Compare Like for Like

Have you ever been in a situation when you thought ‘wow, she’s so much prettier than I am’? Or the flipside ‘I would fit into that outfit much better’? The media and our preponderance to share only our ‘good’ side have had an unconscious effect on our minds. We constantly compare ourselves to others.

Yet, ask anyone you meet on the street whether they are unique, and the answer will be a resounding ‘yes’.

So why are we so desperately looking to compare ourselves with others, knowing that we can’t ever compare like for like?

For a minute, let’s look at the corporate world where data is hailed as the holy grail of making business success. Imagine that, as business manager, you rely on data to make your decisions. Would you look at what the competition does and copy their strategies? Or would you look at your own data and develop your strategy from this? Of course, it’s the latter: your business, just as yourself, is unique. Yes, looking at what others are doing to win sales or build a following is good to know. But concentrating on your strength, your added value, and authenticity is going to make your business successful.

The same holds true for your personal life.

Concentrate on your Self, including body, mind and soul, and you will be authentic and balanced.

When we see other people, we can’t help but judge them in our minds. It’s always on a shallow, superficial level as we judge ‘the book by its cover’. We don’t know their trials and tribulations. Nor what life has had in store for them so far and what their dreams and worries are. The same counts when others are judging us. They see the clothes, the make-up (or not), the body, the hair, the way we move, and maybe our facial expressions.

Comparisons, therefore, aren’t like for like. We’re not comparing apples with apples, but apples with pears (and the so hankered after hourglass). We don’t know what others see when they look in the mirror. Nor what concerns they have with their own body image. We don’t know whether the skinny person has an eating disorder or an uber-active metabolism. And we don’t see that the heavyset person goes to the gym constantly and is super fit.

Movement and exercise doesn’t always mean being slim. They help to increase energy output and if taking in less calories than burning slimming is going to be a side effect. Movement is much more about fitness: being able to carry the shopping home, tie the shoelaces and play with the children (and grandchildren). It’s about getting to know your body, how it works, what it likes, what it finds challenging and what effect exercising has on the mind and the soul.

We’re often our own worse critics

Especially when it comes to our bodies. We see things that are non-existent to others who see us, who only shake their heads in disbelief as we’re pointing out our many faults. And haven’t we all been that friend? Wondering how our counterpart doesn’t see their own beauty? And wondering even more on how to tell them how beautiful and perfect they are to us?

When you’re in this situation again, take a moment to yourself: what would you like to hear? What would sound authentic and not disrespectful or cynical? And as you condole your friend, think about how you judge yourself, your body, and how what you’ve just said to your friend also applies to you.

Only when we understand our bodies, the way movement actually moves us and through us, can we be disciplined enough to do the right thing. Eat and drink right (with exceptions, of course), find exercises that are fun and a bit challenging to move us forward – literally and metaphorically. And that’ll stop the need for comparisons because we’re centered and happy with our body and its performance.

 

If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, get in touch (claudia@spellyourlife.com) to find out how we can work together.