05 Aug Comparison is the ULTIMATE Thief of Joy
We’ve all heard this countless times, but as human beings our brains are wired to look for and focus on problems. This is for survival! Whether you’re a client who is making big strides in your health and fitness journey or a dietitian entrepreneur building an online nutrition coaching business, we have all fallen prey to the thoughts of comparison at some point in our journey.
Too many times we compare our chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10, and we become frustrated when we aren’t further along in our progress. We do this without understanding the struggle and adversity that it REALLY took that person to get there. At the same time, we forget to look at all the obstacles we have overcome that led to our personal success. If we become used to focusing on other people’s ‘highlights reel’ in comparison, we might sabotage our own journey.
As clients and as dietitian entrepreneurs, you are constantly faced with new challenges daily. Comparing your journey to others as a way to determine your self-worth consumes your energy. That energy needs to be spent on your own personal growth. Moreover, we can’t compare other people’s BEST moments to our own WORST moments and call that the truth when it’s not. It is important to shift your mindset and accept that it’s possible for others to have spectacular moments and for it to say absolutely nothing about our own achievements. The two are unconnected!
For example, social media is where everyone is putting their best foot forward but NO ONE is perfect 24/7. It’s hard and it’s UNCOMFORTABLE to be raw and show the bits of your journey where you have failed or been set back. But whether other people share their obstacles or not, it’s still happening to them! I always tell my students and my clients that it took me YEARS to get to where I am today. Countless times I ran into obstacles and felt like I was at a standstill, but I BELIEVED in myself enough to keep going. I KNEW that I would eventually reach my goals even though I couldn’t yet physically see it. I’ve made every mistake possible, and that’s why I eventually succeeded.
Above all, setbacks are only TEMPORARY. Everyone will experience them, and you can get through them by staying focused and replacing each negative thought with a positive and better feeling thought.
When you notice the feelings of comparison starting to creep in, try these tools to build yourself up:
- Right now in this exact moment, remind yourself of three things you are proud of for having accomplished and conquered. As a dietitian nutrition coach, I teach my students and my clients that AWARENESS creates CHANGE. Become aware of the fact that you have made it through new endeavors in every aspect of life. You have made it through hard times. You have pushed through barriers. Remind yourself that YOU were built for this journey.
- Focus on your own personal strengths. We must learn to cancel out our negative thoughts by looking for and noticing what’s going well for us. On an individual level, this looks like identifying our positive features and assets. Commonly overlooked strengths include: seeking help when faced with a problem, being resourceful, having empathy for others, a sense of humor, qualities of compassion and honesty, and the list is endless! What are some of your strengths?
- Be happy NOW and accept where you currently are as part of the process. Appreciate every stage of your journey. If you’re on your lifelong health and fitness journey, it can be exhausting when thinking about the end goal. Celebrate other wins instead of focusing on one specific way to measure your success. If you are a dietitian entrepreneur starting your online nutrition coaching, accept the fact that there will be bumps along the way. There’s no such thing as being perfect in business. Everything is feedback and as long as you’re learning, you’re growing!
- Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare where you are now to where you were five years ago or even five months ago. Think of every single step that it took you to get you to where you are today. One year ago you started your podcast, now you have daily listeners. Two years ago you started your YouTube channel, now you have subscribers. Three years ago you made the commitment to live a healthier lifestyle, now you’ve lost weight and built positive habits. You have to take the first step in order to succeed, and each small step is bringing you closer to your goals.
Comparing yourself to others can be a useful tool when you want to inspire yourself, but be careful to not let it consume you. We each have a unique dietitian journey, and if you get distracted by someone else’s you will miss out on your own. Focus on the tips above and become satisfied with who YOU are.
Don’t stay busy doubting yourself while there’s people out there who are intimidated by your potential!
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