Competitiveness & Ego

I was pretty competitive as a kid, and then somewhere between high school and college I started believing that that was somehow not appropriate. I’m still unpacking all of that.

I was cocky to a degree, and I’m grateful for lessons of humility I gained. But now I’m discovering that tapping back into competitiveness and even dialing up my ego a bit could help me achieve results I want. I’m playing with the notion that the ego is a tool that I can dial up when I need it and dial down when it’s unhelpful.

I work in sales, and at first my more humble caring side was holding me back. It made me good at customer service, but timid at prospecting, meeting new people, and being tenacious in the field and on sales calls. My clients over the last year included a lot of blue collar type business people: small business owners, plumbers, oil refineries, etc. Now, I’m in a more professional context speaking to a lot of CPAs, lawyers and real estate investors. These people don’t have time for someone who is timid or just “nice.”

When I listen to books about elite performance, competitiveness is often part of it. And as I’ve been more honest, I have a deep desire not to just win, but to so completely dominate that the competition has nothing left – taking souls, as David Goggins puts it. I think I’ve been scared of that impulse, but now I’m wondering what could happen if I tap back into that.

The issue is, I feel like I need permission to explore that. Even as I was thinking about how to ask my question here, I realized I was trying to get approval and permission from a coach. Something along the lines of “You’re still a good girl if you’re competitive and dominant.” I’ve been doing some alter ego work for my work persona, and I’m loving the potential here. But I’m scared that if I start to step into this new version of myself, I’m somehow going to be a worse person for it.