As ridiculous as it is, it is human nature to compare yourself to others. Despite the fact that it makes absolutely no sense.
Why doesn’t it make sense? Because you are unique! We are so different from each other. Each person has an individual set of circumstances and background.
There is no “apples versus apples” comparison with another person. So quit breaking your head and your heart by comparing apples with pears and focus on your own progress.
We are competitive animals. It is in our DNA to want to win and dominate. That primal instinct is a good one when put to the right use. Don’t let it be at the expense of your self-esteem though.
I love to win as much as the next guy but comparing myself to another guy who is very different to me is just plain ridiculous.
Here is a scenario for you:
There are some really lean, fit athletic guys at my Crossfit gym. I aspire to be one of those guys. One of them is Mark. When up against him in a workout it can be very disheartening to not perform as well as Mark. But the thing is Mark has been into fitness 20 years longer then I have. Mark has always been eating healthy. Mark has the body type that gets lean easily. Mark has fantastic range of motion while mine is still limited. I am not Mark.
So it becomes evident that feeling bad because Mark beat me at a 500m rowing sprint is a little stupid.
I am Elan. Elan spent over a decade sedentary and eating badly. Elan has been training for 2 years from beginner level. Elan was never a good athlete even as a kid and always struggled with mobility. Elan stores fat quickly and easily. Elan is insulin resistant. Elan is possibly not naturally built for speed. Etc etc etc.
Apple (Mark) vs Pear (Elan)
Sounds obvious. But don’t we do this every day? Criticize ourselves because we are not as good as the next guy or girl.
We all know that girl who can eat anything and still has a magazine cover physique. We all know that guy with ripped abs who complains about having to eat all the time to keep his weight on.
We see someone lose weight quickly while our results are stalled and we feel aggrieved. Or even jealous. Then we beat ourselves up.
Using that guy or girl as a benchmark and a yardstick is self-flagellation. It is self abuse and does not aid your individual progress. We should be looking at success stories as motivation and inspiration, knowing that while we might be at a speed-bump right now, we’ll be seeing our own results soon!
For many people it is a major source of misery.
Stop it now!
You will be a much happier person, more comfortable in your skin and successful if you do these things:
1) STOP comparing yourself to others
2) Compare You yesterday to You today
3) Focus on constantly being better then yesterday each and every day
4) Track your progress
5) Acknowledge any form of improvement as positive
6) Make peace that sometimes your progress might stall
7) Say positive things about yourself
8) Never allow yourself to go backwards
I see so many people in our community who are frustrated that they are not progressing fast enough, yet if they looked back at where they came from they would see that the difference in who they were and who they are now is massive. Chalk and cheese in many cases.
This is why I love our parkrun participation on #sleekgeekSaturdays because everyone goes at their own pace and you do not need to compare yourself to anyone. It is only you versus you. If you run, walk, crawl that’s ok and nobody is judging you.
There is no reason to have fear. There is no reason to feel you will be judged.
Only you can judge yourself.
So get out there and make some progress!