Hey everyone! Check out today’s guest post from one of my girls, Erica Suter!
It recently dawned on me that 99.9999% of the time we operate under comparison:
Who is busier.
Who has a tougher life.
Who has a better physique.
Who is a better trainer or coach.
Who gets more orgasms.
Who has a better husband.
Who has a better degree.
Who has a better way of parenting.
Who has a bigger penis.
The list goes on until it begins to wear on us. And Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t have said it any better:
Harsh reality, right? So instead of feeling uplifted and suuuuuuuuper motivated by comparison, we feel small, weak, and insecure – all things that lead to inaction. I’m writing this post not as an internal monologue. In fact, I’ve become baller in this arena of my life. And not to blow sunshine up my own ass, but I said “fuck you” to comparison a long time ago.
Rather, my clients, close friends, and family inspired me to write a piece on the topic because they are stuck comparing themselves to others in all facets of their lives. Whether that is body image, career, school, or relationships, it’s hard for them to circumvent an unending competition with others. It hurts me to see my clients not meeting their fitness goals because they’re focusing on others’ achievements. It hurts me to see my friends get timid in their workplaces because they don’t feel as good as their colleagues. And it hurts me to see moms trash talking other moms’ parenting methods when they should be focusing on their own infant.
So how do we conquer comparison in a world that revolves around the “who wore it better” mindset? Isn’t EVERYTHING a competition? Don’t we have to consistently level up to our peers and beat people out?
Sorry, but I would rather be lectured on polygamist cults or the evolution of vampire squids
than worry about who wore it better. ;-0
Alas, I digress. Let’s hammer home ways to overcome the comparison trap:
1. Own you uniqueness.
Think of *one trait* you possess that nobody else has. It could be “hard working” or “compassionate” or “best zombie fighter ever” or “movie quote reciter” or “sarcasm queen.” When you hone your uniqueness, it allows you to step back into your authentic power.
For the longest time, I would compare myself to other coaches and bloggers until it made me into someone I wasn’t. Then when I began to focus on my unique attributes, I flourished. Sure, I could write in scientific jargon or eloquent GRE words like my peers in the industry, *OR* I could write in sarcasm, sexual innuendos, playfulness, and sentence fragments – all things that reflect who I really am. Now that I’ve owned my weirdness, I am more productive, can create content effortlessly, and have no worries in the world. #BuddhistLife.
2. Realize that two people can’t be compared.
Unless you want to spend hours drawing a venn diagram like you did in first grade, why bother comparing yourself to another person? Because LOOK: we are all so biochemically and physiologically different that it is impossible constantly live in a relative world. It’s a losing game. You can’t compare a blade of grass to a rose. You can’t compare an elephant to a peacock. You can’t compare a computer programmer to a personal trainer. You can’t compare Kate Upton to Mona Lisa. You can’t compare Ashley Graham to Lily Aldridge in Sports Illustrated. It’s EXHAUSTING.
They are both beautiful in their own essence. A fuller body works for Ashley. A basic, skinny white girl works for Lily. Life goes on.
3. Create a league of your own.
I always laud the #DoYou attitude. Everyone has their own style, traits, and way of doing things. The Spanish national soccer team plays possession. The Brazilians play with innovation and creativity. The Argentinians play a 4-5- Messi. LOLz. And the Germans are just…a freaking SQUAD. Every person, company, and team is driving in their own lane. It doesn’t make anyone better than another – it just works for that unique person or group. If the Argentinians tried to play like the Germans, they would fail miserably because it’s not in alignment with their team personalities. There’s a reason why a different team wins the World Cup every year: their own unique style resonates well for them at that finite moment in time. BOOM.
BUT. I also believe the common theme here is self-trust. If you know something works for you, DO THAT. Otherwise, you will find yourself playing the part of the copy cat. So create a league of your own and show up as is.
4. Shift from comparison to admiration.
As women, we compare instead of admire. If one of our friends is doing better than us, instead of commending their work, we beat ourselves up and try to be like them. Maybe you have a friend who is better at heavy squatting. But maybe you’re better at endurance running. First off, it’s awesome you have a specialty. And it’s also awesome your friend does too! Be supportive of other women, collaborate and share talents, admire them for their strengths. The reality is: there is enough success and talent to go around. So by evading comparison, we see the beautiful abundance the world has to offer. <3
5. Get busy. DO SOMETHING.
And finally, the single best way to avoid the comparison trap is by being action-oriented. Chances are, when you get busy you don’t have time to think about others. And if you’re truly tuned into what you are doing and totally comfortable with who you are, everyone else can be doing whatever the hell they want and it won’t phase you. My best friend could be America’s Next Top Model, and I’ll still be over here coaching youth soccer, getting grandmas strong, and blogging about random shit. Why? Because I’m comfortable with my body of work.
If you’re still having trouble with comparison, reread these pointers daily. It takes constant reminders and practice to prevail against the relative world. Also, figure our why you’re having these thoughts. Are you jealous? Are you not secure with who you are? Are you not productive enough in what you love? Are you lacking self-trust? Always remember that taking action dispels comparison. Get shit done. Do something. ANYTHING. But most importantly, eyes on your own paper.