Comparison breeds doubt, which can delay your purpose. You are incomparable. While running this race called life, we often look left, look right and, at times, find ourselves in someone else’s lane. Sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose in an effort to fill another’s shoes.

If we just recognized the customized lane that was created for us and embraced the journey, we would be so much more fulfilled and prosperous.

That’s the theory I truly believe in. However, living this in practice can be tough. We have to work hard to follow this principle and to find our very own lane. So let me share a recent chapter of my journey towards fulfilment and how being true to myself helped me in practice.

Andy’s personal fitness philosophy is founded on balance, health, and wholeness of spirit, soul, and body.

Embracing the chance to combine all my passions

Since childhood, I’ve always been passionate about sports, fitness, sneakers, fashion and competition – all of which I love equally. This is why I first decided to enter the ‘Face of ReebokONE’ competition. It was a chance for me to combine all my passions. 558 fitness professionals entered the competition, sharing their journeys, how they challenge themselves and motivate others to be the best they can be. As I said – I am competitive by nature, so when I received an email from ReebokONE saying, “Congratulations! You are one of the 12 semi-finalists for the Face of ReebokOne,” I was elated. I vividly remember saying under my breath, “It’s on!”

Fitness is not just an individual thing. When one person is failing, the coach and the community build that person back up.

Resisting the knee-jerk wish to deliver on assumed expectations

Soon after, ReebokONE gave me my first task of the competition: to create a video about myself. I may not have had a huge professional production team to shoot me, but no worries. I had an iPhone 6, a selfie stick, passion, drive, and a best friend who loves creativity as much as me. Now came the hard part: defining what to highlight about myself. Right away my mind went to what I believed Reebok would want to hear. I thought to myself: “Should I solely focus on CrossFit? I’m sure many other contestants are going to do that, plus the ReebokONE community is very passionate about CrossFit…”

As a fitness trainer, you can empower, you can lead, you can motivate, and you can inspire.

Don’t stick to the norm – even if it’s scary

But then I thought about one of my favorite personal hashtags – #dooYOU – and a quote reminding me to

“Be you. Everyone else is taken.” I knew that if I stayed true to myself the rest would fall into place.

It was a fortunate coincidence that, just a few days after learning I was a finalist, I was traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for my brother’s wedding to spend time with family and my closest friends. This would help me to produce the video that would truly represent who I AM.

In addition to football, boxing and conditioning footage, I decided to also highlight the non-fitness areas of my life that I prioritize – most notably, moments with my family. I didn’t stick to the norm, which can be scary. But it paid off in the end.

Why you should run in your own lane

Comparing yourself to others is natural. Throughout the Face of ReebokONE campaign, I found myself studying and scouting my competition in the moments when I felt “less than” – an immediate reaction to feeling like I didn’t measure up. But comparing yourself to others leaves you temporarily stagnant, all while they keep progressing. When I remembered that I was in this position for a reason and it wasn’t an accident, I embraced the experience and started sprinting harder in my own lane without swerving into anyone else’s lane. Whether it be in competitions or in life, remember to #dooYOU rather than compare yourself to others because comparison breeds doubt, which will delay your purpose.

Follow Andy on Instagram and Twitter.

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by Grady 13.01.2016
Andy, you make some great points here!! Living this out is so hard when the pressures of the outside world are constantly comparing athletes, teams, businesses etc...
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by Andy Dooley Grady 11.08.2016
Thank you Grady!
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by Kannan Karuppiah 04.07.2016
Super cool article...When we start comparing ourselves to others during moments of self-doubt, we lose sight of what we have achieved and there would be others who would love to be in our position, love to have achieved what we have achieved, love to be us..So stay unique..stay true..
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by Andy Kannan Karuppiah 11.08.2016
Thank you very much Kannan Karuppiah!
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