Last April I had the great fortune of meeting and hearing Jon Acuff speak (twice) at the BlissDom conference in Dallas. He gave me so many little nuggets of wisdom, but one that keeps ringing in my ears is “Never compare your beginning to someone’s middle.”
The presentation he was giving was about how difficult it is to start something. Anything. I’m pretty good at talking myself out of moving forward with great ideas because I see others doing similar things well and feel like, “why bother?” I have several novels partially written and chicken out somewhere beyond a lengthy outline because the “chic lit” world is pretty competitive. Do I really have something to contribute to what’s good already? My mistake, however, is comparing myself to accomplished authors.
I’ve done it to myself with running, as well. I hang with a really fit group. One of my dearest friends is a marathon winner. Not just runner, but winner. She ran four marathons in four days, set course records on three courses, and won the whole thing. I still can not run a whole 5k without at least walking a little bit. Admittedly, I’m not sure my goal is to get to her extraordinary level, but it sure would be easy to look at her accomplishments and those of runners I’m exposed too and feel like there’s little point even taking a first step. I’ll never be as good! Silly girl…these people have been training for decades. Literally! If I put a solid ten years into it, I’ll bet I could boast an impressive running resume. Today, I’m still an intern, but that’s okay! I’m a work in progress.
Thank you for the great perspective, @JonAcuff.
Photo credit: Flickr
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