By Eric Beach
Have you ever started something new, or been doing something for a long time and still felt like you were achieving nothing? Have you ever felt as if you weren't good enough and never would be, so much so you feel anger. Anger followed by resentment and doubt? If so, hi my name is Eric, welcome to the club. This has been a pattern of mine and over the years, it's something I've been working on.
Why do I feel this way?
My response to an emotion may be severe or irrational, but I believe the emotion is trying to tell me, tell us something.
It's telling ME, comparison is the robber of joy. A good friend of mine shared that pearl with me and its become a life changing reality.
More often than not, we don't begin something and compare ourselves against the beginners. We measure ourselves against the best of the best. We want to know how do we stack up. I start making short films and immediately compare my work to that of the greatest hollywood directors in the history of cinema! When I do that, I don't stack up very well... I don't think I ever will and I lose the drive to try. The drive to get better, to grow.
I train for a triathlon and look up times from last years racers to see the averages. I find the average time for each event is far faster than I am currently capable of completing individually, let alone back to back to back! So, do I quit because I most likely won't place well in the race? Who's holding me to these unrealistic standards on which my success is determined?
Why do we, or at least I, compare myself to top level industry professionals and elite athletes who have been working, improving, and getting or honing their craft better for years?
Perfectionism mixed with impatience. I want to be the best... NOW.
I don't want to work for it. I want to be great without doing the work because doing the work is hard and involves failure. It involves adversity and I just want to fly.
I can't fly and its unreasonable to think I can. I can't run an IRONMAN Triathlon in 9 hours, so it's unreasonable to compare myself to someone who can. But, it is reasonable to aspire to that end. To learn from the established and work towards a goal... Over time.
It's not always reaching the goal thats important. Most often, its what we learn on the journey thats the real victory. Thats the real benefit of a goal.
To what end do you strive?