Life lessons

On being competitive

For as long as I can remember, I have been a competitive person. It’s likely that the pressure to be perfect academically and all-round at school led to this competitiveness. Or maybe it was just genetic. It started at school where at a young age, I wanted to be the best. My mum made sure I worked my arse off to stand first in class. I guess like most Indians back then, the focus was on outcome, on being the top of the class.

The competitiveness though, didn’t just exist in the academic arena. While I enjoyed playing sport with my friends, I noticed that I could get very competitive on the field as well. I played cricket like my life depended on it. I gave it my all during games of soccer. One time, when I was about 6, I saved a goal by putting my whole body on the line. Unfortunately for me, the kick was from a boy a few years older than me and therefore, a lot bigger than me. I was in tears for a while thanks to being hit square in the stomach but the joy of saving a goal for my team finally sunk in. If anything, it made my competitiveness worse.

I noticed when I played games with my sister, I fought hard to win. I even made up my own rules in chess at some point. But that was the only time I cheated in games. Due to my need to be honest, I made sure I played fair. But I was a sore loser. This competitive spirit of mine didn’t get better as I grew older. I found that while playing games like Scrabble in particular, I would get very competitive. I think because in some way, this was a reflection on my abilities as opposed to games based purely on luck.

It got to a stage where it got pretty bad. I remember with the Ex, games of Scrabble didn’t end too well especially when we challenged each others’ words. With hindsight, I know there was more than just my competitiveness that was the problem! But it scarred me enough to learn not to play Scrabble with Mr Imperfect for a very long time.

I think I have become better though while playing games with others. I think now, I try and compete with myself on different things. Like trying to lift heavier than I did a few weeks ago or trying to hold the plank position for a longer time than I previously could. It’s easier. The thrill of beating myself is the same as when I would beat someone else. More importantly, there are no tears and no one gets hurt.

It’s the best way of competing — trying to beat your own personal best in any area you like.

What about you? Are you competitive and crazy? Or more laid back?

Do share!

***Linking with Kirsty for I must confess, Alicia for Open Slather and Corinne for September Challenge***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

SANCH_sig1

You Might Also Like

  • Fatoma
    14 September 2015 at 7:38 am

    I love reading how honest u r. Competition sux and u end up loosing bc u can never satisfy the insatiable desire to feel worthy through being ‘the best’ so to speak. It is the ultimate loss when u come to think of it

    Doing your best beating yourself is the best!
    I wanna be able to teach my little kids that it’s ok to come second or even last but it’s not ok not to try her best or work her hardest

  • Fatoma
    14 September 2015 at 7:38 am

    I love reading how honest u r. Competition sux and u end up loosing bc u can never satisfy the insatiable desire to feel worthy through being ‘the best’ so to speak. It is the ultimate loss when u come to think of it

    Doing your best beating yourself is the best!
    I wanna be able to teach my little kids that it’s ok to come second or even last but it’s not ok not to try her best or work her hardest

  • Jody at Six Little Hearts
    14 September 2015 at 8:23 am

    I think it’s very much a normal part of childhood to feel competitive. I have watched all of mine race against each other in so many ways (kids). I remember being that way too in childhood. I agree though, it’s definitely best to compete against your own personal best and this certainly comes with adulthood.

  • Jody at Six Little Hearts
    14 September 2015 at 8:23 am

    I think it’s very much a normal part of childhood to feel competitive. I have watched all of mine race against each other in so many ways (kids). I remember being that way too in childhood. I agree though, it’s definitely best to compete against your own personal best and this certainly comes with adulthood.

  • Natalie @ our parallel connection
    14 September 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I’m competitive in work and study but sports.. I am like the turtle .. Slow but consistant will win the race
    Natalie @ our parallel connection recently posted…Is Sibling Rivalry a good thing?My Profile

  • Natalie @ our parallel connection
    14 September 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I’m competitive in work and study but sports.. I am like the turtle .. Slow but consistant will win the race
    Natalie @ our parallel connection recently posted…Is Sibling Rivalry a good thing?My Profile

  • Shailaja
    14 September 2015 at 1:35 pm

    This is rather interesting, Sanch. To be very honest, I became a bit competitive only late in my teen years. Before that I was pretty laid back. The competitiveness exacerbated due to doing well in school without trying too hard and from there it was a motivation for me to stay on top, no matter what. So obviously, that backfired and I slipped quite often. But I look at it as a powerful learning experience even today. I am laid- back now and not too competitive except perhaps with my own personal, daily goals. Always a good thing to challenge just ourselves, don’t you agree? 🙂
    Shailaja recently posted…Connected yet disconnected: A true story for us allMy Profile

  • Shailaja
    14 September 2015 at 1:35 pm

    This is rather interesting, Sanch. To be very honest, I became a bit competitive only late in my teen years. Before that I was pretty laid back. The competitiveness exacerbated due to doing well in school without trying too hard and from there it was a motivation for me to stay on top, no matter what. So obviously, that backfired and I slipped quite often. But I look at it as a powerful learning experience even today. I am laid- back now and not too competitive except perhaps with my own personal, daily goals. Always a good thing to challenge just ourselves, don’t you agree? 🙂
    Shailaja recently posted…Connected yet disconnected: A true story for us allMy Profile

  • Ness
    14 September 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Sounds like you are channelling your competitive side in the right way- trying to do your own personal best rather than show up others. Seems like a great way to be. I’m a drifter and a daydreamer and not competitive at all. Sigh.
    Ness recently posted…Confessions Of The Noncompetitive KindMy Profile

  • Ness
    14 September 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Sounds like you are channelling your competitive side in the right way- trying to do your own personal best rather than show up others. Seems like a great way to be. I’m a drifter and a daydreamer and not competitive at all. Sigh.
    Ness recently posted…Confessions Of The Noncompetitive KindMy Profile

  • simple girl
    14 September 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Initially I was pretty competitive with others. But since later years in school, I got laid back and I am so still today.
    I lost the enthusiasm to be competitive.

  • simple girl
    14 September 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Initially I was pretty competitive with others. But since later years in school, I got laid back and I am so still today.
    I lost the enthusiasm to be competitive.

  • Zita
    14 September 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I feel I’m totally opposite! I am laid back when it comes to boardgames and such.
    I always joke that I don’t do team sports and that’s probably because of other people’s competitiveness and my fear of letting the team down!
    Zita recently posted…Coming home with unwanted luggageMy Profile

  • Zita
    14 September 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I feel I’m totally opposite! I am laid back when it comes to boardgames and such.
    I always joke that I don’t do team sports and that’s probably because of other people’s competitiveness and my fear of letting the team down!
    Zita recently posted…Coming home with unwanted luggageMy Profile

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    14 September 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Yes I can get very competitive especially when it comes to trivia competitions! But in the game of life I think the hubster is much more competitive than I am … he worries about keeping up with the Jones’ whereas I couldn’t give a fig!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted…Confessions of a Jealous ParentMy Profile

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    14 September 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Yes I can get very competitive especially when it comes to trivia competitions! But in the game of life I think the hubster is much more competitive than I am … he worries about keeping up with the Jones’ whereas I couldn’t give a fig!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted…Confessions of a Jealous ParentMy Profile

  • Varsh
    14 September 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I was always competitive too (note that I haven’t used the word very here). Although, I didn’t take it as some brutal assault on my ego if I wasn’t the best at times. For me pleasing myself has by far been the hardest!
    It is good that you’re channeling this spirit in the right direction. I loved the workout example. I do that with suryanamaskars. 🙂
    Varsh recently posted…What you need to beMy Profile

  • Varsh
    14 September 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I was always competitive too (note that I haven’t used the word very here). Although, I didn’t take it as some brutal assault on my ego if I wasn’t the best at times. For me pleasing myself has by far been the hardest!
    It is good that you’re channeling this spirit in the right direction. I loved the workout example. I do that with suryanamaskars. 🙂
    Varsh recently posted…What you need to beMy Profile

  • Alicia
    14 September 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I am more laid back when it comes to being competitive. I am not a great sports person, it’s just not my thing! I do like to play though, and it is nice to win. I’ve never been a sore loser, but I have a brother who is known for throwing golf clubs, tennis racquets and tossing a table of monopoly!
    Alicia recently posted…Pea and fennel saladMy Profile

  • Alicia
    14 September 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I am more laid back when it comes to being competitive. I am not a great sports person, it’s just not my thing! I do like to play though, and it is nice to win. I’ve never been a sore loser, but I have a brother who is known for throwing golf clubs, tennis racquets and tossing a table of monopoly!
    Alicia recently posted…Pea and fennel saladMy Profile

  • Beat About the Book
    14 September 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Ha ha ha… you reminded me of Monica from Friends. I am glad you’ve worked out the perfect strategy – that of competing with yourself. I’m not too competitive – at least mostly I’m not.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Iago: As bad as it getsMy Profile

  • Beat About the Book
    14 September 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Ha ha ha… you reminded me of Monica from Friends. I am glad you’ve worked out the perfect strategy – that of competing with yourself. I’m not too competitive – at least mostly I’m not.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Iago: As bad as it getsMy Profile

  • Mary Hill
    15 September 2015 at 12:34 am

    I am more laid back. I am not competitive. I don’t see the point in trying to one up someone else. I like to support and befriend. I know though you can be competitive in supportive ways too. Competitive people are needed in the world because that is how innovations are made. Thanks for sharing.
    Mary Hill recently posted…Remembering 9/11My Profile

  • Mary Hill
    15 September 2015 at 12:34 am

    I am more laid back. I am not competitive. I don’t see the point in trying to one up someone else. I like to support and befriend. I know though you can be competitive in supportive ways too. Competitive people are needed in the world because that is how innovations are made. Thanks for sharing.
    Mary Hill recently posted…Remembering 9/11My Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    15 September 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I would love to say that I don’t have a competitive bone in my body, but that’s not really true. However, I don’t pitch for things like competitions, awards etc. Just can’t be bothered.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…8 Steps To Happy #septemberchallengeMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    15 September 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I would love to say that I don’t have a competitive bone in my body, but that’s not really true. However, I don’t pitch for things like competitions, awards etc. Just can’t be bothered.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…8 Steps To Happy #septemberchallengeMy Profile

  • Jo Tracey
    15 September 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Nope, unashamedly competitive. If there’s an opportunity to point score- even through something passive- I’m there.
    Jo Tracey recently posted…Slipping Through My Fingers…My Profile

  • Jo Tracey
    15 September 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Nope, unashamedly competitive. If there’s an opportunity to point score- even through something passive- I’m there.
    Jo Tracey recently posted…Slipping Through My Fingers…My Profile

  • Mahathi Ramya
    15 September 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Nice post Sanch. I was not competitive from childhood except in academics. I used to get hurt when i don’t get first rank. Later, I slowly realized that working hard and learning is important, if you are sure that you have given 100%, then you shouldn’t worry about the outcome. I used to participate in many dance competitions and saw both success and defeats in equals. So, not competitive crazy, but would love to beat my own goals and set higher ones 🙂
    Mahathi Ramya recently posted…Where is she going?My Profile

  • Mahathi Ramya
    15 September 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Nice post Sanch. I was not competitive from childhood except in academics. I used to get hurt when i don’t get first rank. Later, I slowly realized that working hard and learning is important, if you are sure that you have given 100%, then you shouldn’t worry about the outcome. I used to participate in many dance competitions and saw both success and defeats in equals. So, not competitive crazy, but would love to beat my own goals and set higher ones 🙂
    Mahathi Ramya recently posted…Where is she going?My Profile

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    15 September 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I love how you’ve channeled your competitiveness into something more productive. I was doing the same before I injured my knee – trying to beat my 5km time each time I went out and starting out with strength training. I guess I’m going to be trying to do the same with my recovery – just need to learn my lesson from today re trying to do too much, too soon…
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted…I must confess…my competitive streakMy Profile

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    15 September 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I love how you’ve channeled your competitiveness into something more productive. I was doing the same before I injured my knee – trying to beat my 5km time each time I went out and starting out with strength training. I guess I’m going to be trying to do the same with my recovery – just need to learn my lesson from today re trying to do too much, too soon…
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted…I must confess…my competitive streakMy Profile

  • Kaddu
    21 September 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Yupp. I’ve always been competitive with myself. I’ve never much cared about scoring over other people though.
    Kaddu recently posted…Book Review: The Apocalypse Trigger by Douglas MisquitaMy Profile

  • Kaddu
    21 September 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Yupp. I’ve always been competitive with myself. I’ve never much cared about scoring over other people though.
    Kaddu recently posted…Book Review: The Apocalypse Trigger by Douglas MisquitaMy Profile

  • Goodbye 2015 - Living my Imperfect Life
    28 December 2015 at 9:39 am

    […] such as my childhood playing with dolls and soccer or cricket, me moving out of home and just how competitive I can be. However, the darkness kept engulfing me as I thought about how I find it so hard to trust […]

  • Goodbye 2015 - Living my Imperfect Life
    28 December 2015 at 9:39 am

    […] such as my childhood playing with dolls and soccer or cricket, me moving out of home and just how competitive I can be. However, the darkness kept engulfing me as I thought about how I find it so hard to trust […]