I was watching the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader tryouts
First (subjectively), allowing the subjective views of other people to keep me from meeting goals means my goals are out of whack. Aikido is great for this, because this only happens if I'm hard on myself. Nobody else can keep me from my goals (e.g. judging a competition). However, as I get further along in my training (and in life), I worry much less about making mistakes and just try to go on.
Second (objectively), no competition in Aikido also seems to eliminate the issue. Why should I be required to best another person in order to meet my goals? For example, if I want my Aikido to be as easy/fluid as Sensei, I don't have to beat him so to speak.
Understand, I'm not downplaying competition as it can be fun, but that's exactly what I'd rather it be. Unless its a life/death struggle, I can't see getting too excited or depressed about winning or losing even if I haven't done my best. Maybe I'm just lazy.
Yeah, I love competition...to one degree or another, I always have. Few things are as fun as paying chess and talking some serious trash while doing it, but it depends upon who I'm playing with...context. I think the same thing goes for competition in Aikido or with the self; whatever. Even in competing only with yourself, a person can take it too far.
When it comes to doing your best, i agree, other people have nothing to do with it. Competition with others isn't required to do ones best and for some it can be a pitfall where they have little or no measure of themselves unless they're comparing themselves to others. It's these kinds of distractions from simply doing our best that I think the famous saying addresses. This doesn't mean competition is worthless' indeed it can be a fun game which includes bettering yourself! Anyone for a game of chess?