When you’re part of a group, you can tap into a level of competitiveness that you might not otherwise access. That’s a healthy way to push yourself to strive for excellence and develop your confidence. Most weeks, I’m awake before the sunrise so that I can play tennis. That started off fairly casually, but it’s gradually become competitive. Now, I look forward to each match – and it’s a great motivator to get myself out of bed before anyone else is awake.
I had a similar experience with the cycling group I joined. Being new to that world, it was really tough work to even keep pace with the pack. It made me push myself much harder than I would have if I’d just been riding on my own, and that gave me a real sense of personal accomplishment. Sure, you can achieve results by competing with yourself. But if you’re with a group, you’re also gaining all the advice and feedback that others have to offer. It adds a whole new layer to the experience, and it’s really valuable for progressing quickly.