You are walking down the street and you notice a woman about your age in a cute outfit. You think to yourself, "wow she has such great style, I wish I had a better fashion sense. I look like a sloth, I need to get better clothes."
You are out at a restaurant with a group of friends. You are craving a huge slushy margarita. Your friends one by one order diet cokes. After an extended moment of internal anxiety...you order a diet coke.
Next time get the margarita!!
You are at the gym getting ready to walk into your favorite dance fitness class. Then you see a super fit girl doing sprints on the treadmill. You think to yourself "maybe I should start doing sprints, she looks great, I am not working hard enough."
I know this meme doesn't really fit here. But I like it.
These thoughts are all too familiar for me. With social media and ads preying on our insecurities, sadly, it is normal to feel like we are in a constant state of not being good enough. I used to frequently compare my body to others, and I never felt like I measured up. I also used to obsess over my food choices and feel guilty when I saw people consuming less than me. I convinced myself that I could be thinner and I could have a perfect body, if I only worked hard enough.
Then I started to ask myself why? Why do I need to be more like other people? Why can't I be happy in my own skin? Why can't I have the icecream? Why can't I skip a workout? Who is telling me that I need to be like others in order to be better? Men? Society? WHO?
It was me. I mean, of course there were societal influences, but I chose to believe them.
It has taken me a long time to understand that those thoughts are not okay and that I will be much happier just living. Just focusing on what makes me feel good.
If you feel stuck in the comparison trap too often, here are some ideas for challenging those negative assumptions:
1) Make a list of everything you are grateful for.
2) Make a list of your good qualities that you are proud of
3) Check in with yourself and what your body really needs in that moment
4) Remind yourself that your uniqueness is why your friends and family love you
5) Do something that you love, like paint, write, do yoga, go for a walk
6) Help someone in need or volunteer
Do you compare and despair?