I like to work hard at my job and try to do things better than my coworker in terms of projects and such. Is this considered one upping coworkers or just healthy competition and/or me working hard. I don't want to one up coworkers but at the same time I get satisfaction for doing the best on projects and doing things better than other people.
That depends on how far you take it. If you just always do your best, it should be fine, but if you end up going out of your way to disrupt your coworkers or make them look bad, your coworkers might not enjoy working with you.
I don't want to one up coworkers but at the same time I get satisfaction for doing the best on projects and doing things better than other people.
If you always try to be better than your coworkers, I'd definitly consider that constantly trying to one up them. Again, doing your best to do your job properly is fine, but you might want to consider that people won't like it if they constantly see you put in a lot of effort, just to make them look bad (which is what will probably end up happening if you constantly try your hardest to be the best). Even if that's not your intention, it will be how they will perceive it.
I used to have a coworker who always had to be right and always needed to be the best. I really didn't like them (and neither did most other coworkers) until they realized why we didn't like them and put in the effort to change his behaviour (we're now great friends).
While I agree with Dnomyar96 this is not a very easy answer and I think there are many pitfalls in this. Doing your best is obviously great, but there are many ways to hamper the common goal while trying to "prove" you're better.
One pitfall I've seen many competitive people fall into is not admitting when they aren't the best. When facing a problem that could be solved easily and elegantly by Mister X, then instead of going to Mister X, they solve it themselves to prove that they don't need Mister X and that they are just as good as him.
The issue here lies in that often it takes much longer and the solution is not as solid as the solution Mister X would have used. This is often very transparent to management and does reflect poorly on the employee. In many workplaces you are part of a team and that means using that team's members where they are strong.
While striving to be the best is a great ideal and can come off as a hard worker I've seen it very often lead to poor team-decisions and showing more as selfish.