Comparison is the thief of Joy
For the month of June, I went travelling in India, riding a motorbike on some off the toughest roads in the Himalayan mountains. I traveled with a group of men who have been riding motorbikes since they came out of the womb. (Not really… but they have many years of experience)
Me? I started riding a motorbike 6 months prior to the ride, only because I dreamt of riding a motorbike through the mountains.
I had a grand total of 600 kilometres of on road riding experience under my belt.
I kind of didn’t realise what I’d signed up for (trust me for not being a ‘details person’) I assumed ‘extreme motorcycle adventure’ was referring to the unique Indian traffic conditions… not the fact we’d be doing high altitude, off road motocross on a goat trail, for 15 days and days on end! Oops!
Yes, a motorbike tour is probably an unconventional holiday choice for your typical skin therapist (and let me tell you, my skin was put to the test but that’s another email for another day) but I love the growth that comes when we step outside of our comfort zone and we’re thrown into new experiences- and oh boy DID I GROW!
I believe everything in life teaches us something. Whether positive or negative, everything is a lesson if we listen closely enough.
And this is what I learned spending 15 days trying not to fall off a motorbike:
Comparison will destroy you.
I was last pulling into camp each day.
I was the last to arrive a the check points.
I was the slowest around the many hair pin bends.
I fell off, A LOT! (but it’s hard, everyone was falling- in fact, two experienced riders were medi-vac’d home with fractures)
I’ve NEVER ridden a motorbike off road.
But I’m still winning.
Because this crazy, wild adventure has taught me that what anyone else is doing is none of my business.
How they run their ‘race’ doesn’t matter to mine.
In fact if I’m focusing on their road, it makes mine way more difficult!
What any of the others do has absolutely no bearing on my experience - the decisions I make, my course corrections, the challenges I face.
Yes, we’re all riding the exact same rough road. We’re covering the same amount of kilometres but the challenges and traffic (cows/goats/trucks to dodge) changes by the second, so by the time I come around the corner, a cow is in the middle of the road and I have to take evasive actions that none of the other riders had to take.
But on the next bend, they’re stuck behind a truck and I manage to squeeze through the gap because I’ve come from behind and seen the chaos and been able to see a plan through.
My skills vs their skills make for a very different experience of the exact same journey.
Much like you and those you might occasionally compare yourself to!
My optimism and personality is different to theirs (neither of us are right or wrong, we’re just all different). You can either get to the end of the day grateful and amazed at the journey, or miserable and grumpy that it took longer than you thought.
Both are our own choice!
BUT, we ALL get there in the end.
Each day we all pull into the same place.
Some a little earlier than me, some with less bruises than me, but at the end of the ride, we’ve all reached the same outcome!
We’ve all got a story to tell of the challenges we faced, we’ve all learned new skills, we’ve all had successes and losses (we’ve all fallen off, dusted ourselves off and kept going).
I noticed that some of the more experienced riders were just relieved it was over (it was a very hard ride!)
Me? I as so pumped and proud of myself, I was ready to go again and reverse! (My optimism is sometimes insatiable!)
This extreme adventure reminded me that being a novice is actually a secret weapon.
Why? Because when we haven’t got much experience, we face the challenges with no expectations, no ego, no preconceived idea of what it’s supposed to look and feel like.
Kinda like when I started my business SkintifiX, I didn’t know the ‘rules’ so made my own. I had no idea what the expectations were and I didn’t have many fails on the board to let the fear of failure stop me.
No matter where you are in life, no matter what part of your journey you are on, I want to grab you by the hand and remind you:
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
Your ‘race’ is yours alone and you are exactly where you are meant to be!
Stop looking at the big salons thinking they’ve got it made and your space is not as good. The big salons face a whole host of challenges, their race is different.
Stop looking at therapists who you think have it easier, have a bigger following, know more, have more clients… they were once where you are now.
We all come here with completely different skill sets.
We all have different hurdles, different roadblocks, some of us have a heard of goats to ride through, others hit every pothole on the way down, others look like they got the smooth road but it’s not about who gets to the finish line first (what even is the finish line??)
One thing I have learned in this adventure is that around every single bend is a whole new challenge. The smooth bits, well I’m grateful for those, they give us a little rest. But the smooth bits aren’t the end goal. Because as soon as you get to the next corner you don’t know what the next challenge will be.
But know, that the further you go, the more skills and talents you collect so when you reach a new challenge, you’re equipped with what you need.
So next time you find yourself peeking over to see what their others are doing, STOP! Focus on your own path and keep adding more skills with each bumpy lesson.
You’re doing great and where you are is exactly where you are meant to be!