Let’s all do ourselves a favor, and commit that by the end of this article, we are going to throw away one tragic habit many of us have: the habit of constantly comparing ourselves to others. This is the #1 thing that is keeping you from reaching not only your fitness goals, but your life goals.
Listen, I get it, it’s hard to not get caught in this trap. We can’t help but be bombarded with what others are doing, with what others are accomplishing, with what others have. It’s what we see all.day.long. Whether it’s on social media, or even just as we are chatting in the break room at work, we may or may not be constantly subconsciously comparing our lives with everyone else around us.
If you’re reading this knowing that you get caught in this trap, know that you’re not alone. It doesn’t make you an ungrateful, shallow, or bad person for comparing your life to someone else’s. In my opinion, it’s human nature. I can easily get caught up in it too, without even trying!
Have you ever felt like you’re doing pretty good with making progress with your fitness goals for the past 2 months and then all of a sudden you see Sally post that she lost 10lbs in 1 week on Facebook. The next thing you know, you’re feeling discouraged, jealous, and ready to throw in the towel on your own fitness plan and jump onto Sally’s ship. I mean, she lost 10lbs in a week. That must be the best fitness program ever, right?
In the moment, it seems so logical. Obviously Sally found the perfect solution, so it must be sustainable, healthy, and my hard work just isn’t working…. Sound familiar? The reality is that your hard work IS working, and often the quick fixes we see on social media are just that- quick fixes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people jump from one extreme to the next, only sticking with it for a week before they try something new. (Disclaimer, for medical reasons I understand the switching up of the diet frequently to test things like food intolerances/inflammation etc. but I recommend doing this with a doctor’s guidance as opposed to you trying random diets all the time).
The best course of action in this case is to have tunnel vision on your goals and your plan of action, instead of comparing your results to someone else’s. When you stay consistent with living a healthy lifestyle (not a quick fix) you’ll see results. Don’t be lured by the social posts. It is a trap not only of comparison, but of failure.
Social media makes everyone’s life look incredible. Remember, it is a highlight reel. No one is airing out 100% of what they go through, what they struggle through, and all of the imperfections of themselves. Though I have been open and honest about some of my internal health struggles, I fall into the same category of not spilling my entire life (the good and bad) on social media. So it’s no wonder we all get caught up thinking everyone else’s reality is amazing.
Wrong! Oh, there are so many things wrong with this that if we fail to recognize, we will continue failing.
- Every time we get distracted by someone else’s life/success it takes time away from our own journey. Aka this prolongs our own success!
- We are all so different. Different backgrounds, upbringings, genes, etc. We can never compare apples to apples because none of us are the same, and thus none of us will have the same exact success rate with anything.
- When we let comparison rule, we get discouraged with our own situation. Negative thoughts can quickly take over and often lead us to giving up on our own ventures/goals.
- If we start to have negative/discouraging thoughts about our own goals/lives we often start putting less effort into improving them, and instead can get trapped in the “sulking” mode.
- If we are always comparing our lives to others, we will never actually enjoy our own life.
- If we chase the success meant for others, we will never be able to enjoy the success story that is meant for us.
These are just a few things that come to mind when I think about how comparison is the number one thing that is keeping you from reaching your goals in life. If we can all take a step back, evaluate our course of action, and then continue to have blinders on as we move forward on that path to keep us from comparing ourselves to others, we will win. Trust me, I’m writing this article because I need this advice just as much as you! So, let’s all commit together that we are going to focus on our own journey, and when you feel yourself stray towards comparison, return to this article. Be sure to share this with someone who may also need this reminder too.
Oh, and lastly remember this truth: YOUR reality is amazing. Your journey is your testimony. Own it!