As humans we are constantly fighting for our position on the social ladder. We are trying our best to climb as high as we possibly can, to push our limits and succeed. It´s not always easy to motivate ourselves, and that is when comparison comes in handy. We can see who is above us on this metaphorical ladder and we can strive to get there as well.
In real life, we can compare our income to the salary of others, we can count and compare how many hours a week they work and how much free time they have, thanks to social networks we can see and compare what they do in their free time as well, how they look like, how fit and happy they are.
Often, when people want to lose weight, they pick a person with a body they admire. They then work to achieve their goal having a certain image on their mind. At the beginning it might seem as a perfect form of motivation. However, we have to bear in mind that this way we are comparing only one component of fitness – physical. All others, nutritional, medical, mental and emotional, and social have to be taken into consideration as well! The person with the perfect body might not be on that level when it comes to medical or mental fitness.
When comparing ourselves to others, we will always find people who are better than us. For each aspect of our life we will find someone else to compare yourself with. That might feel rather intimidating and discouraging.
We know now comparison is an unhelpful thinking habit. Nevertheless, don’t feel guilty when you are comparing yourself to someone. It is natural and it helps us survive, and even if we fight the tendency, our brain does it anyway. What we can do, is to realize we are comparing ourselves to somebody and subsequently we can take some simple steps avoid the undesirable effect of comparison.
Here are just a few tips:
-Accept where you are at the moment. Even though you might see who is “above” or “below” you, bear in mind, that you are not looking at the whole picture, but comparing only certain aspect of your life/fitness.
-The only person you can compare yourself to is your past self. And even if you feel you haven’t climber much higher up, believe that you have developed greatly.
-Don’t be hard on yourself.
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.
You are exactly where you need to be at the moment and there are things you cannot change or influence. Do not worry about them and devote your energy to things you can improve at.
- Be grateful. You can compare yourself to someone who is much better off, however, there are even more people, who would kill for what you have. It is good to see sometimes how lucky you are. Practice finding things in your life you are grateful for.
Last but not least, be unique, be yourself.