Organic Runner Mom

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When good isn’t good enough.

Self Improvement Discussion–When Good Isn’t Good Enough

When good isn't good enough

When good isn’t good enough

Even though we all have success, why then is it easier to see failure or to perceive failure?

We all carry around an invisible measuring stick for success. What I may view as success may be different than what it is for you. Norms are created in our society that play into our feelings of success. For example in the world of running for a top female marathoner running an Olympic qualifying time may be great. However it  may then be felt as failure when she misses out on the Olympic qualifying spot as Kara Goucher did in the last Summer Olympic cycle when she placed 4th. In my eyes and the eyes of most other runners her marathon time seems unimaginably fast and as though she is running with super powers. You have to wonder though how much success vs. failure she felt when the race was over.

As far as my own running goes I have run a 3:33.34 as my personal best marathon time which was good enough for a Boston Marathon qualifier in 2013 in the 35-49 Age group. When I ran it I was over the moon ecstatic but that elation has faded as years have passed.  I continue to place huge amounts of pressure on myself to reach that peak again. Since I ran that time I haven’t been able to match it or break it. I know that the times that I run are good but sometimes they don’t feel good enough. Obviously this view is of my own making because all of the time goals are times that I have set for myself. In running I am racing against myself to achieve my own personal best. Comparing my achievements to that of others does nothing but to downgrade my excitement and in the end I prevents me from moving forward and running faster.

Why do we allow ourselves to feel that good isn’t good enough?

For me it is often that invisible measuring stick that I have created for myself. There are others who I compare myself to even though this is unhealthy and unproductive especially when it comes to running. We are all different and we all have different obstacles and strengths in our lives. I allow myself to become frustrated by others comments when even if meant to be harmless come off as a put down. Sometimes we encounter others who make it a point to comment in a negative way to diminish ones feeling of accomplishment. These types of comments should be given no weight. Even as an adult it is hard not to measure oneself up to others and to let it overshadow our own success. When you are competitive and you have goals it can be hard to reconcile with a finish time when it was not what you had hoped to run.

Is this a positive way to proceed?

I wonder if the people who are able to elevate their dreams to the next level are able to shed these feelings with these therefore opening themselves up to more and greater opportunities?

I want to be finished with this modus operandi. It is serving no positive purpose in my life.

I am planning to put my measuring stick away. I need to run my run and live my life how I direct it. I need to go for my goals but allow myself to be free from the  feelings of failure and disappointment when the biggest success is going for the goal in the first place. The finish no matter how fast or what the outcome should be the cherry on top as long as you have worked your hardest, run your own race and given it your all.

I know that this has all probably been said before and that it sounds cliché but sometimes a reminder is needed.

I think I need to read some motivational  and self-help books now. Ha! My husband has suggested I check out The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK by Mark Manson, first I need to get back to reading YOU ARE a BADASS How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life . . . I’ll let you know what great nuggets of wisdom I glean from these texts.

Now I challenge you to put away your measuring stick too and to begin your quest for your biggest dreams! Tell me what you’ve learned about yourself lately.

Organic Runner Mom-Running Triathlon and Organic Food

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37 responses

37 responses

  1. I totally understand you Sandra. It’s so hard when we cannot live up to our old running times. My pace and times have taken such a hit since moved to South Florida, such a hot humid climate. I get frustrated when I can’t run the same times as I used to when we lived Up North. There are months throughout the year that I take running easy and I just run for the sake of running, but then I get bored and I need to sign up for another race just to improve my times again. On the other hand, not giving up is also a beautiful thing…isn’t it?
    Ilka recently posted…Oven-baked Turkey Meatballs – Paleo & Gluten-FreeMy Profile

  2. Being of a certain age, I am not as fast as I once was. But I will tell you you’ll be SO much happier when you drop that measuring stick. Personally I can “feel” when I’m flowing in a zone. It’s a different pace than what it used to be but it feels equally good. I pay more attention to achieving those strong feelings than to the pace numbers, if that makes any sense.

    1. Thanks for your sweet comments about the blog makeover, it was a simple change and I love the new header, had it made through FIVERR. It is funny how much we are on the same wavelength! We definitely need to get better at letting go of some of the control.

  3. I think everyone goes through times in their life where they doubt themselves. I think that remembering that as long as you are working towards a goal you are making progress. I have the BADASS calendar on my desk at work. There are so many great thoughts to ponder on the daily tear offs.

  4. Earlier this morning when working on something else, I came across two quotes by Louis L’Amour:
    “The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.” And, “Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.” They both resonated with me, as does your post. I’m definitely guilty of focusing more on the outcome than the journey. And often, that just leads to frustration. I need to do better with that.
    Michelle Rogers recently posted…She did it! How 61-years-young Delores lost 181 lbs. and kept it offMy Profile

  5. I ran crazy fast at Cherry Blossom a few years ago and don’t know how I could measure up to that! It’s hard to put those artificial expectations aside and focus on doing your best ^today^ but that’s all we can do.

  6. I think it is harder in our world today. We now live in a world, where we are constantly hit with social media images of everyone’s greatness. Look at me, look at me, look what I accomplished! Look how fast I ran! Look at my clothes, my lifestyle, etc. Not that I am bashing social media, but I think the trap is there, waiting for us to fall in and compare, compare, compare. I truly think if we live our best everyday and give our all – no matter what aspect of life, then we have achieved something great. Yes, we should have goals – but may they be goals that are only for us and our personal dreams, not comparing to others. I hope you realize how awesome you are and the inspiration you are providing for so many. Not to mention the amazing role model you are for your children! Love to you friend. xo PS: I am ordering both of those books – thank you! 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Carlsbad Half Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

    1. Yes, social media can make you feel so inferior! Somedays I wish life was just all a little bit more simple. But, if it weren’t for blogging and social media I wouldn’t have gotten to know all of the amazing people like you!

  7. <3 So much love for this post. I am so happy with so much of my life, but there are certain aspects of it that I never seem to find "good enough" with. There are times of being calm with regards to it, but my insecurity always comes back.
    You are beyond amazing my friend. As an athlete, mom, blogger, and PERSON.

  8. I need to learn how to let go and enjoy the moment. That’s what is getting to me the most. I’m so focused on making everything perfect that I end up failing so hard. I spread myself too thin and just end up sucking ass.

    In terms of running, it seems like I just cannot improve. Perhaps I have set my sites to high? maybe I’m not working hard enough? And I over-analyze everything. Ugh!

  9. I’ve had this article starred for a while now and glad I got to read it on a day when I really need it. Loved it every bit! I guess it’s alright to have our measure stick to assess our successes and failures. That’s what keeps us motivated to strive towards our personal goals. It pulls us down when we try to compare our measure stick with the measure stick of others, or the norms of the society. Or when we try to adjust our measure stick to that of others. Interesting read!!

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