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Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Hey POPsters!

I wanted to talk to you today about something that affects a lot of us daily. As women, we naturally are inclined to compare ourselves to our coworkers, our friends, models in magazine, and even the girl walking down the street! Why do we do this? Why do we suddenly try to make competition for ourselves?

I don’t know about you but I’ve never been the type to “love competition.” Even when I was on the Varsity tennis team in high school, I HATED game days. I’d rather work to be the best I can be every day than worry about winning and losing. It’s just no fun for me! Also, did you ever have the kind of parents that compared you to their relatives’ kids? LOL – this is such an Asian thing – but yeah – never enjoyed that either!

So when it comes to determining your own reality, your own happiness, and your own competition, the only person you should be comparing yourself to..

IS YOU.

mirror

It’s unfair to yourself to look at your friend and feel jealous that she’s losing weight and you’re not because you guys are in 2 totally different situations, different bodies, and are living out different lives! You may look at her and say, “Wow her thighs are so skinny and her boobs are so perky, I wish I was like her.” But do you? You never know the full story so it makes no sense and only causes unnecessary thoughts that’ll drag you down. Don’t do that!

Like a science experiment…you have to have a constant variable, or else, the results are invalid!

Now I know it’s easy to say and hard to do because comparing is a natural human reaction. We always want to know where we fall on “the ladder.” But it’s your responsibility to take yourself off the ladder and stay grounded! All you can ask of yourself is to reach your own potential, not someone else’s potential. If you try to, and you don’t like where you stand, I guarantee you will be sad. Why? Why put yourself through that? We are all born with unique gifts and talents and I believe that in our life, it is our duty to embrace those gifts and share them with the world!

chibirdcompare

As long as you are progressing every day, it does not matter how slow or fast you go. It only matters that you keep moving towards your goal…not anyone else’s goal! I’ve been getting emails from girls who aren’t seeing the changes they want and all I can say is that this kind of stuff takes time. It took time to gain weight and it will take time to lose weight! In a society where instant gratification is so familiar to us, we can’t let ourselves get discouraged. For example, I know my body takes time to show changes! It also takes lots of hard work. I also know that with the amount of fitness experience I have, it takes a lot MORE to get myself all worked up and sweaty than the average person. Sometimes I curse this but most of the time I am grateful. Grateful that my endurance and strength allows me to teach class and motivate students without getting breathless! Grateful that I can push myself to my limits everyday. I am thankful for my mental power and my physical strength. It’s something I’ve worked for that no one can take away from me.

Not all of us are born math geniuses or 6ft tall runway models, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Remember that sometimes what you do not have is a blessing too. The reason why your quads and calves are “too bulky” is probably the reason why you’re the captain of your track team. The reason why you don’t have so many friends and you’re so soft spoken is the reason why your art is so expressive and emotional. You see where I am going here?

Embrace what you have and flaunt your best assets. You are like no one else, and no one else is like you. So to be truly successful, be you. BE YOU TO THE MAX. To me success = being happy, so if you can do that, if you can find what makes you wanna wake up every day, you’re on top of the world. Your own world.

Comparison

Do you ever compare yourself to anyone? How does it make you feel? Why do you do it?

<3 Cassey

  • Charisma

    ” The reason why you don’t have so many friends and you’re so soft spoken is the reason why your art is so expressive and emotional. You see where I am going here?”

    Such insight! I’m like this and often I feel sad about it but I’m going to highlight the positive from now on like you’ve done here. Thanks! :)

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  • Sayonara

    Cassey you have really touched my heart, this was great! You’re such an amazing trainer and person.

  • ShoshanahM

    I’m 27, and I feel like I am finally more at peace with my body. Some of it is from running and seeing myself as more of an athlete, who is powerful and capable of handling endurance sports, and it is also realizing that everyone I meet, no matter how big or small seems to dislike certain aspects of their body. I realized my life will keep moving forward and it is a waste of time and my youth to sit around stressing out that my stomach isnt perfectly flat. Not watching very much TV or reading fashion magazines, and choosing to ignore “thinspiration” picture on Pinterest helps too. Even the pictures with positive motivational messages often zoom in on certain physical features (sometimes in an almost pornographic way–we, as women, are objectifying ourselves now) and they make the end goal a certain body type that we all won’t necessarily fit. I tried looking for photos of what I could possibly be, but none seemed to really have my body type. It’s a wonderful feeling to decide that even though I want to be fit and toned, I don’t want to be as ripped as those pictures and I really don’t need a six pack. I just want to be me–a healthy, happy runner gal!

  • Kathy

    Thank you for this. I needed to hear this today. Love your saying : Comparison is the thief of joy.
    Thanks for the post

  • Heather

    Cassey, thank you for this. I have struggled with this my whole life; you know, comparing myself to others. I’m not overweight and never have been because I’m really tall. People have told me that it’s a blessing but all of my friends have always been so petite and cute that I felt like an ogre. And I don’t even want to THINK about the subject of getting a boyfriend taller than me… -___- I’ve always hated towering over everyone. You know how they say “a big person stuck in a small persons body”? Well I’m the opposite. I’ve always wished that I had a smaller frame and could be shorter. But I guess it’s all part of a lesson learned as we grow up. But again, thank you Cassey. You help me remember to love myself. :]

  • Sarah

    :) This is awesome, so well put!! I compete with my former self but sometimes do look at others and end up feeling “behind” or “not good enough” and it totally sucks. I do it cause I feel the need to prove myself.
    And I’m not Asian, but I’ve been compared to someone in practically every family I’ve met. Lol!! I so hear you there. It was kind of funny actually, we met this super awesome family, a bunch of winners. And the first thing my sister and I said to each other later was “there’s another family to be compared to”.

  • Cassey this is awesome! I’m a total believer that your best and only comparison is yourself. So often we compare ourselves to others who are father in their journey and wish we could be them, but we forget that we might be beginning something they have already reached the middle or end of. We can’t measure ourselves against outside influences and get a proper reading. Only when we see how far we’ve come from where we were are we able to gauge our success! L-

  • nikki

    Thank you for this. I really needed to read this, it is very encouraging and comforting.

  • shill

    Hey Cassey,

    You are so right, comparing ourselves does ruin the fun.
    I have a friend who used to compare herself to me and to my fit (I used to be a dancer, so I was skinny).
    It was actually realy sad for me to hear that, though I appreciated the honesty of hers, Just casue I do it too, we all do, and for no reason. For the above example, my body was looking that way thanks to A LOT of intensed trainings. so hearing “Oh you can eat and do nothing and look amazing”, even when said as a compliment, seariously upset me – I was working my ass off 12 hours a week.

    I have also known this girl who lost like 15 kgms in just 2 weeks, everybody kept on complimating her, when she finally said she had a disease that caused her puking…

    what I’m trying to say is, we never know the background of a person standing in front of us. so we should not be jealous, we should only focus of what WE can do, where I stand today comparing to where I was standing a year ago.
    Talking about a progress, that’s a perceptual progress we need to go through, and we can.

    Have The BEST week!
    <3

  • Fab bit of advise! Shame that it’s easier said than done! Thanks for giving me something to think about though! :)
    Faith. X

  • Ange

    I do this all the time. I compare myself to every girl I see. I even ask my brother or my husband if I’m skinnier or the random other girl is skinnier. They laugh and sometimes I do too but inside I’m super serious. Thank you for this post and for always helping us keep our eyes on what is important- and that’s what is inside of us. Thank you! You do a wonderful job!

  • Heather

    This was such a lovely post. SO important to keep reminding ourselves of this. Thank you!

  • its like you stole words from my mind! lol!
    you know Cassey… I’d be liar if i say i no longer compare myself with others. I do. I’m a human y’all! i just subconsciously do it! But I no longer compare myself with others to the point of misery and envy and anger. ^__^

  • Annabelle

    Cassey always knows how to make me smile, whether it’s that post-workout (not during, that’s for sure…) “I did it!” feeling, or things like this. Everyone’s different, and that’s what makes you, you. Being the same as that girl over there is so BORING, who wants to be the same? Comparison really does steal your happiness, because you only focus on what the OTHER has, not what YOU have.

  • Alisha

    I compare myself to others everyday… Thank you so much for posting this, Cassey, you’ve really changed my mindset!

  • Caroline

    Thank you for writing this Cassey. Those words about each of us having certain gifts, because of our differences, really struck a chord. I always thought of it in terms of physical insecurities ie. big muscles=big strength but your statement about being able to express your art better really rings true for me.

  • Jeanette

    You’re right cassey, perfectly said! I so compare myself to others, but no more. & yes it does take hard work. I slowly lost 15 lbs during the past 3 months! I can’t believe it, thanks for your amazing workouts & you pushing me to eat clean. It’s truly the only way to see results!!!.

  • Valentina

    Wow I have to admit I feel this way a lot and it’s something I’m trying to get over. It seems women are brought up to always try to be “on top” so that we are all struggling to be like one another and no one ends up happy. It definitely takes time to realize this and transition but it honestly makes you shine from the inside out once you do. Thanks cassey! Love your thoughts.

  • Cassey, you always seem to know exactly what i need to hear. you put what people always tell us (usually in the form of little kid’s Justice shirts): “Be You” into words. you teach me so much, and you inspire me every time i see you on the screen. I LOVE YOU!!
    – ariella

  • Mizuki

    It’s comforting to know we’re not alone. I set up a pressure for myself, whether I liked it or not, throughout this year when I came into medical school. All the girls were so healthy and fit, skinnier than the average student population on campus. I didn’t think it would get to me, but slowly it did. I’m working on stopping the internal comparisons. We’re getting there!!