We’re all guilty of it--even if we say we don’t do it. We all consciously or subconsciously compare ourselves to others. I’d argue that it’s part of our “natural selection” brain that wants to be preferred over others. We want to have the best abs, run the fastest, lift the heaviest, be the strongest, and look great doing it. But WHY?
Why does any of that matter? The truth is--it doesn’t. I’m not asking you to deny biology. I get that your brain automatically goes there to ensure your survival. It’s a brilliant strategy, until you’re placed in a society without mammoths and saber tooth tigers chasing after you. When the comparisons don’t save your life or increase your chance of mating, all they do is harm your self-esteem. I know I sound like a 1990’s Guidance Counselor, but it’s true. If you don’t believe that you can lift that bar, then it’ll stay glued to the floor. If you don’t think you’re worth that new promotion at work, then your boss won’t either. It works in all areas of life.
Darn Emotions Gettin In the Way of Gains
Our emotions and our bodies are interconnected. You may not know this, but your brain is in your body. AND your brain controls your body. Who woulda thought! Now that you know that scientific knowledge, we can move on to why that matters. As humans, we have the unique ability to have introspective thoughts about who we are and why. We also have reasoning capabilities that make us just smart enough to be dangerous.
When we have a lot of stress on us, or if we are in an emotional state, then our bodies aren’t able to carry nearly as much as we normally could. When you start to compare yourself to others you’ll become sad, angry, defeated, deflated,--everything that is emotional--which will make you not perform as well.
Try This Experiment
Try picking up a 14# Wall Ball after thinking thoughts like, “Wow, look at her. She’s kicking my butt. I suck at wall balls. No wonder she looks so great. She is so much better than me. I wish I wasn’t such a waste of space.”
See how many reps you’re able to do before you have to take a break.
Then, try is again after thinking things like, “Ok, I’ve got this. I’m going to take my time, and breathe through it. I did the 10# last week, and this week I’m doing so great that I’m moving up to the 14#.”
I’m sure you can see where I’m going. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy to a degree. If you believe that you can, then you will. If you berate yourself on how miserable you are, then you won’t.
What To Do About It
As soon as your hear that inner voice talking trash to your beautiful soul--Stop It. Stop yourself in your tracks and fill your mind with positive encourage towards yourself. That’s why we want you all to celebrate your little victories on the path to your big goals. It doesn’t matter if someone else is able to do a pull up, and you’re still struggling. It doesn’t matter if they’ve only been here a week and gotten double unders, and you’re still in the corner whipping your backside. It doesn’t make you less of an athlete. You are still here giving it your all, and THAT is what matters.
**You may hear me or other coaches say how long it took us to achieve certain skills. It’s to give you a frame of reference that you’re on track. That we didn’t wake up knowing how to do all of these things. That we’ve been in your exact shoes. We know what it feels like, and we’ve seen lots of people give up. We want you to keep your eyes on the prize and stay consistent so that we can help you reach your goals together.**
Comparisons need to be between YOU and YOU. The You that you were yesterday vs. the You that you are today. Be kind to yourself, and you’ll see the steps of improvement along the way.
<3 Coach Tracey