What brings out my competitive streak…um, everything. I am very competitive, and I think some of it is just my personality and the rest was fueled by being the youngest of 4 kids and always vying for my parents’ attention. The way I most readily gained my father’s was to excel at games and sports or to learn something faster than one of my siblings.
I can turn most any opportunity into a competition. I like card games – learned to play bridge with my parents and their friends when I was only 9. I also learned chess and checkers from an uncle and can recall many a mean game of Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. My husband and I play “punch-buggy” every time we get into a car. Also, I am now doing some short triathlons and while I doubt I’ll ever win one, I like to set a goal for myself or to try and beat a former time. And put me on a tennis court, a sport I’ve played since I was a kid, and I want to win the match – always.
I love to win but I hope my competitive nature doesn’t make me an arse or a poor sport. Everyone has to lose if playing a game or competing against others. I’ve learned to accept loss as long as I have done my very best – which can change from day to day.
I think being competitive has been one of my greatest strengths and weaknesses in life so far. My nature has pushed me to excel in many areas, like education or sports, but I know at times my desire to achieve or win can be seen by some as too intense. I think I’ve dailed it back a bit and now can be gracious if someone out-smarts or out-plays me. It doesn’t always feel good to come up short in a competition, but it’s inevitable.
It sounds trite, I know, but the process of how I compete is far more valuable and important than the outcome of whether I win or lose.