How do we move away from comparing ourselves to others?
A comparison can be a useful motivational tool and help us move toward a goal. But it’s frivolous and dangerous for the most part.
Everyone is different. Your Mother was right – you are a unique snowflake.
What’s the use in comparing my body with yours? Thanks to genetics, you and I are quite different. Imagine our genes like Lego sets. Although there is freedom to build what you want, you’re limited by the pieces you’ve been given making copying someone else’s design futile.
Why is avoiding comparison important?
Comparing gives us license to do things because others are doing it.
Picture yourself eating at a buffet restaurant with friends. One of your buddies is going all out. She has a great body in your opinion and is devouring the desserts on offer. If she can eat like that yet maintain a fit physique, you can do the same, you tell yourself.
Hello, chocolate mousse.
This is irrational thinking. She could have an eating disorder, a super metabolism or it could be her once-a-month cheat meal. Never assume.
Comparison in the gym
Envy in the gym is common too and can lead to faulty thinking
After deciding on a role model you take note of his routine – a bodybuilding split focusing on one body part a day. He trains for two hours and guzzles protein shakes between sets.
To look like him, you must follow the same plan, you rationalise. But you fail to realise this man is a seasoned lifter and has developed the capacity to train this way over time. Through trial and error, he has discovered a style that works best for him, not you.
There’s no easy way to stop comparing ourselves with others. We’re inquisitive creatures and learn through imitation – children learn languages this way.
Invest time in understanding your body instead of comparing yourself to others. This approach lets us learn how we function best – as an individual.
Experiment with different methods, ask plenty of questions, observe those around you but don’t think you can create a carbon copy of your idol simply by adopting their habits.
We all have an opportunity to create the best version of ourselves through continual learning and self-experimentation. Don’t waste energy and resources attempting to create Frankenstein’s monster. You’ll be sorely disappointed.