We've heard the above expression countless times, haven't we? And it's true: Comparison IS the thief of joy. So often, we measure ourselves against photoshopped images, fitness bloggers, people on instagram, and supermodels. We feel like failures because we haven't reached their level of "beauty and perfection."
That's been talked about quite a bit, as it should. We do compare our behind the scenes to other people's highlight reel and it's not serving us. But, there is another aspect of comparison that is equally troubling.
A few weeks ago, I was working with a client. She and I have been
together off and on for two years. We had sessions to help her heal her
relationship with food and body image as well as personal training
time. As I took her through her workout, she told me that she was
starting to become more accepting of her body and wasn't being as
critical, which is GREAT. But then, she said, "I mean, I look at other
women and I say to myself, 'hey, I'm not half bad'.
Seems pretty harmless. I'm sure we have ALL done this. I know that I have. And I was WRONG.
Do you see why that is problematic? If she is comparing herself to
other women and coming to the conclusion that she isn't "half bad", what
does that say about the other women? That they ARE bad? In other
words, she is still judging other people's appearance and bodies. It
may seem like I'm nitpicking here, but think about it this way: how
would you feel if YOU were the criteria someone was using in order to
feel BETTER about themselves???
So, what's the
answer? What is the solution? Well, it starts with us "being the
change". We need to STOP placing so much emphasis on APPEARANCE. It
gets WAY too much of our attention and there are so many other things
that are more deserving of it. We are visual creatures and, of course,
you are going to formulate an opinion based on what you see. You may
not be able to control the thoughts that come in to your head, but you
can certainly control what you do with them.
What if we just
stopped comparing ourselves to others for ANY REASON, period? Because,
let's face it, we are all different and it makes no sense to do it at
all. And maybe, just maybe, if we really took some time to be still and
question whether or not we are still in judgement of our bodies, we
wouldn't feel the need to compare at all.