As an athlete and mindset coach, I have heard a lot of athletes comparing themselves to others, or measuring their journeys against that of other athletes. As a group, athletes love to read about the journey of others, take notes and generally try to mimic what that athlete has done themselves. They also tend to sift through a mile of data and advice given from athletes further along in their own personal journey. Often times, given with the right intentions (or not!) often that information can be taken the wrong way and used too literally.
It’s not a great idea to project another’s journey into your own because it’s an illusion and can be very destructive.
The issue with comparison is that you are trying to measure the unmeasurable. The gut, desire and heart that it takes for someone to realise their potential are not measurable; not by science or anything else, it’s just too deep. It happens on a different timeline, it’s not linear. For all intensive purposes, it happens in a different reality, and in an entirely different postcode to where yours may occur. It often happens in a completely different manner. Even though the outcome may look the same outwardly, it is anything but.
There are some athletes who do well very early. It’s very difficult for an ego-driven athlete not to compare themselves to that early expansion in another. There are athletes who are behind where you are yourself, and maybe doing the same thing beneath you, comparing themselves to you, and you can’t underestimate them because they are on their own timeline. At any moment they may explode and advance suddenly, it’s totally unpredictable.
I’ve noticed a lot more athletes jumping these days, making wholesale changes based on comparisons, something they have read, a piece of advice that someone may have given them on how successful it has been for them. Its best to take everything on board, but let whatever it is be integrated within you, because you are not going to be able to integrate yourself into something else. You are you, and that’s the end of it! Your potential can only be realised from within. Everything else is talk, and as the old saying goes “The bullshit stops when the gun goes off”.
If you don’t have a good read on your own reality, you are going to be lost soon after that gun goes off.
Best option? Don’t mock those behind you, and don’t envy those ahead of you. Integrate your own lessons and take what you need to make it work in your world. If you don’t know what that is, it’s about time you found out. Reading about someone else’s journey is not going to teach you a thing about your own reality.
Measuring yourself to others is totally useless. How do you measure a timeline and the billions of variables that lie within those possibilities? Life has unfathomable depth. You might think that you know your husband, wife, partner, or your kids; however what you know within them is so shallow. It’s the beauty of seeing another human, and the depth they truly represent.
Everyone is on their own timeline, and I’ve seen a lot of young pro athletes make the mistake of measuring themselves with others, and all it does is sever the line to their own success.
It’s a journey only you the individual athlete can make. You will make it on your own time. What happens if you resist that time? Then that time will never come.
Yes: You are the master of your own journey, one that takes place on your own timeline, and yours alone.
Some people burn bright and flame out. Some people take a slow burn, and some burn brightest at the end of the journey.
The problem here is that as athletes we spend too much time worshipping others, and we somehow think that we can superimpose that space onto our own journeys.
But you won’t find success trying to make the journey of others fit your own. It’s like trying to make someone else’s shoe fit your foot. What’re the chances?
What we can do is use the others person’s experiences for inspiration. If we listen to our own internal guide, we might find our way to our own potential too. Let me tell you, no matter how similar the journey may look, it will be totally, uniquely yours, and you know what, thank god for that!
What an empty success it would be otherwise.