As we say goodbye to the summer season, and welcome the winter ahead, it is important to approach the year with a clear mindset, one that isn’t weighed down by comparison. Comparison can be beneficial, when you are looking at the athlete you used to be and the one you are becoming. However, it can be mentally degrading and exhausting when you constantly compare yourself to others.
Whoever you are and whatever you are trying to achieve, there is no one like you. Even if someone else has the same goal as you, it still isn’t comparable. Their starting point, the obstacles they face, their journey of progression, is all different to yours.
So, how can we avoid comparison?
Flip how you see/use it. Comparison doesn’t have to have a negative effect. There is no need to constantly compare yourself to others, but likewise, there is no need to use it in a self destructive way. There is no need to feel like you are less, based on your judgement of somebody else. Therefore, use comparison as a force to drive and motivate you. Use their progression, hard work and success as a form of inspiration. This way, rather than getting you down, it will only push you on, because ultimately, if they can do it, so can we.
Take time away from social media.
More often than not, social media is used as a platform to celebrate and display success. Only on occasion do you see someone actively relaying their struggles and battles, but when you do it is very powerful. Therefore, if you find the highlight reel of Instagram to be getting to you, take some time away. There is absolutely no harm in switching it off from time to time. Do what you need to do, but also be strong enough to know when you would benefit from a bit of distance from social media. This is something I have come to recognise quite well on myself, that there are times I need to step away from it.
Celebrate other people’s success.
I think this is a very important point. Success doesn’t come without hard work. Therefore, if somebody is absolutely smashing it, they have reason to do so, because they are worked hard to get there. For this reason, we should celebrate their success. Sport is a wonderful thing, especially running, as very rarely (if ever) does somebody show up, do absolutely no training, and succeed. Even if they bubble along for a while, it is destined to stop, as that mindset is not conducive with a successful athlete. We all know how hard running can be, so let’s celebrate one another and support them on their journey.
Focus on your journey.
Finally, focus on you. Your journey is the only one that will get you to where you want to go, so don’t waste energy by focusing on others too much. There is no magic button in sport, just consistency, hard work and recovery. Channel your energy into being the best you can be, and let others do what they will do. We all progress at different rates, so don’t let somebody else’s journey distract you from enjoying your own.
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!