I think as humans, particularly as women, it is natural to compare. As babies we watch others and copy what they do, comparing our technique and searching for ques and approval of our actions. At a young age it’s a way of learning, comparing how well we copy letters onto a paper to the ones on a chalk board, move our feet in a dance lesson to match the instructor, or making our bed so it looks just like mom and dads. However, as we age we begin to run into trouble when we start comparing things such as our body, hair, workout or eating routine to others. I believe the biggest issue with this type of comparison is that often we do not have the whole story. We compare our bodies to others without knowing their family history, their health status, or other circumstances. We view others workout schedules and begin to compare without understanding of their previous training, how they worked up to this point, their sleep schedule, their food intake, or what their life looks like outside of just training. We look at someone’s food consumption maybe for one week, one day, or even one meal and begin to make comparisons to our own. Yet we often fail to factor in what they may have eaten earlier that day, what their health status is, how they train or don’t train, their genetics, or even if they may have just come back from an overly indulgent vacation. No instead we just begin to compare them to ourselves.
I think making comparisons is natural, often we do it without thinking or realizing we are doing it. I believe sometimes making comparisons can even be helpful. However, as I grow into myself more each day I am learning that the best comparisons I can make are of me to my old self. Looking at how I have made improvements from last month to this month and tracking progress has proven much more rewarding than comparing how much faster or slower I may be running then the person across the street, or balancing my diet in a healthful way for me opposed to looking at a body builders diet online of pure protein and beginning to compare. Because really how can I even make a comparison there, we have such different goals. So while it’s not easy, I am working on it. Working to stop comparing things that are not comparable. I would never compare a banana to a pea so why am I comparing myself to others I do not know!
Do you catch yourself comparing yourself to others?
What do you most often compare about your life to others?