Eric, when I played in my childhood and teens, I was never good enough for certain people in my life, even though I was the 2nd best in the orchestra my 1st year in high school! The pressure to compete was a big part of ruining my enjoyment of the music and the process. I lost sight of my own goals due to pressure from others. It has taken 48 years and learning another instrument to have the courage to play violin again and do it first for my own enjoyment of the process and the music. Competition causes me to tense up, which is not helpful for playing well, especially when I want to improve my vibrato. It’s such a bad habit that I started to say need instead of want to improve!