How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Updated: Feb 8
Have you ever found yourself comparing your body or health to someone else? Chances are this has happened way more times than you can count. I actually learned something about comparison that blew my mind the other day!
I heard about a study that found that airplane passengers in economy seating were 3.84 times more likely to have an outburst of rage if they were on a plane with a first class section. They were 2.18 times more likely to show signs of air rage if they had to walk through the first class section as opposed to walking directly to the economy section.
Isn’t that interesting?
What this means is that we are wired for comparison! Our minds on constantly evaluating whether we are safe, and the perception of being inferior or “not enough” causes those alarm bells to go off in our brains signaling that we aren’t safe. When we feel unsafe, our fight or flight response turns on, and we are likely to act out- hence the airplane rage.
So how might this show up in your life? There are so many ways that we compare with others. We compare our body size, body shape, what we’re eating or not eating, and our perception of health. When we compare ourselves to someone else, this leaves us feeling pretty bad about ourselves. It sends off all those stress hormones, we tense up, start overthinking, and go right into scarcity mode.
Many of my clients, when they first come to me, are stuck in this compare and despair place- and I totally get it.
Here’s the thing though: knowing that we are wired for comparison is actually freeing because this means that there is nothing wrong with you! It’s human nature to do this, and when you find yourself going down this compare and despair rabbit hole, just remember that this is a normal part of being human.
Now, just because it’s human nature, doesn’t mean that you’re destined for a life of compare and despair. There are ways that you can start to rewire those patterns and we go much deeper in my programs when I work with clients.
One easy way that you can step back from the comparison rabbit hole is to step into gratitude. Gratitude does so much for us and when you’re feeling down about yourself, this is one of your most powerful tools. The reason this works is because gratitude shifts us from “not enough” to a place of abundance. It turns on your relaxation response. You can think more clearly. You just feel better.
When you find yourself criticizing a part of your body, think about how grateful you are to have this body. When you start to feel like you’re not eating “the right things”, think about how grateful you are to have food you enjoy and that nourishes you.
Notice how that shifts things.
Implement this correctly and consistently, and you become much more empowered in your body and your health.
I’ll never forget that really awkward phase growing up. I was totally out of proportion and I’m pretty sure my feet grew before the rest of my body. I remember hating on my feet and being so aware that my feet looked so long.
I looked over to my mom and said, “Mom, I hate my feet!” She calmly looked over at me and said, “Some people wish they had feet.”
I still remember this so clearly because that moment shifted everything for me. It’s true. I’m so thankful I have my feet. I get to walk my dog around the block, teach Barre3, and explore different places. This moment immediately shifted me from a place of hating on my body to a place of gratitude.
Over the next couple days, I invite you to give this a try and let me know about your experience. I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to go deeper into this topic and discover what is holding you back from feeling at peace with food and your body, you can schedule a time to chat with me here free of charge.