The definition of competition is to “strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others.” No matter what someone may think, competition comes into people's lives everyday. Whether it’s competing for a spot on the lunch line, or a big job, most people have experienced a sense of competition. Someone may be thinking that they had never experienced this before, but it is how the person handles their competitiveness which determines how it will affect them. Let me explain: Let's say a person is running a marathon and is about to cross the finish line. They see a person a few yards ahead of them. Will the runner contain his steady pace, letting his mental exhaustion take over his ability to beat his opponent? Or will he use his strive to beat his fatigue and surpass his opponent? The decision to hold back or accelerate would show how competitive the runner is and how much strive he had to “establish superiority” over his opponent.
Competition affects everyone differently. For some people, it is something which does not have a major impact on their life, while for others, it controls them. I believe I fall somewhere in the middle. For some people, too much competition could affect their life negatively such as a sore loser or someone refusing to engage because of their fear of losing. But competition can also improve a person by inspiring them to be the best version of themselves. Since I am a very competitive person, competition has made a strong impact on my life. For the good or for the bad, my competitiveness comes out in everything I do. From schoolwork to athletics, I use my competitive side to try and improve all aspects of my life. With academics, I don’t necessarily try to compete or achieve better grades than my peers or friends, but try to do my very best at all time in mastering a new lesson or assignment. Many people also have said that I am a perfectionist. This mind of “perfection” which I have, creates internal competition with myself because it causes me to have to keep up with my own expectations.
I often think and wonder what created this competitive nature in me, as I do not think I was always like this. I believe is started in my academic life. In elementary school, I always seemed to be a level or two behind my peers in reading. I thought I had caught up by 6th grade but was both surprised and disappointed to find out that I was placed in a special reading class. I did not feel that my reading skills needed extra help and that I needed an extra class, but the teacher and principal did not agree. I remained in that class for the rest of 6th grade, mad for being placed in this class in the first place. I remember my mom making me do extra work on the side of school everyday, just for extra practice in hope to increase my reading level. And by the end of that year when they assessed my skills, my scores increased drastically from the previous year. I feel that this class had a major impact on my reading, but not because of content which I had learn (because believe me, I did not learn much). But more because of my competitive nature to show my teacher that I was better than that class. To show my teacher that I could increase my reading skills and that all the hard work I did that year would pay off. It is good to know how much my hard work and competitiveness has changed my life. Now, I am sitting in an English 1 Honors class when a few years ago, I would have been in an extra help reading class.
Ultimately, I think having a healthy competitive side is a great thing. It challenges people to push themselves harder than they had been pushed before, and achieve new goals. It is the one tool that people can channel both internally and externally to rise above any challenge or simply to become the best they can be.