Sexton has won the latest tussle with the Munster veteran to wear the No.10 jersey in Sunday's Six Nations opener against Wales at Aviva Stadium.
However, in the past when the 26-year-old has been coach Declan Kidney's preferred choice, Sexton has found himself waiting for O'Gara's entrance.
Only now, after 24 caps, is he beginning to adapt to the situation.
"I wish my place was guaranteed," said Sexton." Obviously with Ireland there's a little bit more looking over your shoulder than with Leinster because Ronan is on the bench.
"It's something you have to get used to, knowing somebody is ready to come on if things aren't going your way.
"It's probably something that I've struggled with a little bit. But you learn a lot with setbacks.
"Hopefully I'll not be as bogged down about it. I can play my own game and try to do the best for the team.
"I've come off after 60 minutes when I've been playing well for Ireland. I've just got to make the most of my time on the pitch.
"Sometimes you feel like you just want to go out and put it all in the first 50 minutes. But you have to think about the team."
Sexton entered last autumn's World Cup as first choice fly-half, only to see his wayward goal-kicking cost him his place.
It was a painful experience that continues to haunt a player who is viewed as a better all-round operator than O'Gara.
"I beat myself up a bit at the time. It's probably something that I've struggled with a little bit," he said.
"But you learn a lot with setbacks. Obviously I place-kicked poorly in a couple of games.
"That can happen to any place-kicker but unfortunately it happened to me on the world stage in the two biggest games of my career.
"It still doesn't sit well with me that it happened then, something I'd been building up towards for a couple of years.
"It still hurts but I've tried to move on. That's life. You move on from it. I've a lot of good people around me."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.