"Comparing yourself to others"

"Comparing Yourself to Others"

By Sean Wells

I recently did some goal review sessions with two members, and both mentioned someone else who had more success than they had in the previous 4 months, at least that was their perception. The funniest part of this story is that Pete thought Bill had more success and conversely, Bill thought Pete had more success than him in the same time period. (made up names but true story).

What did I tell Bill and Pete? DO NOT COMPARE. Everyone has progressed in different times and periods of their lives, but no two people are the same. Because everyone differs, they won’t all “get strong” in the same time period, or PR their 1k row at the same time. Due to differences, it happens that one person won’t have the same success by utilizing an accessory movement as another person (yet another reason why we vary what we do!).

I train a couple sets of twins in my Sports Performance classes, and even the twins that are identical, who train exactly the same way, don’t have identical progress. Why is this? Well, for one they might have different sleep quality, they might have different levels of stress, might have different nutrition, might have different motivation levels, they might even have differing goals.

So, these identical twins who are from the same egg and have almost identical genes aren’t progressing at the same rates then why would you and a person in your class have the same rate of progress? The simple answer is, you won’t have the same success at the same rate as another person. If identical twins are not experiencing identical success related to training then you and Bob, who are different ages, who work different schedules, and have different stress levels aren’t going to be comparable. Not even close!

Do not get stuck in the mindset of comparing yourself to others, seeing their rapid (or slower) progress and assume it will be the same for you, as this is a surefire way to get disappointed.

The best way to measure your success is against yourself. That is truly the only way to measure your success and the rate of the changes that are happening. People learn at different rates, their bodies change at differing paces and at the end of the day, the only thing you can control is your own success. To better control and guide your success, you should write short and long term goals, recognize difficulties along the way, adapting to better control and continue to focus on the journey in incremental steps, not simply the final destination.

Don’t get stuck in the trap of comparison, focus on yourself!

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