Recently I was having lunch with a friend who is starting her own business in the second half of her life. She mentioned how confused she was feeling about how to “package” herself. She was caught up in comparing herself to others in her field and felt stuck, worrying about what they were doing and how they were doing it. She was steeped in self-doubt and I told her I could relate as I’ve gone (and go) through bouts of this myself. (Don’t we all at some point?)
I shared an expression I love with my friend, and it’s really applicable whether you’re a stay at home mom or dad, an entrepreneur, a yoga teacher, or in any field or stage in your life. This simple expression is: “Stay in your own lane.”
Her eyes lit up so I dove in. I mean, life really is one big road trip, right? This is how I broke it down for her:
1. Don’t keep switching lanes.
Every time you get distracted thinking there’s a better route or a short-cut to achieve your goals, you potentially take yourself off course and further away from your passion, your focus and ultimately your success. Confidence is key here. Believe in yourself, believe in your direction and follow through with conviction and integrity.
2. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.
There is always going to be someone who seems to have it more together and projects a success that creates envy and/or self-doubt within you and what are trying to accomplish. It’s ok to identify and be inspired with a few people you truly admire, but don’t get caught up spinning your wheels trying to keep up with what everybody else out there is doing.
3. Get comfortable with your speed limit.
Maybe people around you are going 90 mph or maybe they’re crawling along. Instead of worrying about their pace, set the pace that works for you. Get comfortable with your own rhythm of life and tune into how and what moves you forward.
4. Don’t worry what other people think.
This is crippling! Odds are those very people are caught up in their own worries and dramas and aren’t even focusing on you. I know it’s not always easy, but don’t waste valuable time on your projects, your accomplishments, your life, by worrying about what you think others are thinking of you. You’re greatness might not be great to everyone, but that doesn’t make it less great!
5. Map your own course.
There are multiple ways to arrive at the same destination so take the time to find out what course is best for you. Do you want to arrive fresh and ready, secure in what you have to offer? Or frazzled, worried and full of self-doubt? Educating yourself, looking ahead and planning your course are vital to your happiness and success.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others.
“Massive comparison mode” is rampant these days and it can suck the life out of us. Instead of comparing, focus on building your strengths and work on improving your inner compass because you want to be the best and most productive person you can be. You will attract people and success into your life because of your authenticity, not because you’re trying to “be” like everyone else.
7. Enjoy the scenery along the way.
Hey, I can get into my surroundings on a subway ride in New York City! In other words, stop and smell the roses because the scenery along your ride is an important part of your journey. Pause and take a look around, appreciate the colors, the smells, the nuances of life. Our time here is miraculous and beautiful, even on the dingiest roads.
8. Use cruise control when you need it.
It’s ok to back off now and then and cruise a bit. Learning to know when you need to take a break from being in the driver’s seat, from being “on” all the time is important to our growth. Often, it’s in the moments that we take a step back that we have breakthroughs.
9. Take care of and love your vehicle.
Fuel your body with healthy whole foods, hydrate often, stay away from processed junk, get out there full throttle when you can and rest and restore on a regular basis. Love, respect and appreciate the incredible gift of your body.
Sometimes life is like barreling down the Jersey Turnpike and it can be overwhelming and intimidating. So the next time your feeling yourself caught up in comparison, self-doubt and worry about what everyone else is doing, just remember this simple expression and “Stay in your your own lane.
by: Laura McDonald
Photo credit Shutterstock: Copyright: wavebreakmedia