I get as amped up as the next CrossFitter when it comes to doing benchmarks. I look up my old time. I have to go pee ten seconds before the workout. I check the room to see who is going to be my closest competitor.
I also, given the wisdom of experience, remind myself to not let my form turn into garbage. If I am uncertain about the weights, I do a few reps BEFORE the workout and see if I can handle it. If I don’t know the movements well, I take a few minutes before the workout and watch someone more skilled than me do them.
What I’m trying to get at here is that these are both valid modes. Yes, be competitive. Yes, be careful. You can do both. They need not be in conflict. I tend to err more on the side of caution but I know I have learned a ton from people who err more on the side of throwing caution into a hurricane.
Bring the competition. Bring the conscientious.