Running my own race and no-one else's
I was watching a YouTube video the other day. It was by a successful author entrepreneur and something she said really resonated with me.
(Now I’m paraphrasing here so bear with.)
When it comes to your own creative endeavours, run your own race. At your own speed. In your own way. If you look over and see another woman running faster so try and run like her: speed, gait, mannerisms - you are no longer running your race.
You’re running hers.
Now I’ve seen this a lot online. Lots of women trying to run other women’s races. And I’ve also done that myself for a while. And whilst you see this woman (or women) running faster and faster, more comfortable in her stride, you are left in her wake.
Its easy to do, to find yourself running someone else’s race.. It’s easy to think you can emulate their success just by doing the same things as them.
Its even easier to think - what would they do in certain situations. I’ve even thought, ‘ooh, should I be doing this. What would x think?’
It seems easier, in a way, to follow the path another creative has carved out. But it’s not sustainable. You burn out, you are constantly drawing comparisons between yourself and others (and gosh what a waste of energy that can be) and you’re constantly questioning if what you’re doing is right.
What seems harder is creating your own path. It’s not a tried and tested route. And you might (and will) go down some blind alleys. It’s exhausting. And you feel like you’ll never make it. It’s like hacking away at undergrowth with no chink of daylight.
But you persevere. And unlike when you’re following someone else’s path - one day you see a small beam of light. You head towards it. And the light gets bigger. A gap in the undergrowth appears.
I’m writing this because from September I stopped trying to be anything other than myself. I sketched out my overall goal and worked out which tools could help me reach this goal. More ideas came to me, I acted on them, then another idea came and another.
If I’d listened to someone else’s advice I may not have started the Book Club or created a YouTube channel. If I’d followed the ‘set rules’ I may not have come up with the idea for my passion project.
I don’t know if all or even any of these projects I’m working on will come off, but I’m enjoying the process of learning and experimenting.
But most of all I’m enjoying the act of exploring my own path, my own direction at my own speed. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me.