I was watching a London real video interview with David Millar. He was a professional cyclist that beat Lance Armstrong at one point but got caught for taking banned drugs.
He made an interesting comment, he said that when it’s your day you need to be out at the front dictating the pace. You are hurting but that’s the best bit because you are hurting and dictating your own terms to everyone else. It is very much self-inflicted with a purpose.
If you are at the back of the pack everyone in front of you is dictating the pace. Therefore you are suffering at the hands of others. This links back to one of the quotes I posted from Terry Crews about not focussing on what others do. Others play to their strengths and if you try and copy them you are gonna have to be stronger in their strength than them.
If find yourself at the back you need to make sure you go back to following your strengths and not following what works for others as it might not suit your skills.
These examples are focussed on sport but are just as transferable to business and life too.