My afternoon post today was completely inspired by a post I saw on a friend of mine’s page. You really need to check out Aubrey if you haven’t already, she’s amazing Chic to Chic. Aubrey had written a post about Enjoying Yourself through the Love Yourself Linkup, a beautiful link up through another amazing writer, Anne the Adventurer. This was not the first I’ve seen of this link up, but today I was inspired to join. Thank you to both Aubrey and Anne for the inspiration!
The Comparison Trap
I think most of us have fallen prey at one time or another to the comparison trap. Comparing your strengths, weaknesses, beauty, values, etc. to those of someone else. Maybe it’s a person you admire, maybe it’s someone you don’t even know. As women, we are particularly vulnerable to this comparison trap.
Growing up, I compared myself to my girlfriends often. Our teenage years are filled with emotional ups and downs as we are still learning who we are and developing our own sense of self. Through out that time, I struggled being comfortable with who I was. I often wished that I looked more like one of my girlfriends, or had another’s outgoing personality. Looking back now, I realize that by comparing myself to others, I was not valuing what I had to offer as an individual.
To this day, I still fall prey to the comparison trap. The most common place for me is with my running.
Running is therapeutic for me. It is my ME time, my challenge. Running fulfills me in a way that sometimes I don’t think I fully appreciate. I didn’t begin running until my mid-twenties, when I was inspired by my fiance and his family. Zach is speedy himself, running halves in 1:30, but also has a brother that is an elite runner and a father who has run 5+ marathons and has even BQ’d. When I first started running, I constantly compared myself to them. I never felt like I was fast enough and often felt like I wasn’t a runner. No, people like Zach and his family were runners. By comparing myself to others, I was stealing my own joy from running. Something that I was growing to LOVE and really value.
It took me some time and self awareness to figure out that just isn’t true… no matter what speed or what distance, I AM a runner. And this really is a metaphor so many other things in life. What is good and suitable for me will likely be different for someone else. it’s one thing to be motivated by someone else, and it’s another to COMPARE yourself to another. I can’t get stuck comparing my running, fitness, body, beauty, etc to other women’s, because I am NOT them, I am ME. Sometimes we need a little reminder that who we are is who we are supposed to be, and that’s pretty great.
There’s only ever going to be one of me, and one of you. How cool is that? Let’s celebrate THAT!
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