“Never Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle.”

Looking at this flashing curser on my WordPress site is weighing on me.  I am not what I would call a strong writer and I have just started my journey with blogging.  I see all these other blogs with fancy bells and whistles, more comments than a controversial CNN news story, and beautifully written words. A part of me doesn’t even want to start.  Why would someone read what I have to say when their work is so much better than mine?

I constantly have to remind myself of a blogpost that I read 3 years ago by Jon Acuff. Jon posted on Michael Hyatt’s blog as a guest that day and he introduced me to a powerful quote:

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” 

Since reading this article I have to remind myself to take a step back if I am comparing myself to professionals with years of experience. This happens more than you would think, especially in the trap of the internet.  The internet, especially social media, can be a breeding ground for false perceptions of reality.  We see photos, writings, and status updates without fully knowing the person or their years of struggle.  We think that luck favors these people or someone how they “just have more talent than we do.”  Luck favors the prepared.  People prepared for years to get where they are today.

That esteemed position with a company?  That took 25 years of dedication and great contributions to the industry. 

That blog with 10,000 followers? That took 5 years of the writer creating entries with few followers originally. 

That amazing marriage?  That took 7 years of sacrifices to keep their focus on their relationship. 

One of the best ways to grasp this concept is to compare your middle to someone else’s beginning (inverse relationship).  For me, that would be running.  What reminded me of this lesson was my experience last week running the 2014 Boston Marathon.  This was a great achievement in my running career and I was really proud of myself for getting qualified for the marathon (in 2012 at Marine Corps Marathon) and running a competitive time. I really hope that people did not see me do this and think that they could never run a marathon because I have more natural talent than they do.  That is simply not true.   Here is why someone starting out with running (or marathon completion) should not compare their current reality in their beginning to my middle:

– I have been running competitively since middle school.  That was 15 years ago. 

– I have been on teams and worked with running groups that held me accountable. 

– The longest I have gone without consistently running is about 10 months. 

– I have never struggled with weight or not having the right physique to be able to run a marathon (see items above) 

– For the Boston Marathon I started training in October 2013 running 6 days a week sometimes running for 2-3 hours at a time. 

After going through a list in my head of what got me to “my middle” it makes me realize how much work and time I put in to achieve a certain level.  Any time you find yourself comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle, remember something that you have worked diligently at for a long period of time. I constantly need to remind myself of this lesson as I get up each day and work on those tough beginnings that will one day lead to a much deserved middle.

*Big shout out and thank you to Amma Marfo for hosting me at the marathon and encouraging me to keep up my blog & follow my dreams*


  • http://www.yourcareerengineer.com Sandra Abdalian

    Laura, I love this blog post! As I am starting out my coaching business, it is easy to get discouraged when I look at others who are so much more successful than I am. It is great to get this refreshing perspective from you. Everyone has to start somewhere! Best of luck to you on this journey.

    • laura.mcclernon@gmail.com

      Sandra- Thanks so much. I know that with your skills and “stick-to-it-ness” you will see success in coaching 🙂

  • http://www.runningtheglobe.com Joseph Coureur

    I’ll have to remember this the next time I wonder why everyone is passing me in a marathon! I’ve only been running for about five years and started in the middle of life, yet I still think I should be able to beat this kids today. 🙂

  • http://imrunnerchica.com Abbey

    Great article!!! I love the “never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”- you developed the article really well. Keep blogging!

    • Laura

      Thanks so much! My goal is to keep blogging 🙂

  • Angie

    Wonderful, Laura. You will have fantastic middles and happy endings.

    • Laura

      Thanks Angie!