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No Need to Compare…


I have a little confession to make…



Last Saturday, I was at the gym minding my own business completing my own walk/run interval workout, and I looked over to the treadmill on the left of me. I observed the girl running for just a second before glimpsing quickly at her treadmill screen. She was running at 8.0 speed for what had to have been the past 20 minutes. I was both suprised and impressed at the same time.


Instead of moving on from this, though, I got stuck…



I got stuck in the comparison trap. The comparison trap is where you fall when you start to compare yourself with others around you. Instead of focusing on your own personal successes you compare yourself to others’ progress. Instead of seeing your own strengths and improvements, you see yourself as not good enough or not strong enough compared to others.



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The comparison trap is a low, dark, lonely place. Your attitude is negative. Your outlook is pessimistic, and there’s no positivity in sight.



It happens to the best of us. We compare ourselves to other people, and we end up feeling bad about ourselves. After Saturday happened to me, I started to think about how I could prevent myself from falling into the comparison trap.



Staying out of the comparison trap:


  • Keep written track of your progress. Writing down your progress with work-outs helps to hold you accountable and also allows you to realize how far you’ve come. You are able to see concrete progress and become more motivated to have continued success.
  • Go easy on yourself. Remind yourself where you started and where you are now. You cannot expect a miracle to happen! I know that I have come very far because when I started running I could barely run for 2 minutes straight without huffing and puffing. Now I can run two miles in a row (no big deal)! 🙂 I also completed a 5K last November.
  • Zone out at the gym. It always helps me to completely zone out at the gym. I connect to my music or enjoy chatting with a friend, and I just forget about all of the people around me doing their work-outs. This helps me focus just on me and my progress. The pressure to compare myself with other people goes away.
  • Focus on the positives. Remind yourself during your work-outs that you are unique. Your successes are your successes, and no one can take them away from you. Just because I run at 6.0 speed does not make me less capable or not as strong as the girl running 8.0 speed.




Tell me: How do you avoid the “comparison trap”?




4 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/03/2012 9:55 pm

    I cover the display so people cannot see how fast i am running and I try to avoid looking at the displays next to me

  2. 02/04/2012 1:50 am

    By trying to remember that we ALL carry a heavy load to compare yourself to another person is like comparing your whole body to someones foot – there is so much mroe you can’t see.

    Great post – thank you.

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