Stop comparing yourself to others! This shouldn’t just be a running tip, but a big life one. Certainly something in the day and age of social media sharing I think most of us struggle with more than ever in the past. Perfect lives are no longer just in the magazines or TV, they are all around you. Everyone is the most awesome at everything they have ever done. I took a picture of my soup today? Why? Because I’m the best at eating my soup and I thought the internet needed to know.
Back to running. For most runners you tend to circulate among other runners. Either via the interweb or in your own group of friends. If you are just starting out running it can be even harder. Everywhere you look are seasoned runners who think 3 miles is a short run, when you can’t even manage to get through one mile
Why should you stop comparing yourself to others?
- No one else is perfect either. They’ve just done a stellar job making it appear so. And that probably takes a lot of effort.
- Life is Arbitrary. Life is unfair. Not everyone is beautiful, talented or wealthy. Whenever I think about how unfair things are I remember this quote by Marcus Cole from Babylon 5:
I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?” So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
- Comparing yourself to friends can fuel resentment. Jealousy and bitterness walk a fine line with admiration. Someone who was once a good friend may seem like an enemy because their accomplishment now only reminds you of your supposed shortcomings. Don’t do it.
- It can diminish your own growth. Use your energy to focus on you and your goals, not evaluating others and how they achieved theirs. There can be something learned from another successful person, but it also can turn into an obsession.
- You can’t change some of your limitations. You look a certain way, you have certain talents and that is what we were born with. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can learn to be a better singer, and style your hair to be more complimentary, but you still look like you. Trying to be something else is to deny your own weakness and could drive you to always feeling inadequate.
Comparing Yourself is a Thief of Joy
Using others as motivation to work harder or inspiration is a healthy way to self motivate, but by comparing yourself you deny your own unique achievements. There is always going to be someone who is smarter, faster, or more beautiful than you. That is merely life. Be happy with who you are and focus how you can be the best you. Don’t worry about everyone else, because despite how things appear on the outside, they are probably struggling just like you and me.