And by that I mean, I am not anybody else.
Which is a fairly obvious thing to say, but one that's not that easy to remember.
I have a t-shirt. Here it is:
It says that happiness comes when we stop comparing ourselves to other people. Again, simple advice but still a habit that seems so deeply rooted in very many (if not all?) of us.
I think comparing ourselves to others goes beyond a bad habit, it crops up all over the place. From being last to be picked in the school sports teams to being asked to rate yourself versus your peers in performance management reviews.
We're often told not to judge ourselves, but judgement and comparison are all around. I'm writing this with X-Factor on in the background (it's ok, it's the 'Overs', I'm not missing much. By the way, over what, 25!? dear oh dear), Strictly not long finished on the other side. Judgement, judgement, judgement. Comparison after comparison.
You're not as good a dancer as him. She's a better singer than you.
I say this because it's a lesson I'm having to keep learning and relearning and reminding myself of over and over again as I go through my journey to get fitter, leaner and more body confident.
The 12 month program I signed up to uses past successes as a way to demonstrate how brilliant the program is. Which had the effect of making me believe that if I did the program I would end up looking like them too.
Which of course, I don't.
I look like me. Only better, smaller, leaner and fitter.
But I do NOT look like the buff amazing gym machines in the photos. AT ALL. Which meant initially I was massively disappointed and felt like a huge failure.
When I see other girls at the gym with less dimples showing through their leggins, I feel like massive failure that my legs don't look like theirs.
When I see somebody in yoga take a pose deeper than I can, I feel a massive failure for not being as flexible as they are.
When I see somebody running without knackering their back, I feel like a massive failure for not being able to cope with simple movement.
Because I'm comparing myself to others. I don't know their story, their journey. But I do know mine.
|me then, not loving that hill|
|me now, literally jumping for joy!|