"Yes, I have a competitive personality. But guess what? I'm proud of it."

The first time I realised I was competitive was in a Year 10 Ancient History class.

I was sitting next to my best friend Renee, and we’d both received the same mark in an important test.

Our teacher, whom I worshipped and adored, came up to our desk and spoke to Renee about her mark: “I know you can do better than this. I know you are capable of more than this.”

I listened as the teacher spoke to Renee and felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had received the same mark, except the teacher wasn’t telling me I was capable of more, or that I could do better. I understood in that moment that she thought this less-than-stellar mark was all I was capable of. I felt shame, then anger, and then I felt determined.

“I burned with ambition to be the very best student this teacher had ever had.”

 Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Navy Submariner. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

From that day on, I put everything I had into Ancient History. I burned with ambition to be the very best student this teacher had ever had. My other subjects were okay. I was an average student at most and excelled in a handful, but it was in Ancient History specifically that I felt this…hunger. And I did it.

By the end of the year I was receiving an almost perfect score. I went on to study the highest level of the subject possible for my high school exams. I felt so proud. I could be smart, too. I could achieve great things, too. All it took was someone doubting me to shock me into action.

Related: This is why the world needs more Type As.

It was when I set my sights on a career in radio that I next felt that same hunger. I was a debater and public speaker in high school and I won a big competition, so someone suggested I should check out community radio. I visited my local and I was hooked – I just had to work in radio. That’s all there was to it. My dad didn’t get it, though. “You’ll never make it in radio,” he said. “Not many women do.”


Then it happened again. “I’ll show him,” I thought.

And I did. I should also say that nobody was more proud of me than my dad. I not only got a job in radio, but I worked in it for a solid decade and still dip in and out.

“I’ll show him.”


What I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I don’t have to be the best at every single thing. But when I find something that I really love or that means a lot to me? Then I become my most ambitious self. Then, I do have to be the best.

Related: Terrific, now birth has become a competitive sport.

And throughout my life, it has served me well. Except for the time my then-boyfriend challenged me to a chess game – and beat me. I was so angry I flipped the chess board in the air. He is now my husband and still refuses to play chess, checkers or even Monopoly with me…

But that incident aside, I’m proud of my ambitious streak, because without it I would never have aced Ancient History, or scored my dream career. I probably wouldn’t have achieved a fraction of the things I have so far.

Sometimes, you just have to be the best at something. And you know what? That’s a good thing.

These famous films should inspire you to get competitive…

How has your competitive streak helped you?


Being a Navy Submariner is a role like no other. It takes a unique individual to operate such advanced technology at these depths. It’s not the job for everyone, but if you are up for the challenge, it’ll reward you in ways you never knew possible. You’ll wear your Navy Submariner’s badge with pride, knowing you are going where few dare and doing what few dare.