Comparison Versus Appreciation: What’s the Difference?

Comparison Versus Appreciation: What’s the Difference?



For a long long time, whenever I looked at another girl’s body, one of the first things I would do was compare myself to her. Her chest is bigger, but my thighs are smaller, but her arms are smaller… her tummy is really tight, she has better skin, blah blah blah. A never-ending inner monologue, like a little devil person sitting on my shoulder pointing out all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough. Comparison is a dangerous trap because it often always leads to feelings of defeat and sadness. In an attitude of comparison, there will always be someone who has what you think you need in order to be happy.


These days, I still find myself looking at other womens’ bodies. Yet there is a completely different monologue now. The little person sitting on my shoulder is no longer comparing, but is instead appreciating. Yesterday at my yoga studio there was a girl in front of me who I couldn’t help but notice. She had the body of a dancer and her movements were so graceful and elegant. Her back muscles were so defined and she was incredibly flexible. However, noticing these things about her body didn’t make me feel sad and depressed, it did the opposite. It made me appreciate my own body even more. In the past I would have left the yoga studio wondering, “Why can’t I look like that?” but yesterday I felt inspired and ready to continue to add more grace and elegance into my own yoga practice. I felt excited to continue to challenge myself in my strength training, to increase the definition in my back muscles, and I was committed to focusing more attention to stretching in order to improve my flexibility.

Life in a bubble is no fun

I think that sometimes we believe that we need to live in a bubble, and to love our own body means we can’t notice anyone else. I don’t believe that. I think that by noticing our surroundings, we are able to more clearly define what it is that we want and what makes us feel good. How would we ever know what we want if we couldn’t look around and see the variety of options? As I strive to challenge myself to greater and greater fitness levels, I ground that effort in a foundation of love and appreciation, not only for my surroundings, but also for myself and who I am today. I think that this love and appreciation is the most powerful motivation a person can achieve. What do you appreciate in others that helps you to reach for new goals?
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