It is easy to fall into the comparison trap. I have done it with my health, with my business, and even personally in terms of the “have’s” and “have not’s”. You see someone who is right where you want to be, and then eventually talk yourself into a spiral of overwhelm because you don’t even know how to begin to get there.
You get excited at first and are filled with inspiration to begin your own journey. You make a few changes, that might last a month, then find that you slowly taper off. Soon you are wallowing in a pit of discouragement because that other person is STILL super successful and you can’t even manage to stick with your goals for a month.
For some the comparison trap involves a celebrity or person of status. I mean really, who DOESN’T want to be Oprah. For others it could be a friend, relative, neighbor, or mentor.
When I talk to people about my diet and lifestyle, and how my health has greatly improved over the last several years, they usually tell me about their own health woes, profess to knowing that they need to do ________ different, and then follow up with “but I could never because…” and “I don’t know how you do it; I need my diet soda, bread, etc.”
The problem is, when you are just starting to take care of whatever mental or physical stressor that plagues you, you will never be able to snap your fingers and be at the end of the journey.
Trust me, I get it. You desperately want to have all the answers right now on the how, what, and when. You are in a hurry to get to where you want to be, and there doesn’t seem to be time for all the steps needed in-between.
But the truth is, Oprah did not get to where she is today overnight. Athletes don't win medals overnight. I did not reverse my PCOS symptoms overnight. I did not give up gluten, grains, sugar, and dairy overnight. I did not get my body in shape overnight.
And we don’t usually see the all the ups and downs that actually bring success. For example, no one saw my sad, sorry shape when I first started doing yoga. I think it took me 6 months to be able to get through Rodney Yee’s video without collapsing early on my mat. No one saw the struggles of getting the sugar out of my diet and the cravings that led me on a roller coaster for several months. No one saw the discouragement when I realized that my gut health was in the crapper and I had developed a food sensitivity to almost everything which gave me horrible acne and itchy rashes on my neck.
And even today, my health isn’t perfect. I still struggle with some sluggish gallbladder and liver issues. I still end up eating something that sets me back, whether unintentionally or on purpose. Yes, I have come a long way, reversing most of my symptoms, but I had to take all the baby steps to get there.
That person that you want to be like is still a normal person. They fart, poop, argue with their spouse, get embarrassed, and have days plagued with poor self confidence. They still make mistakes. And they still had to take all the tiny steps to get to where they are today.
[Tweet "Never compare your start to someone’s middle or end. It's a recipe for abandoning your goals."]
How do you envision your future?
- Write down your big goal.
- Write down the steps you need to take to get to your goal. Then put those steps on your calendar and follow your calendar.
- If you need to, ban yourself from all the websites or activities that keep you stuck in the comparison trap, at least until you find your own forward movement.
- Contact me if you want help.