The Comparison Trap

I deleted my Facebook almost over 2 years ago as it was not adding any benefit to my life. After a break-up and wanting to rid myself of anything negative, deleting my account was good for my soul. I never had a desire to get back on over the past 2 years until I started blogging. Almost every article I read mentioned utilizing Facebook as much as possible. For the first year of the blog I survived without it until this year when two of the groups I am a part of, started communicating via Facebook. A few weeks in, I realized I was missing important information because I wasn’t part of the group. Therefore, I finally started a new Facebook account (under my married name of course). I liked the idea of getting to start my new account under my new name. But… a few weeks in and I got that first request that immediately made me question having a Facebook. I got the all too dreaded 10 year high school reunion group request.

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I know you’re probably thinking “oh gosh, she’s going to share her horrible high school experiences.” No, I’ll spare you. In fact, it really wasn’t that horrible, but definitely not a time in my life as a chubby insecure teen that I like to reminisce on. Getting that initial request (and not knowing how privacy settings or the ability to quit a group worked) I panicked for a second. First, because I was doing the math in my head asking myself has it already been 10 years. After realizing sadly yes I am that old (and reminding myself to have that minor I’m-almost-30-years-old-freak-out another day), I started to remember why Facebook has always been bad for me. Facebook has always sucked me into a negative thought process that would result in me questioning everything I had been doing since high school, how I looked in pictures, where my relationship stood and on and on.

Stop the Comparison Trap

Now don’t get me wrong.. I love social media. I’m a consistent Instagram scroller at night and love me a good Twitter chat but neither have made me go into such negative thinking like Facebook does. Even then, Facebook is great to connect with family and friends in other states or countries but for me it always lead to the comparison trap which never ends well. After rejecting the reunion group request on Facebook, I started thinking about the comparison trap that I experience on Facebook that I see so many people fall into at the gym. In the classes I teach, I see many new students get upset because they cannot lift as much weight, bike as fast or long or complete as many reps as another student. I find myself telling new and old students often that you cannot compare your fitness journey to someone else’s. Every single person is at a different point in their fitness. When you are working out in a group fitness setting just like a solo workout session, your focus should be on YOUR workout. You will never find anyone who is in the exact same point in their fitness to compare to, therefore comparison does nothing for you. The only comparison that should take place is against yourself. Reminding students to keep track of their accomplishments. Tracking their workouts can show an increase in reps, time or weight and is a great way to compare yourself to the only person who you should. This is one of my favorite quotes and a constant reminder to stop comparing yourself to anyone or anything because YOU are the best you!

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Tell me: What is your favorite and least favorite form of social media?

Positive Thoughts

Over the past few years I have come to learn one important lesson- Life can just plain suck sometimes. However, the bigger life lesson following is that staying positive can change any negative situation. Honestly, although life can suck, it is all about turning any situation that is not going your way into a positive outlook. I sincerely can tell you that I have been able to get through many of bad situations because of positivity. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is easy and sometimes you may even have to force being positive in the beginning. As you learn to appreciate the good in a bad situation, you will slowly start to find yourself picking positivity as your first reaction.

Positive Thoughts

Being positive is important in any and all situations. Did your layover get delayed in a random city overnight? Look at it as a way to explore a new city for the night. Did your favorite group exercise class get cancelled? Maybe it is time to finally try that Zumba class. Who knows if you are missing out on a new favorite workout or instructor. In running races, positivity has helped me get through the last few miles as I push myself to make it to the finish line.

I myself work on being positive every day and brush the little things aside. There are times when I feel like the zen of yoga is working while other times there will never be enough Ujjayi breaths to get me through the day. So how do you stay positive when all you want to do is throw something at someone?

*Breathe. Yoga is onto something with the deep inhales and releasing exhales. If you find the negativity creeping up on you, take a step back, take a few breaths in and calm yourself down. It will often remind you that your emotions are overruling what is at hand and helps you to refocus your negative energy.

*Speaking of stepping back, do exactly that in a negative situation. Removing yourself for a few minutes will help you to evaluate from a different mindset. This tactic helps you to clear your head from the negativity to reevaluate and change your thinking.

*Stepping back in a situation is especially helpful when you take the time to list of all the positive things in a situation. By bringing focus to the positive aspects, it will help you to overcome the negative thoughts. A positive list will also help you to realize usually a situation is not as bad as we think. It helps to clear your head and bring you back into the bigger picture of a situation.

*Again as mentioned, sometimes you just have to fake it. You have heard the saying “fake it til you make it” and the same goes for a situation you find yourself struggling to be positive in. It becomes a domino effect. By forcing yourself to have positive thoughts, slowly your mind transitions to being less negative and more positive in all situations. Positive minds lead to a positive life.

Stay Positive

 Positive thoughts are a choice that you must make. We will all find ourselves in a situation we could easily choose negative thoughts as our end result but where will that get you? Let’s try this week to pick one situation where we let positivity take over. I’m sure you will find it is always the better option.

Tell me: What do you do to help stay positive in a situation where negativity takes over?