Real Life Wednesdays: The Comparison Game

I’ve had a little bit of a struggle lately.  I’ve struggled with how to combine my love of fitness and my deep and insane desire to talk to you about things that are real and true to life.  Not that fitness isn’t real and true to life, it’s a deeply rooted passion of mine.  But, what on earth does a blog in 2015 look like that combines both?  I’m not sure I know the answer.  But, I guess we can try to figure it out as we go right?  I thought since I have posts and days of the week that are geared toward fitness, I could do the same with the real life stuff that’s on my mind.  So, Wednesdays are that day.  If you have something you want me to discuss or a topic you are intesrested in, lay it on me.  Comment below or email me and we’ll hash it out ok?  Wordless Wednesdays have officially become totally wordy Wednesdays ha!!  Ok, so here we go…

This thing with comparison has been on my mind lately(shocking I know that I would have something on my mind).  So we play this game don’t we?  We go for a run, get a new job, lose a few pounds, ace a test.  Then, we hop on social media or talk to a friend or see pictures of something from someone from their something they did somewhere, and we immediately feel inadequate.  Can I just very gently and lovingly ask you to think through this with me?  Can we take some time today and think about how ridiculous and stupid this is? It’s hard.  I know.  I get it.  But I think, especially as women, we need to get a handle on this now,  don’t you?

Sometimes as a runner I find myself comparing myself to other runner’s around me.  Duh.  It’s natural right?  We all do it.  I find myself justifying a pace from a certain run with things like, “but I was tired, I had a headache, I didn’t train for this, I ate too many cookies last night(probably the most likely excuse)……”  The list could go on and on.   We all fall into the trap of belittling our accomplishments, because in light of someone else’s, ours seem small and insignificant.

Pace.  Distance.  How many calories we burned.  How many people we passed.  How much sweat we induced.  How sore we are afterwards.  How big we are.  How small we are.  How funny we are…or are not.  How much money we make.  How much success we’ve had.  What vacations we take.  How much we’re at church(ouch).  How smart our kids are.  What great athletes our kids are.  How many titles we get.  All of these things can cause us to compare.  With social media in our faces ALL THE TIME it’s easy to come back from a run(or anything really, doesn’t have to be fitness related) and feel amazing just to scroll through your Instagram feed to see 10 posts with people who did more, ran faster, ran farther or seemed to feel “like a beast” and it suddenly makes you feel like what you did wasn’t enough.  Everyone struggles here right?  I’m not alone in this.  I can’t be.

I’m not here to bash social media.  I take part in it every day.  But, I do think we need to keep things in check.  Sometimes I find I just need a day where I focus on what I’m supposed to do and stay away from looking at what everyone else is doing.  It’s healthy to take a step back.  To take some pride in what YOU have done.  Did you run 18 miles on a Tuesday?  No?  Who cares.  Did you go for a walk or play with your kids or clean your bathrooms?  Yes?  Good for you.  There is no shame in that.  I get tired of feeling as though somehow what I have done during the day isn’t good enough because my heart and mind decide what someone else did is better.  So, let’s encourage each other.  Let’s look at the positive things we do and the decisions we make every day that better our lives and our health and be proud of them.  Don’t put them on a scale.

                   

I didn’t start running until adulthood.  I never ran track in high school, I have never won a race.  I’ve never had a pace that people looked at and immediately thought “wow what a speedy beast.”  Nope. I’ve always considered my physical accomplishments as sort of average.  I rode horses competitively growing up.   I was pretty good.  But never great.  I LOVED what I did and I LOVED to train.  I was good at it.  But, put me in the arena in front of a crowd and I’d cave a lot of the time.  I hated pressure.  Still do.  So, I was always just kind of an average performer.  There was always someone else better(in my mind).  Even when thinking of the steps I’ve taken for my health over the years, I tend to downplay it.  Nothing earth shattering.  No record breaking paces.  No wins.  I go back to that childhood where I considered what I did in light of the girls that won everything as less than average.  I wish I had known then what I know now.  That I was doing something I was passionate about.  I was doing something God put deep inside of me and that was bringing glory to Him wether I was winning or not.  I was doing my purpose for that time in my life.  Who cares how many blue ribbons I brought home.  Those experiences helped shaped who I am today.

I love knowing that I have freedom in not comparing.  I don’t have to compare my life or my accomplishments or my goals to anyone else’s.  They can just be mine.  They can be meaningful and real and awesome and cool.  I can fail, or succeed.  It doesn’t make me any more or less valuable in the eyes of the One who made me.  My kids can never wear matching outfits and never dress up….

Case in point…
Matching’s just not her thing ok.  But she’s still all kinds of awesome. 

  They can fail tests or flip the bird(yes, this happened.  He didn’t know what it meant, but it still happened).  They can draw pictures of butt’s in church(yep, this happened to, and I have proof)……..

This is the front…wait for it…

And the butt on the back…

I’ve seen my kids fall into this same trap of comparison.  I literally just had this conversation with Jake over a fundraiser at school.  So and so has raised such and such.  On and on he went.  Enough is enough.  Be thankful for what you have raised and how well you have done and let everyone else do their thing…you do yours.  It happens.  Its part of being a parent and being human.  But I can’t let my failures or the failures of my kids, or our accomplishments, allow me to begin the comparison game.  It ends in…well nothing.  It leads us nowhere healthy.  I can’t be someone else or keep up with the world by trying to be everything I’m not.  I can only be me.  Even as I write this post I have to wrestle with not worrying about comparing myself with other blogger’s or writers.  Ones that can speak more eloquently or communicate better.  And who probably don’t have pictures of butt’s in their post.

I love that we have so many outlets to shout our accomplishments.  But when we see someone else’s parade let’s not forget that we still hold value, regardless of what we have to show for the day.  Remember you are who you are, and you are unique.  Special.  Valued.  Talented.  Gifted in a way no one else is.  Unique.  Lovely and all things beautiful because you were made by the God that threw the stars in the sky and put the mountains in their places.  He put deep inside of you the desires you feel and He wants you to use them for Him.  Even if you fail.  Even when you don’t feel it’s good enough.  It is.

“Comparison is often why our important roles shrink to seem so insignificant.  Comparison robs us of the joy of obedience. ~Jenny Allen

6 comments on “Real Life Wednesdays: The Comparison Game

  1. Hey Kylie….I understand!! Social media can be great and useful, it can also be a total time suck and something that draws us into comparing. You are going to love being unplugged for a bit!!

  2. Thanks Holly!! Something is up with my comments and I’m not seeing them so Im so sorry to just now respond!! I love that you are focussing on you and not everyone else, it can be so hard to do!! THanks for reading!!

  3. So very true. I’m struggling with the idea of giving up Facebook and Instagram for Lent (and I’m not even Catholic) because at times it’s fun to see what everyone else is doing and it feels like a connection to home since I’ve only recently moved away…but I think more of the time I mindlessly scroll and play the comparison game and it’s no fun!

  4. I love this post!!! This is something I struggle with daily; you were just pulling the words from my brain! As lent starts today I’m going to try to focus on what I’m doing rather than everyone else. Thank you!!

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