Comparison Kills

We all have that one friend. You know, the one who decides to start exercising on a whim and-before you know it- that one friend is running circles around you. He or she is dropping pounds like mad and doing it all with a smile on his or her face…you’ve got someone in mind now, right?

Meanwhile, you’re pushing yourself out the door every morning, working your butt off, and generally feeling good about yourself. That is until you log onto Facebook and see that your one friend has posted a perky status about her afternoon run, complete with a mile time that puts yours to shame. As you continue scrolling, you start thinking,

“I’ve been doing this longer, how come she’s so much better than me?"

“He’s already lost 20 pounds in the time it took me to lose 5, I must be doing something wrong.”

“Why can’t I run that far? I’ve been training for months and she just started running.”

Just like that, any and all pride you felt about your accomplishments disappears. “I’ll never be good enough!” you sigh dramatically as you throw yourself on the couch (well, maybe that part is just me :) ).

I inherited a lot of wonderful things from my parents, but unfortunately, athleticism was not one of them. Ironically, I was also blessed with a love of playing active games (An amusing combination for those watching me, I’m sure). As long as I can remember, I’ve been bringing up the rear in nearly every sport I’ve participated in, and most of time, it doesn’t faze me. It’s fun, so who cares if I’m not bringing home trophies?

Disclaimer:  I am human, and I’ll admit, I don’t always think that way. Sometimes, it really gets to me when someone who just got into running totally obliterates my PRs. Instead of being happy for them, I actually resent them a little bit (cue dramatic sigh). However, at my church this past Sunday, they shared a thought that I cannot get out of my head, and man, is it important to remember:

Comparison robs us of our joy.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

If you use others as a benchmark for your life and for your happiness, you’re going to fall short-end of story. People only share the best parts of themselves, leaving out the struggles it took to get there. Maybe your friend had a week’s worth of crummy runs that she didn’t post. Maybe the person who lost 20 pounds has tried, unsuccessfully, for years to get to where he is now. It might seem like everything is coming easily to them, but trust me, they are only letting you see what they want you to see.

At the end of the day, remember that a healthy lifestyle is not a competition. Don’t throw your mile run out the window just because that girl from high school ran five. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and excited for how much farther you can go.

Until next time,

Jenny

**if you would like to hear more about how comparison brings you down, click here.

Written by Jenny Beuschel, 2016 Fitness Ambassador