As a life coach and a personal development fan, I feel like I’m always in a state of evolution. I love trying new things, testing out practices and routines, and searching for the next opportunity to shift and evolve. For me, it’s exciting to feel like I’m in the constant pursuit of my best, fullest life.
I’ve also fallen victim to burnout before. Personal development burnout, adrenal burnout, the-search-for-the-perfect-lifestyle burnout. You name it, and I probably have chased it too hard at some point, until the pursuit became the focus and not the goal.
One of the most recent challenges I set for myself was training to run a 5k. For me, it wasn’t even about running the race itself. I wanted to prove to my body and my mind that if I wanted to be a runner, I could be. It was just as hard physically as I imagined (having never been a runner before!), but it was also a catalyst for a major mental breakthrough.
On the morning of one of our longest runs yet, a trainer gave our group the mantra “your race, your pace.” I remember shrugging it off initially, thinking that I still wanted to be at the front of the group. Once my sneakers started slapping the concrete and I retreated into my mind to ignore the sweat pouring down my face, the mantra began to really resonate with me.
It is MY race. I create my experience through setting my own pace. We will all arrive at the finish, and the time at which we do that doesn’t matter. I could run faster, I could push harder – but what good does that do me if I have to walk the last portion?
Does setting my own pace rob me of any of the running experience? Or, rather, does setting my own pace just liberate me to fully experience the moment?
In the end, I chose to embrace my pace. I fell back in the group, giving up the lead to more ambitious runners. I wound up running alone, between the fast and the slower runners at the end. I was isolated, and it actually felt really good. I could be in the experience fully, not worry about small talk and scooting around other people’s sneakers, and instead just feel what running meant to me that day.
Personal development works the same way. It’s normal to want to jump in, head first, and do ALL the things. To seek out new courses, the best teachers, the best books, the best practices that will transform who you are overnight. This story is meant to remind you of what you already know to be true: we all have our own pace, in every endeavor. There is no comparison between yourself and others when it comes to growth and personal development. The focus is on improving our lives and living more fully, and whatever pace you fall into is perfect for you.
So develop a pace that feels good to you. You can start with doing all the things, and cut out extra until it feels better. You can start small, and build momentum through daily habit changes. You can try a different pace every day for a month. There are NO rules here.
It’s your race. Set your own pace.
P.S. Need tools and resources to get started on personal development, at your own pace? Click here to request access to The Support Vault, a free resource library with some of my favorite tools for life change.