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Racing for Success: Competing with others really means competing with yourself

By Judy Camp
(c) Paradox Productions, Inc.

Recently I read about a woman who was more successful than me, in a field I am struggling to excel in. I admired her. Then she mentioned her age. She was 10 years younger than me. I suddenly felt a certain twinge of jealousy. A moment ago I felt fine about who I was and where I was headed, and now suddenly I felt as if I were losing a race.

I analyzed the feelings I was having, as is my nature. As the youngest of ten children, I have achieved a certain amount of success myself. Once or twice, a sibling has expressed the same feelings I now had, that my success made them feel their own lives were somehow lacking.

I had always been embarrassed by these exposed feelings, not wanting guilt to let hold me back. I suppose I have thought about it often over the years. I have come to the conclusion there will always be people ahead of us, as well as behind us. Some seem to be born with enormous advantages of wealth, looks, and power. And yet, life can deal them tremendous blows. Just look at the Kennedy family. What more could a person ask for than to be born into one of the most famous and wealthy families in America, almost considered royalty? And yet, I can think of no other family that has been beset with so many strange and untimely deaths. Suddenly my humble lifestyle doesn't seem so bad.

I realized that we all need to look at things a bit differently, whether we run a small business or we are just trying to get better at a hobby or sport.

I've decided the best way to live life is to run the race like the horses do, with blinders on. Sure we can learn from those around us, and we should. But we are only competing with ourselves. The two opponents are our dreams and our fears. It's up to us to decide which one to encourage.

Judy Camp has been a writer and marketing manager for twenty years, and has focused on web marketing for the past five years. Her web site http://www.ourbusinessoffice.com provides resources for web businesses.

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