Monthly Musing – September 2020 – The best version of you
I was listening to Dame Sarah Storey being interviewed on the radio the other day. She’s a Paralympian, one of the most decorated athletes in sporting history, and now works with her husband to encourage young people in sport.
One of the things that she talked about was being “the best version of you”, which is where they encourage young cyclists in their racing team to always try to beat their own personal best and not worry about what others are doing. She went on to say that you can’t control what other people are doing but you can make sure that you are always doing the best that you can and by focussing on that, your own performance will improve because that’s where all your attention is.
I may not want to be a gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist (as if that was ever an option – ha!), but Dame Sarah’s words really struck a chord with me. One of the things that I know I am guilty of recently is too much social media scrolling, and it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap. “That person knits far more pairs of socks than I do; this person produces more patterns than me; I wouldn’t have thought to put those colours together; I wish I could draw like that; I wish I had their interior design style …” What starts off as a fun way to spend half an hour can leave me putting my phone down with a sense of dejection and overwhelm. Why can’t I paint gorgeous landscapes whilst baking fabulous cakes, decorating three bedrooms in an afternoon and whizzing out a few extra sock patterns in my spare five minutes? I’m obviously not organised enough, or I’m not talented enough, or I’m just plain lazy …
A friend told me of a podcast she had listened to over the lockdown period about the balance between consuming and creating and how we need to keep that balance for us to feel good. “Creating” can take many forms and it will be different for everyone, but for me it means that I don’t spend hours on social media passively absorbing information, but that I do get out with the dog in the fresh air, I make time to chat with my family (even if that means watching endless TikTok videos of cats wearing hats which is small daughter’s latest amusement), I knit at my own pace in my own style and I remember that there’s always something new to learn and something new to show someone else. I’m feeling positive just writing this down!
I don’t always remember to be the best version of me, and it has been very hard to do that sometimes during this strange summer, but practice makes perfect and the more creating I do in whatever form, the more like my best version of me I will become – with no comparisons allowed!