Overcoming the Comparison Trap

February 12, 2019

Ashley Mauzy- Marketing Intern

For many of us, recreational activities are meant to bring forth emotional enjoyment from heavy routine schedules. But unfortunately, physical activities that we usually consider to be fun and enjoyable can sometimes be taken in by that dreadful trap that we call, competition.

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at the gym near your lifting station, scanning the room to see what you want to hit next. Then out of the corner of your eye you notice someone hitting their lift with way more weight. You know what comes next. Feelings of envy kick in. Questions of, “why can’t I do that? Or, “why am I not good at this?” kick in. You doubt yourself and your ability to do what you enjoy doing. You that you are stuck in the comparison trap. Whether it comes to fitness or any other recreational activity, the comparison trap can become one of your worst enemies. So, here are some truths and tips that you can tell yourself when you feel this way:

1. Realize that comparisons strain us of our joy.

Comparison, like many other innate thoughts, is pretty much a lost battle. Comparison to others will bring no benefit to you and will only distract you from what your meaning of life is. A way to start battling this strain is to be good to yourself. Find joy in the things that you do by focusing on the joy that you had when you started recreation. Don’t let others take away the enjoyment you have with your activities.

2. You are YOU.

You may hear this a lot, but it’s very true. You are a unique individual. Just like everyone else, you have unique talents that only you possess. So when you compare yourself to someone else, you cannot say that you can properly compare yourself. There is just no possible way that your gifts and contributions to society can be compared. Know that you have your strengths and weaknesses as well as anyone else in the same room.

3. Seek the Lord over seeking thoughts of others.

God commands us as his children to seek his approval over other people. God only wishes for us to seek him, so why do we waste so much of our time seeking approval from the wrong source? Take note from the apostle Paul in Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the approval of Man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man. If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Paul knew that he would not gain satisfaction from gazing his focus on man, so he instead looked towards God. Look towards God when you are faced with comparison and realize that He is overall the most important.

4. Instead of competing with others, compete with yourself.

Competition itself isn’t a bad thing. But the way you channel the competitive energy matters. So, consider self-competition. Set goals for yourself every time you start your activities. Try to beat your own personal records and find confidence in those small victories.