I was on the treadmill, one mile into my two-mile run. Once I finished, I would get on a bike and ride for ten miles, then back to the treadmill for another two miles.
Running doesn't come easy to me. Frankly, neither does biking. I signed up for the duathlon at my gym as a challenge. I needed a goal and the accountability to get me back on the track.
If I'm going to run, I prefer running outside where I watch the scenery go by and let my mind wander but here I was on the treadmill. I had the television on to keep my mind occupied and was watching the Olympics. The men's biking road race was on. These guys were amazing. Fast, strong, powerful, determined and fiercely competitive.
As I watched I thought, "I'll never be that good. I'll never be that strong. I can't do that. What am I thinking? Why am I bothering to do this?"
Wow...what was I thinking was right! It became very obvious to me that the only person I needed to compete against was myself and, in that moment I was clearly out to defeat myself. I needed to make a decision. Would I be inspired or defeated?
The men I was watching on television are amazing athletes and had their own goals for their race. The duathlon that I was training for was my race. I had my goals for the race and those goals only needed to meet with my personal needs and expectations. All I had to do to win was do my personal best.
I chose to look at those men and use them as inspiration. I thought about the obstacles they had overcome to reach where they were on that day. The grueling time they spent in the gym. The many races they had raced. I thought about how many times they skipped dinners with friends to get in another lap or session with their trainer. I thought about the investment that they made in themselves. Sure, they are competing on a bigger stage. They have the world watching them and yes, they want to win gold. In my eyes they each had already won. They have beaten their fiercest competitor... themselves.
In both my business and personal life I see how easy it is to compare my own results and progress to those around me. It's easy to give that little gremlin within an opening. I hear it whispering to me "He has a bigger mailing list than you do." "She's only been in business two years and is earning more than you." "How come her website looks so much better than mine does?" That little gremlin is none other than myself...my biggest and fiercest competitor. It would be easy to let the other me win.
It would be easy to throw in the towel. To give up on my business because it's not as good as someone else's or it's not achieving the results that someone else is achieving. The reality is that there will always be someone whose business brings in more revenue or who has a larger reach than I do. What matters is that I do my best each and every day.
I'm going to make a decision right now and I encourage you to join me. Decide to use other people's success as inspiration. Their success came through work, determination and doing their personal best. I have no doubt that you are capable of work and determination. Will you achieve what they achieved? Well, that depends...are you willing to defeat your own inner gremlin? If you are you will achieve exactly what they achieved. They achieved their own personal best. Measured against none other than himself or herself.
I challenge you...actually I challenge myself, to do my own personal best each and every day so that I can achieve this in my business and life too. Won't you join me?
Carrie Greene is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of Chaos to Cash. She helps entrepreneurs cut through the confusion and chaos surrounding them so they make decisions, stop spinning and procrastinating and make more money. Free resources at http://www.CarrieThru.com and http://www.ChaosToCashBook.com/excerpt