In business and life, we can find ourselves comparing where we are in our own journey with those around us. It is a harmful activity as it erodes our confidence and energy. This path is yours and unique – relating it to someone else’s is not only an inaccurate comparison, but also the same as likening an apple to a banana. Also, you are usually comparing the worst part of your own life with the best part of theirs. I want to encourage you to run your own race at your own speed. You have heard the phrase ‘don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 20’?
As many of you know I am an avid runner and there are a few things that apply in running and life that I wanted to share with you.
- It’s much harder to run while looking back
We cannot be successful at anything we take on, if we are constantly living in the past, dealing with regret or worried about what’s happening behind our backs. So, look towards the direction you are heading and focus on the end destination and enjoy where you are NOW.
- Stay in your own lane
Run your race, focus your energy and resources on what moves you forward. Be decisive, don’t zig zag between items and ideas endlessly. Set a clear target, see it, do the work, and achieve it. Drown out the background distractions and the detractors. And to be realistic!
- The battle is in your mind
In life and in running, the first territory that you need to conquer is the mind. I can personally attest to the fact that when you are running your mind will tell you how tired you are and that you should simply stop and yet, if you can manage your mind, your body will persevere. It is the same with a daunting project or audacious plan. Your mind will tell you that you can’t do it, you are not good enough, you will be embarrassed if you fail….that good old imposter syndrome will kick in. Do not listen to it! Press on!
- Breathing is important
Here I am talking about breathing in the literal sense and the concept of taking time out to relax, have fun or energise yourself in some way. Breath is life. Many studies on creativity and problem solving indicate that you should work hard on the problem or challenge for a period and then do something completely different or just take it easy, then the solution presents itself. Sometimes we need to make space for great ideas, our family, friends, and other important things in our lives. It shouldn’t be all about work. After all, we are human beings not human doings.
- Climbing the hill is hard
When we are faced with difficulties (as almost all of us were for the last 2 years) it is easy to feel that you are not achieving much, you are struggling and that you are not moving forward fast enough. Just a reminder that nothing worth having or achieving comes without a struggle. Learn from your uphill climbs and celebrate when you hit the downhill.
Most importantly strive to outperform your own personal best. Define your own vision of what success looks like to you and it doesn’t have to be a race!