This week’s Wednesday Wisdom comes from Brian Knight’s “Daily Discipline” email blog and talks about the difference between fake competitors and real competitors. Not just that there is a difference – but that there is a massive difference.


On a personal level, it’s easy to fool yourself into believing you’re a real competitor when your behavior suggests more of a fake competitor. No judgment. I know that might sting to even consider. This is not a moment for fear or self-judgment. It’s a moment for honest, courageous self-awareness.

Some primary differences between FAKE and REAL competitors:

Fake Competitors: prefer arenas where they are the best.
Real Competitors: prefer arenas full of the best competitors.

Fake Competitors: want a guarantee.
Real Competitors: want an opportunity.

Fake Competitors: wait for ideal circumstances.

Real Competitors: lean into circumstances as they are.

Fake Competitors: do it when they feel like it.
Real Competitors: do it whether they feel like it or not.

Fake Competitors: use adversity as an excuse.
Real Competitors: use adversity as a test.

Fake Competitors: fear losing.
Real Competitors: fear not giving their best effort.

Fake Competitors: feel threatened by high-performing teammates.
Real Competitors: feel excited by high-performing teammates.

Fake Competitors: resist feedback and coaching.
Real Competitors: love feedback and coaching.

Fake Competitors: push responsibility away.
Real Competitors: pull responsibility close.

Fake Competitors: need certainty.
Real Competitors: are prepared for uncertainty.

Fake Competitors: complain.
Real Competitors: solve or endure without complaining.

Fake Competitors: are passive.
Real Competitors: are aggressive.

Fake Competitors: are destroyed when they lose.
Real Competitors: are sharpened when they lose.

Fake Competitors: relax their effort after winning.
Real Competitors: increase their effort after winning.

Fake Competitors: expect success to continue automatically.
Real Competitors: expect success to continue only when it’s earned.

Fake Competitors: avoid and hide from the truth.
Real Competitors: seek and embrace the truth.

Fake Competitors: wait for motivation.
Real Competitors: choose to act with discipline.

Answer the call. Do the work