It’s hard to avoid the Olympics right now. No matter what country you’re in, or which country you’re rooting for, we find ourselves glued to our television sets, cheering on the men and women who have worked so hard for the chance to compete. Today, as I watched the Men’s Road Race, I couldn’t help but feel for and identify with fourth place finisher, Taylor Phinney. He missed out on the bronze medal by literally fractions of a second. How many of us feel like Phinney….just missing out on a piece of the “win.”

The top is where we want to be….At the top lies recognition, praise, acceptance….So often though, when we don’t find ourselves at the top or leading the pack, we lose all sense of accomplishment, and don’t allow ourselves to take pride in our hard work and lose sight of how much we’ve actually achieved. Let’s face it, we’re not all going to win. Most of us won’t. However, a “win” shouldn’t be the only standard by which we measure our success.

I won’t ever be the “biggest” or “most well known” blogger. (And yes, writing that down is painful…) You may not win your next marathon, have the most successful etsy shop, be the most sought-after photographer, bake the best cupcake, etc., etc….There will likely always be someone ahead of us…even by a fraction of a second…..and that’s OKAY. Taylor Phinney missed a medal by half of a pedal…if that…Does that mean he failed? Of course not. He is an Olympian….finishing fourth…in front of hundreds of other world-class cyclists….He did an amazing job, and his country is proud of him.

And ya know what? Someone is proud of you…regardless of what “place” you’re finishing. We can’t focus on the people “in front of us.” Comparison is a dangerous path, and is the root of all inferiority. Don’t allow the success of someone else in your field…your hobby…your interest…to affect you, and your pursuit. It doesn’t matter if someone accomplishes what you want to do ahead of you…Accomplish it anyways! Finish in fourth…..just finish! Finish what you start, no matter where you land in the “pack” and be proud of the hard work you put in. Don’t focus on that fraction of  a second between you and your “competitors.” Living in the “what if” and the “if I’d only” frame of mind is unhealthy. Remain positive and celebrate your victories, regardless of what anyone else’s look like.

The way I see it….If you put in time, effort, and hard work to achieve ANYTHING, and actually see it through to the end, you’ve won. You don’t need a medal. Just finish what you start and rest in the knowledge that your “country” (your support base of friends/family/followers)  is proud of you. Fourth ain’t bad ladies. Fourth ain’t bad.