Run Your Own Race!
Written By James Court
When you look at most athletes or runners, they are often focused on running their own race, not worrying about those around them. They stick to their lane and focus on what makes them great at what they do, right?
There have been times when I’ve looked at successful people in my life and compared myself, often feeling like I’m missing the mark. I’m sure we’ve all compared ourselves to ‘those’ friends, celebrities or business gurus, and sometimes through the lens of social media too. Not that social media is all bad, by the way, however, we all know that sometimes it can be a little inauthentic. Perhaps we have found ourselves thinking how insignificant we are in comparison – I know I have.
Over the last five years, I have worked closely with my local business community in a role that I never thought I would initially enjoy and one that I have now come to love. It’s really made me take stock of – ‘Why?’. One thing the pandemic has forced me to do is to reflect, as well as look forward with a sense of optimism, as lockdown eases. I’ve pondered on this and thought about some of the amazing people I work with day-to-day, in and around the business community. The last 18 months have truly tested our resilience not only in our professional lives but in our personal lives too.
Bringing me to a place where I realise each of us has our own unique set of gifts, skills and abilities, however we choose to look at them. Often though, it’s our close friends, colleagues and family that can see these gifts and not ourselves.
Have you ever noticed that?
Perhaps we should listen, compliment, and encourage each other more, especially in light of COVID?
The Danger of Comparison
I have come to believe that I need to run my own race and stay focussed on my own lane and not get tempted to compare myself to those around me. Who knows what trials and tribulations they have been through on their own journey? What they may have had to overcome in their lane? Their own skill-set may be very different to yours or mine.
I think that focussing on what we’re best at and ensuring that we’re fully utilising our skills and attributes (developing them along the way, of course) is key to being effective. It will also help each of us to become successful on our own journeys. This frees us to become more supportive of those around us; to be happy for their successes, simply because we’re each running our own race.
Insecurity is a Killer
I’m sure that at some point we’ve all had moments in our lives when we have felt insecure or perhaps worked with colleagues and leaders who are insecure? I know I have. I personally believe that insecurity is a killer. It stifles how we think, feel and subsequently how we act towards others. When you begin to understand what you are good at and start to operate in your own lane, you start to experience your own form of success and can stop feeling concerned about others doing well! Learning to discover and develop our own gifts and skills can take years. I fully understand that many people don’t have the circumstances that allow them to step out, take risks and pursue what they love for a myriad of reasons. However, I do believe that it’s a growth mindset approach that allows us to be the best version of ourselves, whatever our circumstance.
Find out what you’re good at and go for it!
We all have a unique set of gifts and abilities and how we find them is often through a deep desire to do what we love. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved to have been a professional footballer, but I knew I was never good enough. It’s when we analyse our individual skills and strengths that we start to feel content inside and subsequently happy for others, especially when they’re successful.
As 2021 starts to unfold and we all start to plan ahead, run in your own lane and be happy for those running theirs. I’m looking forward to working on my own strengths and weaknesses and stepping out of my comfort zone more often in the months ahead.
I’ll see you on the journey!