Engaging in a competitive field has its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage is that you get to competitive success by traveling a beaten path. There are many others that have gone before you, and if you observe carefully and recognize the mistakes of others, you can get almost to the top very fast.
The disadvantage is that there is a huge difference between being almost at the top and actually being at the top. The first 90% of competitive success is easily achieved - it's that other 90% which is difficult.
Competing with others lifts you up or drags you down. If you are at the top, competing only drags you down. There are many people who aim at competitive success, and due to the sheer number of competitors, anyone who gets to the top will remain there only for a short while.
Keep competitive success as a secondary goal which assists you with your own personal primary goals. A good approach is to learn all you can by competing, and when you are near enough to the top - do something completely different.