Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Northern California. A perfect run day--nice breeze, about 70 degrees, sun shining. Exercise is a stress-reliever, and it frees my creative mind. So I set out for my five miles.
Three people passed me. It frustrated me, so I ran faster. Struggling to keep up, I never considered that I didn't have to go faster just because somebody else was. Had I counted the people I had passed? Did I look down to see how my pace stood up against my goal?
I only noticed those that passed me. And I ran faster than I should have gone, and I ended up feeling defeated.
I didn't make note that I ran one mile much faster than I normally would. (Success)
I didn't notice the people I passed. (Success)
I didn't give myself credit for running five miles. (Success)
Instead, I came home feeling like a failure. As I was kicking myself, realization slowly dawned.
My success should be based on my goals and abilities, not others.
I feel the need to say that last sentence over and over again.
The same is true of my writing. I bemoaned my failures for most of Round 3.of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). Yet I had a successful blog tour with many wonderful reviews, sales for Chasing Memories have surpassed my first book in the same timeframe, I wrote about 15 guest post blogs this month, I increased my Facebook page likes from the 300 range to almost 900, I edited a wonderful book, and so on.
Confession: I had to sit here and really think about my successes for the round, but I could have rattled off what I didn't get done without hesitation.
There will always be someone who writes more books, sells more books, writes more words per day, runs faster, has kids who appear more well behaved, has the perfect husband (okay, that might be pushing it).
For Round 4, and beyond, I am going to set goals that will make me feel successful and stop comparing myself to everyone else. Because for all I know, the author who is sitting at number three on the New York Times bestsellers list is bemoaning the two people ahead of him/her.
How do you stay focused on your goals and achievements and stop comparing yourself to others?