Winning has the potential to be an addiction. If we look to an alcoholic drink as something we need for a way to relax, or if we look to a snort of cocaine for a quick high, we can do the same thing when we look to winning as a way to feel good about ourselves.
The addiction to winning is probably most similar to the addiction to gambling. When we gamble, we never want to quit while we are ahead, nor do we ever think we can't win our money back when we lose. As our winnings increase, we keep rolling the dice. When we are down a significant amount, we think we are going to get on a role with the next hand of cards.
The same thing goes with winning. After we win, we want to win more. If we win a championship, we want to repeat, and we never want to walk away. If we lose, we get back out there to prove ourselves because we never give up. The cycle doesn't end.
Further, the more we reward being "number one," the more we contribute to the addiction of competition.
The problem continues when the pleasure from winning wears off faster and faster. We compete again and again searching for that thrill, only to be disappointed when we don't get it from another victory. We compare each championship to other championships and wonder why we are not as enthralled after gold medal.
The funny thing is that this phenomenon can happen in so many other places in life. I can remember walking out of a movie that absolutely blew me away to the point of obsession that the sequel was a disappointment because it didn't do the same thing to me that the first movie did. Is it fair to compare them that way? How can one movie compete with its own sequel?
Competition is a funny thing. Self-esteem should just be happy.