Ever Wonder Why Everyone Else Seems Farther Ahead?
Summer is finally here, and so is sailing season. While most of the time sailing is a stress reducing activity for me, Friday night racing tends to get my pulse rate up!
Some of that stress and anxiety is good. There is a benefit to working hard physically and mentally in challenging situations. What isn’t healthy, however, is the constant comparison with the other boats around us. Sailboat racing is handicapped, so, in theory, our rather heavy cruising boat should score competitively with the fancy racing boats. In theory.
My husband and I race with just our 12-year-old twin daughters for crew against full adult crews who have been sailing together for years. It is hard to watch the boats pull away from us after the start.
During one particularly frustrating night of light winds, Clay and I discussed different options to go faster, but nothing worked. We couldn’t help looking at the other boats and wondering why they were doing it so much better than we were. We did manage to finish, but it was a disappointing night. We needed to remind ourselves that we race to improve our skills, spend time as a family, and to be a part of the sailing community. It is never about winning, but it is frustrating not to do as well as others.
Back at the dock, we were surprised to discover every one else had the same sort of evening. They too were frustrated by not being able to go faster and were comparing themselves to other boats.
Huh. That was fascinating.
We were all focusing on what others were doing, assuming the experience over there was much better.
It made me think…
How often in life do we look outside ourselves to measure satisfaction?
How much stress is generated when we assume someone else has it easier, or is doing better than we are?
It seems like focusing on our own race would have made us more happy and less stressed.
Focusing on your own journey makes much more sense.
Are you running your own race?
Please share your challenges or insight in a comment below.