The Danger of Comparison
Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to reduce confidence, motivation and self-esteem and increase anxiety, making judgements and never feeling good enough. It seems like such a natural thing for us women to compare ourselves because nearly everyone does it, but that doesn’t mean it’s good or healthy!
To Rise Again is to avoid comparing yourself. Like right now; ditch it like it's the most harmful habit to your mental health. Why?
There are several challenges that occur when you compare yourself to someone else:
1. Everyone has a different starting point. You might be just starting out in yoga but the woman you're watching out of the corner of your eye has been practicing for 10 years and was a competitive gymnast. You might be wanting to fit into a certain size pant (whole'nother topic here ladies!) but your swoopy hips or legs-for-miles simply won't allow you to be that size like your friend who is naturally structured differently.
2. We tend to compare ourselves to the best in the world. You don’t naturally compare your new skills to other beginners, you likely compare yourself to the ones who are already REAAALLY good at what you're learning. I get it, sometimes it's pretty cool to see where you might (or might not) be one day if you stick with something, but when you use this information as a weapon against yourself rather than inspiration you end up hurting and self-shaming yourself.
3. There’s always a loser. When playing the comparison game, someone wins and someone loses. This can put in a constant state of scanning others and placing judgement. When you are constantly looking outward for how you measure up, you lose grip on the powerful and medicinal healers of self-acceptance, compassion and grace.
Here’s what you can do instead!:
1. Compare yourself to yourself, yet do so with GRACE. Pay attention to your progress over time and notice how you evolve with the understanding that you're going to feel different on different days and there are plenty of factors that influence how you feel. Give yourself space and permission to show up as you are vs. yesterday vs. tomorrow. Let everyone else be everyone else.
2. Limit your exposure to social media. In theory, social media exists to connect people, right? In actuality, socia
l media is often used as a way to only show our brighter sides and if you aren't careful, everyone, except you, will seem to be living an amazing life. It’s just not true; we all struggle.
3. Practice naming at LEAST 10 things in other women that you love. No, really. At the gym, grocery store, in class, at work, you name it. Find all the women you can and name to yourself (or better yet - tell them!!) several things you love about her energy, smile, outfit, body shape, voice, laughter, eyebrows, etc. The more you notice what is beautiful and unique about her, she is no longer a threat and your mindset shifts from judgment and comparison to being able to celebrate your differences. Because remember - comparing means someone loses. Celebrating means everyone wins <3
I invite you to put into practice some of these ideas and see what you notice! It's okay if it feels hard to do. It's okay if it doesn't feel like it sticks after the first or fifth time; just keep practicing. Practice releasing judgment and embracing compassion and grace - your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing will thank you :)