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Taking life’s challenges at your own pace and remembering that life is not a race or a competition may sound fine in theory, but hard to do in reality. For example, work responsibilities may be unrealistic unless the employer is attuned to workers’ loads and how fast they can complete them. Each person has unique talents and tasks need to may need to be tailored.
A real-life example that taught me that comparing myself to others resulted in my missing out on something that was pleasurable and healthy was coming consistently last in cross-country running when I took it up at university. At school, I had come in the middle, and enjoyed the health benefits it gave. Later on, I only concentrated on the embarrassment I felt coming last.
However, an important lesson I am still learning is that life’s challenges should not be about comparing yourself with other people. I am referring to activities like taking up a sport, or art, or other activity for fun, in particular. This is because when pleasurable activities become about being perfect, they are no longer going to be enjoyable.
Knowing it is okay to go at your own pace can allow activities to be pleasurable instead of incurring feelings of inadequacy. It’s hard to enjoy a particular task or activity if it becomes about comparing one’s self with others’ performance.
When one goes at their own pace without feeling pressured or inadequate that they may not be performing as well as, or as fast as another person, it can help prevent feelings of depression and anxiety. It then becomes about “enjoying the process”, and learning at your own pace.
We all are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. Competitiveness and perfectionism may not lead to happiness because one feels pressure to be a certain standard. Sometimes this is an imagined perception there is an external expectation. One then becomes unnecessarily stressed and feel pressured to keep up.
“Doing your best” shouldn’t become about “being the best”. Other times the perfectionism may be self-imposed.
Doing your best means knowing that you have performed the best YOU could. We all have different abilities. We are all unique.