6 Ways to Beat the “Comparison Trap” and Own Your Unique Awesomeness

6 Ways to Beat the “Comparison Trap” and Own Your Unique Awesomeness

Falling into the physique comparison trap? Jill Coleman gives 6 ways to stop comparing yourself to others so you can own your unique awesomeness.

I recently read a study concluding that social media interaction makes us feel lonelier, rather than more connected. I thought, how odd. Isn’t the point of any social interaction to bring us closer together and form connections? Turns out, the constant bombardment of images via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—not to mention the rising popularity of “thinspiration” memes—has us more insecure than ever when it comes to our looks. "The rising popularity of “thinspiration” memes has us more insecure than ever. - @JillFit" -- Click To Tweet At any time, we can log on, inspect other people’s filtered-beyond-reason photos, dazzling status updates and way-more-fun-than-ours check-ins, making it appear as if others have it all. While we sit here, in our cubicle, alone with our vending machine snacks and no excitement on the horizon. Ugh. Of course we feel inadequate. But is inadequacy a choice? I think it is.

The Comparison Trap

As women, it’s easy to get caught up in the “comparison trap”—the subjective space between the seemingly perfect looks and lives of others and that of our own, which we often use to make ourselves miserable. We make this “trap” mean that we’re unworthy or less-than. We do this on an unconscious level all the time, and then all of a sudden, we find ourselves in panic mode because we aren’t as lean/tight/muscular/ripped/pretty/successful, etc. as the next person. Well, tsk tsk tsk. This will just not do. However, the good news is that being miserable (or not) is a choice that we get to make. "Being miserable (or not) is a choice that we get to make. - @JillFit" - Click To Tweet

Here are a couple of insights if you find yourself getting caught up in the comparison trap:

1) Flaws are relative.

For example, our own flaws are magnified to ourselves, since we STARE at them day in and day out. We see them, we study them and we can’t see anything outside of them. No one else sees what we see. Believe me, they don’t. And ironically, other people are most likely focusing on how lean and fit you are compared to THEM—“flaws” that they’re insecure about feel that we would never notice. We often praise our best friends’ best assets, but we can’t give ourselves the win. Might be time to reconsider talking to yourself like you would a friend?

2) We don’t appreciate our own bad-ass-ness.

Why does self-worth depend on leanness or physique? How about changing tactics and appreciating our ability to do unassisted pull-ups? Or how we can squat 135 lbs? Or how we ran a half-marathon this year? Realize that our bodies do not define us. In fact, singularly focusing on our bodies, without appreciation for what the body CAN DO, only leaves us disappointed and dissatisfied. Choose to embrace your awesomeness in this moment based on other ways your body serves you, and watch as your whole perspective changes.

3) Comparing physiques without consideration of all of the other ways we are worthy is absurd.

For example, how about taking into account the fact that we have an amazing career doing something we love? How about that beautiful, healthy family we’ve raised? What about how good of a friend or wife we are? How about the fact that we’re intelligent, ambitious women who can do anything?? Your physique is one piece of you and it doesn’t define you. "Your physique is one piece of you and it doesn’t define you. - @JillFit" - Click To Tweet Ask yourself, if I stayed the size I am now, would my kids start to hate me? Would I lose my fabulous job? Would my husband magically stop being attracted to me? Would I lose my smarts? Silly to ask, but when we give our power over to our physique, we forget all the other things that make us incredible. Let’s not forget!

4) Take into consideration PRIORITIES.

If we spent all of our time on nothing else but sculpting our physique, we’d have a physique to rival that of a figure or bikini pro. Because that’s what they do. It’s their JOB to have the best physique on earth. But is it yours? Because THAT is the kind of dedication and single-minded focus it takes to have the “perfect” physique. And still, even thatlook is relative. Our definition of “the perfect body” is too muscular for some, too soft for others. Which brings me to my next point, which is…

5) It’s all relative, isn’t it?

What is aesthetically pleasing to you is individual. Your definition of “the perfect body” will always be too hard, too soft, too small, too big, too muscular, not muscular enough for someone else. So, in the end, comparison to others is just a trap where we choose to feel bad about ourselves because our physique—relatively-speaking—is “worse” than someone else’s physique, relatively-speaking. Right…. :)

6) We can ALWAYS find someone whose physique is leaner/more ripped/smaller/tighter/harder, etc. than ours.

This is a game we can never win! Ask yourself, why am I constantly searching for someone who can trump me? What is the point if not to make us feel inferior? When we do this, we are searching for some arbitrary validation that we can never really get, because someone will always have something that we consider to be better than what we’ve got. Talk about a losing game! So what can you compare? Though I’m not a fan of relativity in general, if anything, I’d suggest comparing your prior self to your current self in a way that is constructive and not negative. If you are heavier now than you were, don’t spiral into negative-town. Instead, investigate what you were doing then that worked, what maybe has changed since then, and what pieces of then you can use now. But remember, situations change, what’s important to you changes, circumstances change, you change, people change, etc. Choose to be the best you that you can be RIGHT NOW. And choose happiness RIGHT NOW. "Choose to be the best you that you can be RIGHT NOW. - @JillFit" -- Click To Tweet It’s literally that easy. And then get your ass to the gym! :)
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