During my swimming years I had countless coaches work with me on swimming “with my blinders on”. My greatest races, and the moments in which my athletic talent was most lived out, were the races in which I just focused on me. The moment that I would try to side-glance at where my competition was in comparison to me was the moment in which my race was lost. This is still true for me today whenever I race a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon or triathlon. If I worry about where someone else is, my heart rate skyrockets out of pressure and anxiety and I end up throwing my own race away. If I race with blinders on, caring nothing about where anyone else is on the course and instead just focusing on how alive and smooth I feel as I race, then those are the races in which I find myself shattering my best times, feeling pleasure as I race, and having the time of my life.
This true for many of us. We have been blessed with countless talents and blessings, but we throw them away by wishing that we had the talents or life of someone else. I sometimes feel this anxiety myself still when I start comparing myself to others in the fitness industry who I think are making more of an impact that I am. Nothing good comes out of comparing yourself to anyone else, and I am proof of it. When I succumb to such comparisons it only leads to me feeling down, ineffective and like I’m living out the myth of Sisyphus, trying to push a boulder up a mountain and going nowhere.
Put your life blinders on and focus on living your own life to the fullest. Remember, no one has the same path as you, so stop trying to copy someone else’s journey.