Over the years I have developed a differentiated view on competition: Firstly you ignore them. Secondly you use them. And thirdly you are thankful for them.
Let me explain.
When you obsess over your competition, when you follow their every move, when you spend hours compiling market data and when you ultimately fear them — all you do is to focus on what they are doing instead of what you are doing. You quickly let them drive your strategy. You start to follow and not lead.
The best thing you can do is to ignore them and focus on bringing delight and value to your customers. They are the ones paying you so focus on them.
Having said that you use your competition to help you show where the market is going. Be observant what customers are doing and adjust. If your competition has hit upon a trend make sure you don’t miss it.
This is the part where, although you mostly ignore your competition, you are not arrogant but observant.
And lastly appreciate and be thankful for competition in your space: The vast amount of industries is not a “winner takes it all” market and competition in your space a) validates the space, b) brings more awareness to the space and c) often grows the overall pie through a) and b).
Don’t fret. Stay true to yourself, focus on building the best damn customer experience you can and you’ll be just fine.