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The Comparison Trap

Posted Nov 07 2011 5:03am

It’s hard to believe but I have been reading blogs for almost three years and that my list of staples has expanded to what it has become. I am even amazed that I write my own because I was hesitant to do so for such a long time, thinking no one could possibly give two hoots what I have to say, or the experiences I have had, but writing has been such a wonderful coping skill for me and I absolutely LOVE all the tremendous friendships I have formed through the social network.

BUT, on the flip side of this, blogging has also been extremely dangerous for me.

As a female I think we compare ourselves to others far too often. A few weeks ago when I was reading Catilin’s post about how life is not a “supermarket,” where the world just miraculously runs out of positive things, totally hit home for me.

I was thinking about it and too frequently do I look at someone and think I wish I could have what she has, have the same talents, look similar, etc. and I don’t spend anytime appreciating what God gave me.

Sure my paychecks are not as large as I would like them, but honestly how many other people come home from work with a smile nearly every, single, day? The point is, the world was not meant for everyone to be the same. That would be pretty damn boring, but I too get stuck in ruts where I will analyze and agonized why I can’t be or have more.

Blogging started to become just another avenue for my constant comparisons about six months into reading. At first I would see a new, semi-foreign to me food product and hunt it down online or at the store to purchase. This actually wasn’t a bad thing because it brought Barney Butter, new varieties of Greek Yogurt, and a whole slew of pumpkin recipes into my life, but then it graduated to work outs.

I was seeing all these beautiful women doing hour-long runs, body pump, yoga, P90X, sometimes multiple in the same day and I was thinking to myself, “Omg, my 45 minutes on the treadmill and 5 pound free weights is lame!”

So then, I upped to routine to match that of others. And the same occurred with my daily calorie intake, and I was spending far too much money on fancy kitchen gadgets, exercise clothes, food I didn’t need; all because I wanted to fit into the community.

You can obviously tell from my past entries that I have a lot of issues with fear of rejection, wanting to be part of a group or accepted by pretty much everyone, but this is not a way to frame your life.

In fact, my obsession with being the same as all the healthy living bloggers I love, escalated to the point where I had to go to hospitals for too many years of my adult life.

It is not the fault of those who are writing the blogs. They are wonderful, caring, inspirational people, who did not intend for me to take their content and twist in around in my mind and push it to the extremes that I did, because if you pay attention, most of these females also take rest days, enjoy themselves socially, and have insecurities too. They are people, friends, daughters, sisters, wives, just like me.

It was ME who distorted their writing, and me who was not happy with MYSELF, so I was grasping for anything I could to improve my self-confidence. Since these girls looked so happy, gorgeous and free, I wanted that too and I thought by mimicking their behaviors, that life would finally be mine.

It really really really does not work that way.

It goes back to what I was saying on Friday, about having confidence and finding something inside yourself to value, because comparisons only lead to unhappiness, and feelings of being unworthy because you can’t fully achieve the same life as another.

Just remember that when you read, because I still have to remind myself sometimes.

I know I personally write for my own sanity, and hope that maybe I can help someone else by them reading and processing the experiences I have had, but I never ever post to make someone feel bad, or wish they had a similar existence.

Please know that I do my best never to trigger or invoke negative emotions, but if there is something I mention or say that does bring up discomfort, I encourage you to evaluate why. I have learned that often I discover the most about myself, and my recovery, when I can analyze the things that hurt, or agitate me. Sometimes it’s not always about what your reading, but a past scenario that has been pushed away for far too long.

With that I hope you have fabulous weeks ahead of you.

Its Monday so maybe you should start with a little PTG!


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