I saw that someone else also starting their own law practice has a bunch of clients in way less time than me. My head started to spin : what’s wrong with me? Will my practice ever amount to anything?
Eventually I calmed and remembered that, just as in triathlon, I should only compare to myself. It’s my journey, my goals, given my circumstances.
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others at their highs. And to others who have taken different paths, and have different physical and mental strengths. In triathlon we compete against people from different backgrounds who also bring their own physical strengths. Swimmers who grew up swimming competitively, practicing many times per week, have a whole lot of experience that an adult-onset swimmer will never get. And some bodies are faster than others. Sure we can train and improve, but we start on a different level.
With that said, to move my own self forward in business and triathlon, I have to step outside of my comfort zone. For my business I would be better off if I reach out to more people on a regular basis. My negative spiral did help me take a step in that direction.
Maybe this is a good indication of the optimal stress balance. We perform optimally with some stress, but once we surpass the bell curve, we enter to sub-optimal performance quickly. Observing others’ success can motivate, so long as we don’t let it stop us from moving forward.