I want to apologize now, if you don’t see any comments from me in the next two weeks or so. I’m leaving for a trip to Gatlinburg, TN with my mom tomorrow, and then when I get back will be getting ready to leave for New Zealand. So I’m going to be super busy for the next little bit. I will keep blogging and might put up some posts I’ve already written for the days when I can’t actually blog *cough*planerideacrossthepacific*cough* but I have a feeling my time for reading other blogs will dwindle away. That bothers me because I get really inspired reading other blogs!
Today I want to talk a little bit about comparison. Yesterday I mentioned that it might seem lame to celebrate a half mile. I only mentioned that because for some people it is lame and they do run much, much more than I do. I think a lot of people picked up on this comment and tried to explain that we all start somewhere. The funny thing is – I agree with that. I only mentioned it in passing for the people who read my blog and run marathons, just as a passing nod saying “Hey, I’m just starting out, it’s not much, but I’m here!” The rest of my post was about how impressed, excited, surprised I was that I could even go that far. I was in fact, pretty proud of myself for that small step.
But the fact that in a way I did compare myself to others in the post, if only briefly and without realizing it, made me think about how often we compare ourselves to others and how it hurts us. A few years ago I had a huge problem comparing myself to some of my best girl friends. They were all beautiful, skinny, athletic, popular… all the things I wanted to be but wasn’t. Every time I found myself doing something good I would compare it to what they did and realized I came up short. Even though I had done something positive, I made myself believe it was nothing just because it wasn’t as good as what they did. By comparing myself to them I was throwing my own accomplishments away like they were nothing.
I had to make the conscious effort to stop comparing myself to other people. I knew that I would NEVER be happy if I was comparing what I did to other people because there will always be someone who can run faster, looks prettier, knows more. If you want to make yourself feel bad then compare every single thing you do against someone who does it better. Believe me, you will feel bad after a while. But if you want to be happy you need to stop comparing yourself to anyone but yourself. Let the idea go that you need to do things the same way as other people or that you need to look like someone else or you need to exercise like someone else or live like someone else. I had to let go of those things because otherwise I would spend all my time tearing myself apart for not matching up.
If you always compare yourself to other people you will never be able to celebrate your own achievements. I celebrate jogging a half mile. If I was truly comparing myself to runners I wouldn’t be able to do that. You have to set your own goals and celebrate when you reach them. That’s why you need to run to beat your personal best, not to beat the fastest time set by a championship runner. That’s why you need to be proud of losing a pound, instead of comparing yourself to Biggest Loser contestants who lose much more. When you do something good, you need to be able to celebrate it instead of feeling like you didn’t do enough. And to do this you need to stop comparing yourself to anyone else.
No matter who you are, this applies to you. Don’t lessen the gloriousness of what you accomplish by telling yourself it isn’t as good as what that person did. Just don’t compare yourself to other people. Think of yourself and what you can do. Be proud of yourself and what you’ve done.
At least that is what I do. And I’m pretty proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished so far. ;)