Do you ever look at the progress others are making and use it as a reason to get down on yourself? Does hearing about others' successes trigger you to want to quit? Comparing ourselves with others can be a toxic distraction that stems from our deep insecurities. To be truly successful in your pursuit for health and fulfillment, you must learn to let go of any comparison with others.
I have a lot of clients who tell me that when someone loses weight or sees amazing results in their pursuit to get healthy, it upsets them and causes them to go into a cycle of negativity. They see the results another person is creating and it makes them wonder why they're not having that kind of success. Admitting this out loud can make us feel ashamed, as if we shouldn't think or feel that way. But the truth (and I always remind my clients of this) is that we ALL feel this way at some point.
From the time when most of us were in grade school, we were "accepted" or valued only when we hit a certain mark. Whether in sports, music, grades or our SAT scores, we would compare ourselves with the "standard" of what we were supposed to strive for or surpass; in this way many of us became accustomed to basing our worth on our efforts and results.
Unfortunately, this type of "striving" thinking is not conducive to lasting weight loss or feeling confident in your body. It's also a surefire way to create stress, anxiety and hormonal imbalance (as if we don't have enough hazards to our health already!). It creates a conditioned way of thinking that in order to be happy with who we are, we must reach a weight loss or health goal. Until then, we believe, we can't be happy and punish ourselves for not having what we want.
Coming from a place of "I must reach this level in this amount of time or I'm not good enough" is where most of us get our motivation to improve our health. That's why we go into comparison mode when we see that others are making progress and we convince ourselves that "everyone" is getting what they want…except for us. Comparison sends most people into a downward cycle of negative self-talk, self-abuse and low energy. It makes us want to quit or force results to come quicker. Thinking this way and coming from a place of desperation will never, ever bring us the long-term health and balanced, energized body we want.
If you've been living in a place of comparison, it's time to recognize when you're doing it and shift this toxic habit. In next week's Featured Article, we'll focus on "What You'll Find on the Other Side of Comparison." Until then, take a step in the right direction of overcoming comparison mode. Write down everything that comes up for you when you hear about someone else's results. Carry around a notepad with you and write down anything and everything you're thinking until you get to the root of what's really bothering you. That's when you'll identify what belief is triggering you. And, you'll realize it was never about the person or their success; it was always about some belief you have about yourself.
Action Step: Write down every time you compare yourself with someone else in the next week. Record every thought and feeling that's coming up until you get to the core belief that was triggered by this person's success.