Pepsi or Coca Cola, Messi or Ronaldo, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate – comparisons are a near constant occurrence in our daily lives, and to a large extent making comparisons, and even comparing ourselves to others, is engrained within us.
However, if we want positive, lasting results when it comes to health and fitness, we need to try and focus on ourselves, and limit how much we compare ourselves to others. In certain circumstances, comparison can be a positive, helpful thing. But all too often, we as coaches see our clients (and ourselves) comparing ourselves to others as a way to criticise ourselves, denigrate our own achievements, and generally tell ourselves we aren’t doing well enough.
Well. Let’s try to change that going forward. Focus on the things you can do, the actions you want to take, and whether you are doing / taking them. Because if you are making positive changes to your health and fitness, putting the effort into your exercise and nutrition, and trying to achieve your goals, then why should you deserve any criticism at all? You shouldn’t.
Furthermore, often comparing ourselves to others is a futile exercise. Even if you disregard the fact that we are all different genetically – different heights, different body types, different fat distributions and metabolisms – we need to take into account our overall lifestyle. Some people are paid to exercise, some are paid to look a certain way – so feeling bad because we don’t look like Instagram models or athletes, is objectively illogical. Don’t worry about what you are not, don’t worry about what you can’t do – focus on what you are and what you can.
Start thinking about what you can do now that you couldn’t three months ago (that’s a positive comparison), look at old photos, or old lifting data from the gym to see how far you’ve progressed – either in body composition or in strength and performance: and I promise that you will feel far better and far more motivated than by wasting time comparing yourself to someone you don’t even know.
Life can be tough enough already without being tough on ourselves. Look for the positives, celebrate your successes more than you amplify your failures, and you will stay on the right track towards your goals. Focus on yourself, and the amazing person that you are, and you won’t regret it.
Oh, and for anyone wondering, the correct answers are:
1) Coca Cola
3) Milk Chocolate