Comparison is said to be the thief of joy, and often times, it can be the thief of success. When you compare yourself to others, you don’t take the time to notice what YOU have accomplished.
I see this most often in the gym, during a WOD or a lifting session. Someone pushes themselves, start lifting heavy FOR THEM, and then glance to the person to their right, and instantly deflate.
Suddenly their time isn’t quick enough, or their barbell doesn’t have enough weight, and it’s a quick downward slope. They rush, panic, and form goes out the window as shit hits the fan. I’ve done it before. I’ve even minorly hurt myself trying to keep up with the people around me. That was a good kick to my ego.
People tend to focus purely on the outside, and don’t take into context the minor details. Maybe you’re recovering from an injury that no one else it. Or maybe they’ve been lifting for 10 years longer than you have. Regardless, society encourages everyone to be the same, to compare and compete despite any outside factors.
This is the case in terms of diet, too. I have had to distance myself from social media sites like Pinterest and most “health” magazines, because they are jam-packed with “skinnylicous” recipes and “top belly fat prevention tips”. Not only do none of those tips or recipes work, they don’t promote a healthy mindset.
They serve no purpose in my life, and all they do is freak me out about eating that 5th sweet potato for the day. Keeping my eyes on my own plan, and on my own plate, is the only way I’ve been successful so far.
A lot of people don’t understand how hard it is, focusing on yourself and not comparing yourself to others. Some days, it feels like a mental workout all in itself not looking at everyone else’s barbell, or tuning into a conversation about how carbs aren’t serving a whole group of people.
Deep down inside, I love lifting heavy things and going into the gym feeling like a secret superhero with what I can do. I love steak and potatoes, and I think lettuce is a waste of my time. When I focus in on myself, and what I view as a success for myself, I feel true happiness.
One of my biggest mantras is “keep your eyes on your own plate”. It originates from meal plans and macros, but it applies to everything in life. It may literally mean focusing on your own nutritional goals, but it encompasses focusing on your own goals and successes.
It can be scary feeling so different. But, I have different goals, and I have to focus on myself and my own plan for right now. Head down, eyes forward. Stressing about it will cause just as much damage to my body as not fueling it properly.