The comparison trap

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Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! This week brings about a new month already and I always like to take a look at where I’m at and where I’m headed each month. I know this month will be busy with some fun things going on during the weekends and I also know that I need to make sure to focus on making time to do the things I love (like this blog, cooking new recipes, reading, spending time with friends and family, and CrossFit). As I took a quick look back on my goals for this year, one in particular had stood out to me. I had written down that I wanted to stop comparing myself to others and focus on only comparing myself to my previous self, and no one else. This is obviously not a goal that I can accomplish and then cross it off the list, this will be an ongoing focus of mine.

I was blessed with having amazing, talented, intelligent friends growing up. Each of these women is driven and have done wonderful things with their lives so far. One is living in New Zealand and working in her field as a genetic counselor, one is living in the Twin Cities and working at a thriving architectural firm, another is living in Madison working at the University, has given eloquent speeches to huge crowds, and continues to succeed outside of her profession as a Big Sister to a spunky little girl and is a foster parent to dogs who need homes, another one is pregnant with her first child, living in a wonderful home with her husband and both work at a church creating beautiful music, giving sermons, and leading the youth group. I could keep going with the merits of my awesome friends. I’m so proud of each of them and love that I can call them my friends. But, on some of my dark days, I compare myself to their success, and I spiral into a deep, pathetic, “woe is me” hole that I have a hard time digging myself out of.

As we know, comparison is the quickest path to unhappiness. But comparison is also natural. We do this in every area of our lives. Most of my girlfriends are married, have houses, are starting families, have established jobs, and have their stuff together. I can’t say I have any of these things. We do this at work with how much money we make compared to our co-worker, the promotion that someone else got that we didn’t, or perhaps the new, awesome job a friend just landed when we’ve been searching for months without so much as a single interview. And if you’re a CrossFitter, we do this every single workout. Maybe someone else lifted more weight, got a faster time in the workout, is progressing quicker, or just mastered a new skill with little effort when it’s taken you forever and you still haven’t gotten it.

It’s tough to stop participating in the comparison trap. It’s something that I struggle with on a regular basis. But since I realized how comparing myself to others was not serving me in any way, I decided I needed to cut it out. Now, I try to focus on what I can do to become a better friend, trainer, health coach, CrossFitter, and writer as well as how I can expand in different areas of my life. Once I started filling my days doing the things that I loved, knowing what I wanted to accomplish, being grateful for what I can do and have, and doing the best that I can each day, I just really didn’t have time to compare anymore. The thing is, you are uniquely you. No one else has had the exact same experiences as you or can offer what you can. And because of this fact, comparisons can’t be drawn.

You are doing the best you can. You are exactly where you should be. Realize how blessed you are. And have a happy Monday!

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