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drowning in the competition

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i am inhibited by competition and i realized why today. I feel like when there is competition (not sports), but in social or academic setting, i feel like i get drowned out by everything. when i am alone, i know the visions/values/goals/ideals that inspire and motivate me and i can hear my voice clearly , but once i'm placed in a competition where EVERYONE else seems to have great accomplishments that are similar to mine, i feel like my uniqueness is drowned out and i have a hard time hearing my conscience/my voice. and even when i remind myself of my vision and values that motivate me in the first place, i still feel drowned out and then feel incompetent to pursue those goals.

So i need your advice.... how can i hold onto my voice and hear it clearly, when i am being overloaded by the new sensory information and all the voices of other people? have any of you guys had similar experiences and if so , how did you regain your sense of self and voice?
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Yep, I try and be like that too. Unfortunatly, I am not always succesful.

Most of my early school life involved me being weighted and measured against other childern, and everytime I came last. I was always found wanting, deficient...I hated it.

In time I discovered I did have talents and there were ways I could win at things. I liked that feeling, no, actually I love it. I love to win and achieve and to validate myself. I need to validate and prove myself, because I was always told I would never amount to anything.

I take great pleasure in being good at things I shouldn't be good at, and beating the people who should be.

However I create compitions on my terms. I never verbally aknowledge them, they exist only in my head. I used to find the person who was slightly better than me in a class, and make it my mission to do better than them, then do the same with the next person. I wouldn't always reach the top of the class, but it was a good way of motivating myself and it gave excellent results.

I do not enter into other people's games or competions. I know what is importaint to me and what I value, I do not bend or concent to engadge in competions based on what other people value. It anoys them greatly, but I simply do not care. I find following other people's value systems distructive, and what lead me to my issues with self-esteam and an insatibale hunger for success and vindication.

I have managed to chanel all that in a possitive way, by altering how I percive both sucess and vindication. I see it more as achieving happyness, and things that matter to me dispite my difficulties, or what others have done to get in my way.

I always want to be better than I am, I need challenges and things to strive for, so I need to set myself little competitions. The importaint thing is if I do not "win" I do not let it affect my self worth. In my system, if I have tried my best then I have already won.

I set optemistic goals, but I am realistic, and I am prepaired to fail. I am used to failing so it does not scare me, it's more a chance to learn and to do better. I know failing one thing is not the end, as I have failed rather spectaculary at many things, and still come out on top in the end. There are many roads to the some destination, some are simply shorter and less difficult than others.

If I really want something I do not give up until it is mine. I belive very much in will power, and with the right motivation (and a little imagination), I think people can do almost anything.
The only person I compete with, ideally, is myself.
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