I was participating in a bible study and the author shared this story:
“When I was growing up, I used to love to go to the racetrack with my dad to watch the racehorses compete, I loved to see the horses all dressed up to match their jockeys, but the racehorse wore something around their eyes I had never seen. I was told that because horses can be distracted by activity in their peripheral vision, they wear blinders to keep their eyes focused on what is straight ahead. Without them, a jockey would not be able to keep his horse from being sidetracked by what is happening to the right or left. Blinders are essential for a horse to have the best chance at winning the race.”
After reading this, I was struck with how this same exact scenario plays out in us when we compare ourselves to others. The more we compare ourselves, the more we get sidetracked from our path, which can influence our ability to reach our goals. Have you seen this play out in your life? One minute you feel on top of things and are proud of where you are at with reaching your goals. Then you see a post on social media, or you have a conversation with someone at your kids sporting event and the comparison game starts. You start saying statements to yourself like “they are so much further along than I am”, “they are doing so much better than I am”, “how come it is so much harder for me than it is for them” etc. Then how do you feel once the comparison game starts? Discouraged? Frustrated? Not enough? I know I have been there many times and does it help me in reaching my goals, NOPE! What I loved about this story is how it can be used as a visual reminder of what you can do to stop comparing yourself to others. You can picture yourself in a lane with blinders on that block out what is happening in the lanes next to you. With these blinders on, you can only see what is right in front of you, which keeps your focus towards YOUR goals and YOUR path to get there. Once we can keep our focus on ourselves, rather than others, then not only are we able to reach our goals, but we are also much happier during the process.
*This story was taken from the book “40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith” by Laurie Polich Short