In Yoga as in Life... Run your own race

It’s interesting just how much we compare ourselves to others.

And sometimes… those comparisons can make us feel demotivated and inadequate.

Some of us may do this comparing unknowingly – as thanks to technology, and the fact that everyone is now a publisher – we’re surrounded by the achievements of others in all formats.

However, it's not just technology that enables us to tap into what others are doing. I subscribe to Om Magazine, my currently preferred monthly yoga journal offline (which I look forward to receiving through the good old snail mail) – I do, of course follow what’s happening online too.

Facebook Pages I follow mostly showcase really useful videos and inspirational messages and stories. And my Instagram feed mirrors this. 

To assist with my own self practice – as well as going to my regular ‘offline’ classes,  I also pay a monthly subscription to Movement for Modern Life – where I get to explore a really wide range of wonderful online yoga classes .

And of course, even though I’m well practiced in yoga, having practiced for over 25 years and teaching for three - when viewing all of this ‘content’ – in whichever format, there are times when I see yogis flowing and flying into postures with such ease - which I still find totally impossible, regardless of how much I practice.

Sometimes – not always, but sometimes, the abilities of others make me feel a little inadequate.  Sometimes, it makes me question – am I good enough? Should I be doing more? How do I perfect the posture like they have?

Turning to another area – as a marketing / business consultant and founder of a social media agency, I’m currently writing a second book around social media strategies and tactics, but this time, for leaders. 

Writing a book, as some of you may already have experienced, equates to a significant amount of research. Of course, again, I am taking advantage of wonderful technologies to research and connect – and in large, it makes my role as author, so much easier. I’ve got hundreds of useful and relevant article links bookmarked and print outs of key articles, emblazoned with highlighter pen and mini post-its.

Again, when reviewing all this brilliant content, research and work that others have done…

Sometimes – not always, but sometimes, the abilities of others make me feel a little inadequate.  Sometimes, it makes me question – am I good enough? Should I be doing more? How do I perfect my writing like they have?

Of course, when these moments of self doubt and self questioning come about – I remind myself that this is normal. That actually, without the brilliant work of others, whether inspiring postures to strive for, or deep knowledge and wisdom from others – then how do we learn, and get a better understanding of what we want to push ourselves towards.

In these questioning times, I remind myself of a quote I heard from Oprah Winfrey.

She too, was often questioning herself. She too, like pretty much all of us, was at many a time riddled with self doubt. Why would people listen to her, what did she know?

Her advice to herself was very simply… Keep the blinkers on – and run your own race. If you spend all your time getting distracted by others – you’ll slow down and lose the race.

 My practice and my writing, have reminded me that self doubt is normal. And that if we look hard enough – then there will always be someone that is better than us – achieving more than us – doing more than us – getting more than us.  

However, we can’t run THEIR race – we can only run OUR race.

The gifted aspects of others will serve you far better if they can be seen for just that… gifts.  Gifts to motivate and inspire. 

 So, lesson to self – and to you… trust yourself, be motivated by the gifts of others – and importantly… however you’re running it, don't get too distracted by others, stay focused and run your own race.