Seasons of Change: You Are Your Only Competitor

Set your own standard of discipline and hard work

Seasons of Change is a biweekly column from Jayne Clark addressing different topics each season. Fall’s focus is competition. Jayne Clark works intuitively with clients to help them resolve issues regarding relationships, loss, grief, health, and career path. To learn more, head to

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.” – Jim Rohn

There are three ways in which we are all the same when it comes to our personal and professional lives. We all have the same amount of time. We all have unique challenges and circumstances. And none of us likes or wants to do the hard stuff.

Exercising discipline can take us from being mediocre to great!

The challenge is, our “discipline muscle” is extremely out of shape. Those of us who are on the spiritual path talk ourselves out of doing the hard stuff, saying things like “it crosses my boundaries”, “I need to take care of myself”, “I need to process”, “I am much too sensitive to put myself through that.”

In that mindset, we stay stuck and small, never reaching our true potential. We have come to think that if a situation is difficult, it must not be aligned with our inner guidance or our path. We have made up this elaborate story that the spiritual path is all about flow, living a peaceful life, and obtaining all that we have ever dreamed of.

I’m certainly not suggesting that we can’t experience those things. But often times, the reality is, we don’t. Running a business, raising a family, or solving social issues is neither peaceful nor easy. The more we get into the game of life, the more challenges we face—and that is a good thing!

What are the real challenges we deal with?

We struggle with feeling inadequate, thinking we don’t have enough education, and fear of the “what ifs”. And we allow those thoughts and feelings to get in the way of progress and stall out any kind of momentum needed to push through whatever obstacle presented.

Whatever the situation is … we are the only ones we are competing against.

Every day we must set our own standard by which we show up in these areas. This is the discipline muscle we need to build: we must learn to hold ourselves accountable and not wait for someone else to motivate us. And we must practice acceptance, shifting our perception from negative to positive, and changing our thoughts towards the things we don’t like.

We live in a time where we can’t afford to have a give up and quit attitude—especially those of us who are on a spiritual path. Now, more than ever, we must raise our expectations of what we know we are capable of doing and becoming. We have to be willing to create a spectacular vision for ourselves, our children, and our communities.

But we can’t stop there because we can all daydream and wish for a better world. We must also have the courage to roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work. And sometimes the dirty work means not allowing our children to quit something because they don’t like it. Other times it means we have to go inside and do our internal work. For others, it may mean speaking out and taking the heat for a social issue about which they are passionate.

The bottom line is to recognize the only thing we are competing against is our own negative thought processes and feelings. That is it! There isn’t an outer world. There is only our perception of an outer world and the players in it.

Welcome the challenges. Welcome the hard times. If we embrace them with an open and willing heart, they will actually bring forth a deeper consciousness and presence within ourselves that we could not do on our own.

Image: Some rights reserved by iNelsonRocha

Category: Psych


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