CAUTION WHEN COMPARING –The negative cycle of comparison
I wish I looked like…
I should be able to do run like them …
Why cant I lift that weight ?
What did they do to get that job ?
What’s wrong with me …why am I not as successful?
Am I good enough? Are they better?
Do you ever feel a little inadequate? Look at someone who you think is fitter, more attractive or more successful and feel that this means they are generally a better person than you? Day in day out we are bombarded with marketing, social media , magazines, tv all showing us people who are doing everything better and looking fabulous at the same time!
You can’t help but feel a wee bit of an under achiever now and then!
Does this creep into your day to day life and affect how you feel about yourself? Does it cause you to get caught up in negative thoughts about your peers? Do you end up feeling resentful of them and focus on what you can’t do instead of how you can achieve goals of your own?
The problem is not them, nor is it you the big problem here is comparison.
Striving to be better and wanting to improve is perfectly healthy as is competitiveness, it makes us push ourselves on and go that extra mile. Getting caught up focusing on the negative within yourself and being resentful of others achievements is not healthy and only leads to a big oul heap of nasty all round! It’s a damaging and vicious cycle.
It’s a lot easier for us to see the best in others while only focusing on the negative in ourselves. We forget that we only see the public image people put in front of us and compare ourselves to that. When looking at ourselves however we look at every little nitty-gritty detail inside and out. We never take into account with those we deem better what hardships, stresses and strain they may have had or the work they have put in. This leads to jealousy and low self-worth which is a dark path that can lead to missing out on the beauty of life and positive relationships. It’s tough to feel good about yourself if you are always measuring against the lives of others.
Here at Kettlebelle we often speak about being supportive and sharing in the success of others particularly our fellow females working their butts off to make positive changes in their lives. This way of thinking definitely leads to a happier more fulfilling life and positive supportive relationships.
That’s not to say we don’t get competitive and want to push ourselves on, we do, ambition drive and passion push us to want to achieve our goals but we do this without throwing shade or being negative towards the achievements of others. We get a buzz when the other hits a new PB or seeing a girl or guy in the gym achieve a movement or lift that they have been working towards. It’s exciting and infectious, share in that positive energy!
I have of course at times looked at someone and said I wish I could do that or felt a little down trodden that I can’t do certain things (yet). I have and no doubt I will again but whenever the negative comparison starts creeping in I can remind myself that I don’t know that persons journey, I don’t know what they have done to lead up to this point . I only know my journey how far I’ve come and how I’m going to set a path towards achieving my goals. It makes me want to work harder and learn more.
If you have gotten into the habit of negative comparison or think you may be heading that way be a little kinder to yourself .
Try these tips to help prevent the cycle.
- Stop and think – transforming a bad habit begins with awareness. Be mindful when you are thinking negatively and redirect your thoughts to something more positive.
- Focus on your passions, how to achieve your personal goals
- Only compare with yourself – what you have achieved or how far you have come
- Instead of focusing on the differences in those we deem “better” or our competitors focus on the similarities. Keep yourself in equal footing don’t compare to put yourself above or beneath anyone.
- Be thankful. Look at the things you can do, focus on the positives and your achievements. Always know that there are people who look up to you and admire what you can do.
- Think of a person you admire as a role model, ask their advice on how they achieved their goals. Make a plan to achieve that target yourself.
Be kind to yourself and others. We need to realize sometimes how our thought process can lead to a negative chain of events that can hurt ourselves and others. We all have good and bad days and negative thoughts, its natural but don’t let it become more than an occasional thought. Take control and work on improving your thought process as much as you would a muscle!
Both negativity and positivity are contagious – spread positive like peanut butter!