'The most violent thing to do is to compare yourself to someone else' Iyania Vanzant
The First Step Towards Moving Forward
I'm sitting in a cafe and I overhear a conversation amongst friends: friend #1 says 'you're eating a pastry? I wish I could. You are so thin, look at your flat stomach! I wish mine was like that.' Ten minutes later, friend #2 says, 'you have the most beautiful hair, I'm so jealous, mine is so dull and thin.' What do we have here? Two friends making themselves feel bad for who they are because they see what they think they don't have and are comparing themselves to the other person. How many of us have done this? Probably most of us (the guy version might be a tad different, but guys do this too).
What happens to us when we compare ourselves to others? How does it make us feel? I know I feel down, inadequate, heavy, jealous and lonely. The other side of comparing ourselves is when we try to boost our ego and think we are better than others. This makes us feel good for a moment, but really deep down it doesn't feel all that great. Why do we need to feel superior to others to feel complete anyway?
We compare ourselves with others in all sorts of situations, whether it is sports related, at work, with our friends and especially with our health and bodies. Knowingly or unknowingly, this tendency is something that most of us do. Fortunately it is just that, a tendency. You have the power to change it and accept where you are on your own path as well as where other people are.
So how do we do start to accept ourselves and others?
Starting to notice when you are comparing yourself to others and observing that thought is the first step. Then of course, not judging yourself for having that thought is the important next step.
Bring more oxygen into the brain and throughout the body by taking a breath. This simple step will help relax the body and mind and make it easier for a mental shift.
Celebrate Others' Success
This one is often the hardest. Why would we want to celebrate others' success? Well because other peoples' success is actually our success too, especially when talking about health. Think about your coworkers. You know when your coworkers are not taking care of themselves, they might come to work grumpy, have low energy, can't focus, their creativity and enthusiasm is low, and/or have a bad attitude all leading to being more prone to complain and judge others. If we had a choice none of us would choose to work with these people, right? But when our coworkers are eating well, managing their stress well, getting good movement in, spending quality time with their friends and family, have a creative outlet and are getting outside once, they are far more likely to show up to work happy, healthy, enthusiastic, have lots of creative ideas and be fun to work with. Therefore, their success directly benefits you and everyone else they are around. So celebrating and supporting others in their success can improve our lives by being around them as well as being an inspiration.
Acknowledgement & Gratitude
Looking at what you ARE doing for yourself, and being grateful for all that you can do and have. This is extremely powerful, because chances are you are doing better than you think and have a lot more than you realize to be grateful for.
Remember, we are all on our own paths towards health, happiness and wellness and no one has been through exactly what you have gone through or are going through. Realizing this for yourself as well as for others can be huge when accepting yourself and others for who you/they really are. We are all just doing our best with what we have got.