Extremely competitive people eat, sleep, and breathe winning. They fantasize and might even have trouble focusing on the task at hand because they want to win. The drive to win tends to be the only thing they can see.
I’ve noticed this with people over the years and how hard it is for them to not win or be the best. Their reactions to loss are often intense and spiraling.
It’s one thing to strive for excellence and have a strong work ethic…but it becomes a problem when it crosses into an extreme ‘all or nothing’ style of thinking that controls a person’s belief about “who they are” because of winning or losing. This is why it looks like they are only in it to win it if there’s a competition at hand.
Fear is what drives the ‘in it to win it’ person. They fear what losing means for them and about them. Their shame-based thinking transfers their identity to be determined by if they won or lost.
Their mindset is: “If I win and I’m the best, then I AM good and have worth. If I lose, I am not good enough, bad, a failure, and a loser.” The over personalization of who they are is based on their performance. This is dangerous because no one is perfect, so mistakes are inevitable.
To simplify it, this person has conditional love for himself. He will only love himself under the conditions that he has performed well enough. It’s sad that they can only see their value if they win. So his obsession with winning is to protect himself from the negative spiral that comes from losing and having to sit in the mindset of…”I can’t love me because of my failure.” Their in it to win it mentality is often a subconscious way to protect themselves from this pain.
I know this is a deep explanation of our competitive friends who are only in it to win it, but I hope you understand a little more about their irrational mindset that’s driving the addiction to winning. Remember that it has more to do with their internal war than it has to with them beating you.
How do you deal with an overly competitive person?