Competitive Autonomy

Challenging your internal drive

· Entrepreneurship

Many of us 'entrepreneur types' get sucked into the doubled-edged sword surrounding the ideals of autonomous living. We derive great pleasure from having the freedom 'to do our own thing' whenever we want.

But from my experience, too often this comes from the path of least resistance. We are 'too busy' to cook our own food, so we have our meals delivered. We are 'too consumed' with the project to take a 15 minute walk, but we will take a fifteen minute Facebook break to 'rest' and see what is going on with our friends and the world around us.

Once in awhile we need to engage in a healthy dose of competitive autonomy, and by once in a while I'm sure you know I really mean daily. Top performance is only really achieved through competition. We train for competition. We build endurance to compete. We sharpen our skills, our proverbial tool box, through being competitive.

But for many of us, the road of entrepreneurship can sometimes be traveled solo. Even if we have employees, staff or teammates, we often identify more as the leader, more as the boss and feel that those obstacles don't apply to us--or somehow we are exempt. After all, no one is going to tell us when to do something, right?

I've noted for awhile, but haven't really expressed this theory before now publicly, the need and desire for competitive autonomy happens when we abandon the fear of being wrong. When we test our theories and challenge our processes we can in fact gain the insights we need to grow. But we have to take the risk, and protect our thoughts from the scrutiny of others just a little less. The notion that we will only 'release' a well-edited blog post before publishing it. Or be overly concerned about making a comment on a message board thread because we don't want to go against the flow.

Personal disclosure here... I've decided to reactivate my blog after a years hiatus, for this exact reason. Do I have time to blog? Exactly. That's the point. I can make time to blog, but it does require me to wake up earlier. Is it the highest priority? Perhaps not, but I do know it is important. It helps me share ideas and thoughts, even though I'm pretty sure only a stalker or two from my past will even read this.

This is exactly what I'm referring to as competitive autonomy. I'm doing this to carve out the time for my craft. To practice writing each day. I am not competing on the quality of my work, wether you like my words or don't, I am simply competing with the process of daily (Monday-Friday) blogging. My competition is to press the big green "publish" button daily.

We have to incorporate different daily challenges into our freedom so we can determine how we score.  It doesn't have to be complicated to be critical.  Because as Joe Duncan has expressed, "Show me your routines, habits and rituals and I'll show you your future..."

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