Updated: May 7, 2018
There’s a phrase that often plays about my mind: “Compare and Despair.” In the age of
social media, I find myself doing this frequently, despite knowing how harmful it is to the
In fact, it’s almost impossible to not compare yourself to the pretty images on Instagram and accolades of others.
But it is most certainly a rabbit hole leading to hell.
When the focus is outside yourself, your power diminishes. Why? Well, your ego will always find a way to conjure up a story about what you perceive to be true. This is a slippery slope, not because what you see is not always as it appears, but because it can be hard to pull yourself out of that comparison trap. You automatically set yourself up for failure the minute your gaze shifts away from your own unique path.
Case in point: I’m 15 years old, about to run the 100M dash at a track meet. The middle
lanes on the track are always reserved for the runners with the fastest times, which
meant a girl who I knew was going to be my stiffest competition and I resided there.
The gun goes off and we all fly out of our blocks. I’m neck to neck with my competitor.
What do I do? Out of fear, I turn my head and glance at her lane, trying to gage where
she is in relation to me. Every short-distance runner knows this is an epic transgression
in sprinter’s law.
My lack of focus on “my lane” and “my race” cost me first place by one-tenth of a
second. I know that second isn’t too shabby either, but that’s not the point, because it’s
not about winning or losing. Champions see the big picture. It’s about keeping the focus
on you at all times. I gave one-tenth of a second to someone else out of fear.
F&%K FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real)!
At the very least, I learned a valuable lesson that day, one that I continue to apply in life.
I don’t always manage it gracefully and I have my moments where I deviate. But, all in
all, I make a conscious effort to come back to me.
This life is your unique story, and you are the author of this masterpiece. Don’t go off
script. And, if you do, remember that the universe is reserving a lane just for you.
On your mark, get set, GO!