Comparing To Others + Thankful Thursday

Hey friends!

It is THURSday! One of my favorite days of the week because…. I get to teach Zumba AND BodyPUMP on the same day. My life just doesn’t get any better than that!

{fitness nerd alert–LOVE my new Zumba pants!}

On a more somber note, thank you to you ALL for voting for me to get on Team Refuel. Unfortunately I did not make the cut. And even more unfortunate than that, I cried about it.

Yes, CRIED. Who does that?!

Apparently I do. Over the smallest stuff.

You know what else, when I got that (above) email, I thought to myself, “the h%*l that I will support those who got on it.” Isn’t that terrible?!!

I am a bad person.

Okay that is a lie–that was just a bad moment in my life. And I totally judged people I did not know and compared myself to them–making sure to tell myself I was not as good as them, and that they should receive less praise and excitement because I seemingly “lost.”

What bogus crap is that?!

Oh wait, it’s what many of us have been fed or taught or believed for much of our lives. Comparing to others is dangerous, destructive, evil, and very damaging to the soul. 

***

I almost did not tell you all how I really felt when I got that e-mail….but then I decided that it could be helpful as a lesson for me and for all of us.

If you have something amazing happen for yourself, how FUN is it when people are excited for you (like this)?! It ROCKS. We all LOVE feeling justified, appreciated, and validated. It totally boosts our self-confidence and makes us feel good when others like us or what we’ve done.

{like when my sistas were excited for me when I made that necklace -above–big deal(!!), I am NOT crafty at.all}

On the flip side, has it ever happened that a friend, acquaintance, or just someone you know (virtually or not) had something awesome happen to them (or something they did), that you kinda sorta wanted, and you were a teeny tiny bit jealous, and sort of wanted it as well. And KINDA didn’t want them to have it because you felt like it made you LESS of a person because they had it and you did not?!

(did you follow that?)

Well, that is comparing to others, my friends. And it can destroy any of us. It is actually the opposite of the law of abundance : what I have or get does not diminish or take away from what you have, could get, or might have gotten.

When we believe that others’ success must be the measuring stick for our own, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

When I had an anorexic mindset for years, I thought that every woman that passed by me who was skinnier than me (some were not even, I was just delusional). I would compare myself to them, to celebrities, to people I knew. All.the.time. It ruined me from the inside out, and I became very VERY unhappy.

It continued as I began my journey to recovery, but it did lessen. I started praying more for help in this area, and that helped a lot as well.

When I did meet my then-boyfriend (now husband), I found I started to really believe that he loved me for ME and not because of someone else or in spite of someone else. He just loved me, pure and simple. This was an amazing realization! I was NOT pitted against anyone else. His love for me was straight from his heart-with out any jealousy or envy.

(As I am religious, this love that I am describing is even more perfect, well, IS perfect, in the God loves man/woman relationship.)

{wow. that is very close up. sorry}

This love (both from God and from my future husband) helped me love myself, and in turn, I stopped comparing to others (well, it lessened dramatically).

All of a sudden (okay fine, over a few months), I did not care if someone scored better than me on a test. I did not care if I was the top of my class in grad school. And I did not mind if someone was skinnier than me, stronger than me, faster than me, or had better clothes than me.

I was happy, content, and at peace (for the most part–no one is perfect!) with what I HAD and who I was.

We only disappoint ourselves every time we think “I wish I could’ve done that instead of her,” OR “I should’ve been chosen for that, I am better than her at that,” OR even when we say, “I am so much better than her at running, lifting, teaching, crafting, organizing, blah blah blah blah.”

When we pride ourselves in something we do or accomplish, this is not evil or even bad. It’s great to celebrate our own success and progress (and others’)!! BUT it is in the act of taking that success or accomplishment we’ve done and pitting it against someone else and comparing to others -setting ourselves on a higher plane- that destroys us and our souls.

Comparison can be a good thing because it can motivate us to be better and reach higher, but more often than not it can be very dangerous…..

In this awesome healthy living blog world it is SO easy to be like “oh wow, she just ran 20 miles and all I did was sit on my butt and type some e-mails.” OR “She exercises every day and eats perfectly, why am I always fat and ugly and can’t run 2 miles without dying?” <—pretty sure I am not alone in thinking along these lines….at least I hope not or else you all know I compared myself to other bloggers for awhile there ;)

That thinking only hurts the person who is comparing to others, and feeds that obsession to dislike or hate on others’ success. The CRAZIEST part of it all is this : we don’t know each person’s story- so judging them and making conclusions about them is only bringing US unhappiness.

This year, in 2012, I am trying SO hard to make sure that I stop comparing to others. It has been hard, but the second I snap out of it I feel SO much happier!!

****

And with that e-mail story from above, I can now say I am SO stoked for all those who did make the team and wish them the best success!!

I do hope this random (long!!) rambling helps us each think about our mindset and how we treat others–especially because it will make us SO much happier and our lives so much more fulfilled once we stop this stupid game of racing and comparing against others in this thing we called life.

We are here to better ourselves and the race is not against anyone else–it is with ourselves. To see how kind, generous, loving, supportive, and friendly we can be –and then beat that the next day :)

This mindset has completely revamped my life (for the most part–see above story)–I stopped caring how much I weighed and how it compared to the lady next to me. I stopped caring so much what size pants I wore and instead what size my heart was. And I have {tried!!!} to stop comparing my success to others’.

It is an ever ongoing process, but I can say that once I recognized the evil of it all and tried to do something about it, my life has been SO much fuller. And I feel more well!

Did you know that wellness and health include having a healthy mindset as well?! Well now you do ;)

{found on Pinterest. Follow me HERE}

Have a LOVELY, magical, and happy day, my friends!!

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful I can run!
  2. I am super grateful for oranges. SO juicy and sweet this time of year.
  3. I am thankful for THIS talk that helped me understand pride and comparing to others–and the evil consequences that it could bring. SO glad I am working on it so I can avoid that unhappiness!
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Comments

  1. thank you for this reminder to stop judging and to be more positive. :) i love the message! (and i’m sorry you didn’t win… i voted for you every day and you totally deserved to win!!)

    • :) I know I was sad, but really it’s not THAT big of a deal! THANK you for voting for me, though!!!

    • I compare myself to you, Linz, all day long! Y can’t I be more active? Not just physically but in all ways. This Pain Princess blog or lack thereof is a major source of self esteem loss for me and it is amplified by the onset of your new blog. I find a way (which is very new for me) to compare myself to everyone and find failure in myself at every turn. I know it is unhealthy. The main person I compare myself to is my old self before I got sick. I love who and how I used to be. I want it back so bad! Being sick is the biggest source of self esteem loss I’ve ever experienced. But I never feel others don’t deserve their good life & successes just bc I’m not there. Honoring others doesn’t take away from us. In fact it increases God favor for us. The more we sincerely praise other people in their success the more God will favor us to achieve what we want. On that note, time for start the revamping of Pain Princess. Holler!

      • Holler!! You are amazing Angel! ANd what you’re going through is so hard–I don’t think I’d make it! SO props to you and all your goodness :)

        You’re right–we praise others and then we can better achieve what we’re here for (bettering ourselveS). Thanks for the boost- have a lovely day, girl!!

  2. GREAT post, and thank you for being so transparent with us about your past with negative thoughts. With the way that the media portrays women nowadays, it is very difficult to not compare ourselves to others and beat ourselves up for things that we are or aren’t. Photoshop has become a thing of the present, and people don’t realize that what they see on the magazine covers are NOT REAL PEOPLE. I’m convinced that this is a huge trigger for negative thoughts/comparisons, but the trick is to overcome it by being confident in the great things we DO have to offer!

    I’m still working on this too, Annette :)

    • I know–they are NOT real. TOtally agree. I got sucked into that for way too long!

      Good point about being confident in what we DO have–awesome

      Thanks girl :)

  3. This is awesome. A great lesson to all of us! Thank you Annette!

  4. im so glad you were able to stop and look at this situation thoughtfully and put yourself in a more positive direction…its really easy to fall into the dangerous cycle of comparing yourself to others…it takes work, just like everything else in life. thank you for sharing!!

  5. Such a great topic! It is definately easy for people to get sucked into this trap. It ends up being a never ending cycle. We all have our weeknesses and strengths and we have to focus on being the best that we can be. I don’t remember the quote but it’s something like ” I would rather be a first rate version of myself than a second rate version of someone else” not sure if that was right, but I think I got the point across.

  6. Laurie says:

    GREAT POST!!!! So true about how we compare ourselves to others!! I’m sorry :( about the Refuel Team, I did vote for you several times! Hopefully next time! (if there is a next time).

  7. Great Post. I am sorry you didn’t get selected for Team Refuel.

  8. Aww, bummer! I did vote for you!
    I hate comparing myself to others, but I do. I always feel like everyone is thinner than me, and have a slightly warped perspective of my body. It’s ridiculous if I think about it. Woman are SO hard on themselves!
    It is really hard to never be jealous of others and just be happy for them. If you figure out the secret, let me know! :)

    • Thanks for voting for me!

      We ALL have a warped perspective….when we get to heaven we’re going to be like, “why did I waste so much time comparing to others?!!!” ;)

      The secret….hmmmmm, being happy with what you have and who you are–but trying your best every day. I think gratitude is a HUGE part of this all!

  9. all such great things you’re saying… thank you for being so REAL with us! i always appreciate that.

    today i am thankful for my dinner already being ready when i get home – crockpot taco soup! yum! ;)

    • It was hard to be real….like, really, that is scary to be like, “I cried about a contest” ya know?! ;)

      mmmm that sounds tasty!

  10. I would have cried too! But I definitely compare myself way too much and am learning to focus on me and being positive about my good qualities and accomplishments

  11. Awesome, awesome post!!! I have definitely thought so many of the things that you just stated…and it’s so true- it’s not worth it at all! And I’m sorry that you weren’t selected…I voted for you so many times! Just remember that there will be bigger and better opportunities in the future :).

  12. I am so glad I read this post right now. Thank you SO much for writing it. This isn’t really the same thing but I just got turned down for something I wanted and I took it so personally even though it had absolutely nothing to do with who I am as a person, my capabilities, my accomplishments, etc. I once heard the phrase, “Comparing leads to despairing” and I think it is so incredibly true. The anorexic mindset definitely resonates with me. In my eating disorder and even sometimes now in recovery, I would/ at times still will compare myself to others even when I don’t have a fair shot. I’ve learned it is so unrealistic and futile to even attempt to compare to an airbrushed supermodel on a magazine who doesn’t even look like that in reality. Thanks for this post, it really lifted my spirits.

    • I am sorry to hear about your disappointment–it can be SO freakin’ hard!! But you’re strong, and NO it does not define you!!

      Have a lovely evening, Alex!! –p.s. thanks for reading :)

  13. caroline says:

    Disappointments are hard to swallow and I am so sad for you that you didn’t win. =( In my book you won the challenge! We will get even more people to vote for you next year!

  14. Alicia Baer says:

    You said it Annette! Very strong girl you are and I love you honesty- I think when people are honest it really says to other people that it is okay to be honest right back. No use in hiding things- just live and help others along the way. I am glad that you let yourself experience the emotions you had about not getting picked, as opposed to denying your being upset about it. Just as long as it doesn’t last and hurt others and you pull yourself out of it, I think it was healthy for you for a minute. But great job for recognizing where you needed to transition back. I love you Annette. Your a beautiful girl that I have always looked up too:) Something I have always loved about you is your smile. It is very genuine and absolutely beautiful. Keep doing it.

    • Thanks girl :) You are TOO sweet. You’re amazing-you really are!

      I agree–it’s healthy to cry and be disappointed once in awhile. Thanks for reminding me of that and not being too upset that I got upset. hah

  15. They probably picked losers to be on their team if they didn’t pick you! :)

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