The Truth About Travelling in Your Lane
Stay in your lane.
This seems to be common advice for those striving to achieve a certain level of success. The general idea is that you should know who you are, know what your strengths are, and play to those.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
And yet, there’s a way that this particular nugget of wisdom gets distorted when it comes to practical application. Often, folks seem to take the phrase to mean that they should stay put (once they’ve identified their metaphorical lane), that they are committed to a particular lane for life. Further, there’s a way that folks slide down a very slippery slope and start to get territorial about their lanes, operating from an energy of “this is my lane, that one is your; stay out of my space”!
Trust me; there is nothing energetically successful about this sort of interpretation. Instead, this stance is very fear-based, and rooted in scarcity. It suggests limitation -- there’s only so much space to go around and so, I will stay here, you stay there. Talk about keeping yourself small.
A truly successful interpretation of the lane metaphor is one that is steeped in movement. Think about it. The whole “lane” imagery is rooted in driving. When you drive along the highway, you pick a lane. And you move forward. And sometimes it’s a wide-open road and you’re the only one on it. More often than not, however, you are on the road with loads of other people, many of whom are, in fact, in your lane.
That is how it’s supposed to be. Your job is to pay attention to how you’re moving along that road. As you travel in your lane, are you catching up to others? Are others catching up to you? Neither is a problem. It just means that you must choose how you will move in response to where others are relative to you.
If someone is encroaching on your space you have to decide: will I stay here, and encourage them to either fall back or pass? Or will I speed up and move ahead? Or will I switch lanes because I’ve reached a point where that makes sense? Whatever you choose, it’s important that you stay in flow. It doesn’t serve you or any of the other folks on the road to get all in a huff and act from a space of ownership of the road. When you do that, you lose focus and the task of reaching your destination becomes harder.
Staying in your lane is not about holding yourself back, nor is it about denying others access to your lane. Instead, it’s about standing solidly in who you are, knowing where you’re headed, going with the flow, and moving where you’re called to move with ease and grace.
Your lane is that space where you are meant to be, nothing more, nothing less. And where you’re meant to be today may be very different from where you’re meant to be tomorrow.
So go ahead; choose your lane. Pay attention to the flow and the call. And move forward with confidence, knowing that you can (and will) switch lanes when the time is right.