Comparison. In this article, I want to talk to you a little bit about how comparison can rob us of joy. Do you, like so many others, find yourself comparing yourself to others regularly? It’s funny, many of us will look at other people all the time and see their brilliance, but fail to notice that brilliance in ourselves.
So many people struggle to find their own strengths and I get it. I, myself, spent a long time working with lots of different people that encouraged me to find and embrace my own brilliance and uniqueness. It’s a journey to get there, but it’s important for our wellbeing that we at least try.
Read on below or watch the video below:
The specific type of comparison that I want to talk about here, is around the weighing scales. You know so often I say to people to get rid of the weighing scales. Why you might ask? Well because you might wake up in the morning and feel OK in yourself but you’ll hear that taunting message repeating all the time saying “I need to go and weigh myself”. “I need to just go and check on my goal”. And you are probably expecting a certain figure when you get there. But then, when it doesn’t happen, it alters how you feel about yourself. How you feel in your head and how you feel in your body. And even though you woke up feeling OK, now you’re not feeling so good anymore.
Now, I know when I say to people to get rid of the scales and think about how they feel every day instead, it’s a struggle. The scales is kind of like a metric thing, where you may think it will be easier to track your progress and whether you are doing something right. You may think, it’s good if it goes this way or “I’ll be worthy” if it goes that way.
But really, what are you comparing yourself to? Is it a healthy comparison to be comparing ourselves to a weight? Or is there a more healthy way of being? Is there a freer way of being or a nicer way of being where that comparison is, how do I feel when I wake?
What about asking different questions of yourself like, Have I been able to get up and do my exercise? Have I taken 5 minutes to breathe for myself? Have I taken the time to nourish myself? Have I been able to spend some time figuring out what’s all this going on inside of me? Have I allowed myself that time where I can explore? Have I been able to be with my friends? Have I been able to get about my daily activities? Health is so much more than a figure on a weighing scales.
What’s behind the comparison?
You know behind comparison is self-acceptance. So, if the very thing that you measure yourself against and compare yourself to is a figure on a scales, then your self-acceptance gets lost in the middle.
What would I say about this as a health coach? I would say that you need to let go of the measuring? Of comparing yourself to others. If you so desperately need to compare against something, can you instead compare yourself to these other things that I’ve suggested? Can you stop comparing yourself to being thin and thinking that thin equals healthy? Because this is just not true.
I’ve had lots of clients who, as we begin working together, have said “I want to think like a thin person”. What I say to them is that I work with people of all body shapes and body sizes and when your relationship with food is poor, it doesn’t matter what body size you are. Health is not determined by what your body shape is. So, instead of comparing themselves to what others look like on the outside, what a healthy person is able to do is, they’re able to look inside and find what their own strengths are.
Setting the correct goals for comparison
When you think about building a goal, we often create these big overarching goals. And then we meet a stumbling block along the way and we falter. We don’t stay consistent with things because we are not used to looking within and looking back at our life and recognising where we’ve met challenges before and what we used to get past them. We just think “that’s it, I’ve failed again”. This is another comparison in ourselves, where we convince ourselves that we have failed so there is no point in trying.
When you learn the skills to actually understand your own strengths, then you begin to use them the right way so that you are giving yourself every chance to achieve your goal. Your strengths are going to be different to anyone else’s and so the only comparison that’s worthwhile is in your own self-belief, in your own self-being and in your own ability to be this person that we see as healthy.
Working towards healthy comparison
There is such a confusing message out there about being healthy. But, what does healthy mean to you? Does it mean that you can get up and live your life feeling as content and as happy as you can on any given day? If it does, go for it, achieve that goal because when you find your strengths you’ll be able to do that.
So the goal is to be healthy, it’s not to be thin. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others because what feels healthy to one person may not feel as healthy to another. And as a nutrition coach that’s something that I always, always promote to my clients. We’re looking towards health, we’re not looking through towards thinness.
And even when it comes to managing conditions, it’s not my job, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a guru who’s gone very spiritual and can say they can cure all your ills because I can’t. But, what I can do is help you to find a way of life that promotes YOUR feeling of health every single day. So you are getting out of that taunting messaging in your brain and of comparing yourself to others and listening more to your body and how you feel.