is described as “realising your full potential” or “becoming everything one is capable of becoming”

We are all theoretically capable of self-actualising, but most of us will not do so. It all essentially starts with a belief and focus on ourselves.

Once we move to a place where our focus is on what we can potentially achieve and we see possibilities outside of competition with others, we move to a place of abundancy.  This drives confidence and a focus on the long term. We are focused on quality rather than quantity.  Our relationship with others moves to a place of contribution and we work together instead of against others. 

So go ahead and see others as part of what you are trying to achieve in a positive way.  Learn from them, work co-operatively, but most of all focus on your own potential.