My whole value was wrapped up in what I could accomplish.
My expectations for myself were always extremely high, often to the point of being unattainable. Not only did I want to be the smartest, but I also wanted to be the most athletic, the strongest, the fastest reader, the one to turn in their homework first, etc.
I never found satisfaction in my accomplishments for long for fear of becoming complacent. A common theme in my life became feeling as if I was always second best. To most people that doesn’t sound too bad, but I was the kid that threw away any medals, trophies, ribbons, etc. if they were anything but first. I placed a permanent chip on my shoulder as early as the second grade.
There was a classmate of mine at the private catholic school that I attended that was just a bit smarter than me. She always outdid me on homework, tests, projects, etc. We would race to turn in our papers first, constantly compare grades, and compete in every way possible academically. She was my only competition, and although I bested her a few times,
I consistently felt less than because of her. My feelings of inadequacy began to grow so young and in large part because of the competition between us. I had already demonstrated a strong will to win, but my need to feel good enough became overwhelming.