I’ve taken my teen daughter and her friend camping (in the rain), and I don’t really know how the camper works plus I have significant parking anxiety.
Did I mention the rain? ⛈️
I went for an early morning swim feeling much impressed with myself and aiming to stay for an hour of meditative front crawl.
Then I noticed another person in the pool.
Could I swim faster than them?
When I was consistently half a length ahead, I noticed I was out of breath and tense, so I let it go.
Back to meditation. 🏊♀️
Then I started counting my strokes and trying to reduce them. Dammit, tense again.
Back to meditation (with gritted teeth) and I was only 20 minutes in.
I wondered how long the other person was going to swim for. I couldn’t get out before them.
I got into my stride (or is that stroke) and started to relax. .🏊♀️
But I had half an eye on her. Why wasn’t she finishing? Couldn’t she tell I was worrying about whether there’d be any pastries left in the campsite shop?
Then I just stopped.
I’d swum for 45 minutes and enjoyed about 7 of them.
This type of competitive thinking isn’t healthy for me– making comparisons with other people is just destructive most of the time.
But I need competition to motivate myself sometimes.
So I’ve come up with a different measure for tomorrow’s swim that’s nothing to do with clock-watching or comparisons.
I’m going to set a distance and swim it however long it takes.
Being competitive is part of my success – so I’m trying hard to be kind to myself.
If you’re interested in better leadership, creating high performance habits and being the best version of yourself I bet you’ve fallen into this trap too.
Here’s what I do when I notice it happening:
- Change the measures – like in the example above
- Consider what actions the future version of myself wants me to take (rather than obsessing about an award winning author 🤦♀️or leadership guru)
- Remember the mantra ‘stop comparing your insides to their outsides’
- Collaborate – a team will normally out perform an individual
And if this kind of thinking never happens to you – let me know your secret and I will share it with this community so we can all benefit!