We all feel 100% about our appearance 100% of the time, right? F*ck that, no! That’s not how real life works. And I think 99.999999999999% of it all stems from comparison.
This story is from a real day in the life of yours truly that broke me out of a cycle of self defeated thinking that all stemmed from comparison (and the lack there of!).
Picture a typical week day. I was feeling tired, stressed, and desperate for my hour and a half of me time at the gym. Regardless of the social standards of beauty (or maybe it was because of them?) I was feeling “under the weather” as far as appearances go: I was wearing absolutely no makeup behind my glasses, hadn’t washed my hair in the better part of a week, and was debating whether my leggings were the “wear me one more time” dirty or the “everyone is silently begging you to go wash those now, please” dirty.
Walking around my school gym in this state wasn’t fun. I would compare myself to those girls that look impeccable at the gym in their cute, butt-framing, patterned leggings and crop top to patch, and with perfect make up. My most shallow, insecure self would scream in frustration, “it looks like you go to the gym everyday and eat the perfect diet in their day to fit into said crop tops! Who can compete with that?!” And then I would turn it back onto myself: “Why can’t I be like that?? Why don’t I just go the gym every day?? It’s not that hard!” Queue the snowball of judgement to accompany my squats. But luckily I had an unusual response to the landslide of self-defeating thoughts:
It is so f*cking exhausting to maintain this mindset!
Thank goodness my brain was feeling contrary that day. I mean, aren’t you exhausted by just reading those handful of questions that would run rampant through my head?? I sure was. Maybe you also know the incredible amount of energy necessary foster this thinking in your life. My workout could have been filled with self defeating thoughts every time I looked in the mirror. I could have
But I decided to not even put myself in the comparison race. That day, I ended up having an awesome workout and feeling amazing afterward because I didn’t have that nagging voice weighing me down. I was able to focus on the things I was doing well, the challenges I was facing, and identify which parts of my workout I wanted to cultivate and strengthen. And I was able to look at the other girls (and guys) with compassion, appreciating their unique style.
Getting out of our head, into our bodies, and off the track of comparing our lives, bodies, personalities, careers, journeys, etc… to other people’s is truly the key to living our most fulfilling, fun, authentic lives. So, the takeaway?
Tune out to tune in
When you can be in tune with your needs and desires, you do the things that truly bring you to life and light you up. You may go to sleep at the times that work for you, start biking when everyone is running or doing yoga. Maybe you eat meat when everyone is vegan. Maybe you actually do go make a smoothie because damn those are tasty! Or you decide that you are over the whole fad and go cook some eggs like a normal person.
When you can tune into your true feelings, you can gauge what is working for you and what isn’t. You can hold more compassion for yourself because you aren’t looking at an unrealistic reference for your situation. And that is how you can truly choose healthy actions based on self care (how you want to feel), because you are actually in tune with how you truly feel.
When you stop comparing yourself to others, you can become your best, authentic self. No stealing joy from yourself. No causing distance between you and others by creating bad juju. Just celebrating what makes you come to life.
Are you feeling tired of holding yourself to unrealistic standards? Do you want to feel the weightlessness that comes when you can simply be yourself? Look for my Ultimate Self Care Guide to come tomorrow!
Until then, let me know if you can identify with any part of this post! I love to learn more about you :)