Competitive streak - why it's a good thing
Posted on 27 November 2017
It drives me crazy when competitive women are painted as hair-tearing-crazy-people.
So we were interested to hear the thoughts of others. Is it a given that if you're competitive that you want to END all other women?!
We asked a few of our favorite cyclists some questions to dig a little deeper and we LOVED the answers we received back!
This week we're going to share Naomi Mahendran owner of the Cycling Store and Catherine Bedford from Dashel Helmets perspectives. Feel free to get in touch with your own replies. We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Let's dive in....
Q. Do you consider yourself competitive? Why/why not?
I don't think I'd consider myself competitive at all (at least not consciously!) I think I was a lot more competitive when I was much younger - but now I feel like it takes up too much headspace and can be a distraction from my own goals and aims. I think to some extent I am still competitive - it is satisfying when I succeed or feel that I have accomplished a goal.
Yes in some areas: Work, definitely any board game, but never in others e.g. parenting. If you want to win at some things then you have to be driven and being competitive is an element of that. It’s healthy, provided its combined with the ability to be a gracious loser.
Q. Do we learn to be competitive or are we born competitive?
What an interesting question! I think it's very much a 'learned' trait. I don't think we are born more or less competitive than everyone else - it is purely a result of our social environment. Also, it seems to be gender-dependent to some extent (however I am sure there is some hot debate among evolutionary biologists as to this!)
I think we must all be born wanting to win, but then we learn our limitations and adapt. It was clear at school that I wasn’t ever going to win the sprint so I stopped being competitive about it. I can see my daughter has inherited the same attitude (and lack of ability) she comes in last with a big grin on her face.
Q. Would you consider being competitive a good quality to have?
I think to some extent, yes. As social creatures, we thrive in situations when we interact with others (some more than others, admittedly). And as a result, some competitive motivation behind our goals and aspirations can be healthy - it can spur us on and motivate us to achieve our dreams.
Yes, you need to have the drive to succeed as an entrepreneur and being competitive can be a part of that. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be ethical.
Q. Can you cycle without being competitive?
Yes, definitely. I'm not a competitive cyclist at all - if I ride my road bike I do so to enjoy the air, the countryside and the miles I put under my wheels - nothing more.
Yes! There is nothing competitive about my cycling style. I choose the route I want to take and the speed I need to take. What other cyclists are doing doesn’t influence my behaviour.