Ah, the comparison trap. It seems like the need to compare ourselves to others is ingrained in us when we’re young, and it becomes an automatic (and often unhealthy and toxic) part of our thought patterns. I guess it’s part of being human.
I, being human, have often found myself inclined to compare myself to others. It used to be far stronger than it is now, in part due to POTS. With POTS, life can be somewhat unpredictable, and it certainly makes daily living things a bit more difficult. The fatigue, sick feelings, and the body pain that come with POTS can make life really difficult to live at times, and certainly can change daily functioning up quite a bit.
I did an entire post on how POTS changed how I exercised and how I had to start up exercise again, but one thing I didn’t talk about is how that plays into the comparison trap. The thing is, I can compare myself all the time to others around me, but with POTS I play with a different hand of cards (of course we each have things that make life just a little more difficult for us).
This came to a head with running. No matter what I do, I cannot run consistently with miles in the 8 and 9 minute range. It doesn’t matter how much I compare myself to them, beat myself up, or try to train to get to that point, I can’t because it’s not safe due to the beta blocker that I’m on.
I can’t even really compare myself to myself (although I sure do!). Some days the POTS symptoms feel fairly manageable and minimal, and some days they feel out of control. There are some days that keeping an 11:15 pace while running feels just fine, and there are other days that keeping a 12:30 pace feels overwhelmingly difficult.
POTS has taught me that there are things in life that pop up that just make life difficult, and to beat myself up because of those things I cannot control is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe your thing isn’t POTS, but I bet that you’re busy comparing yourself to others or yourself. The thing is- it isn’t fair to do to yourself because we don’t enter in to the same thing with the exact same deck of cards.
POTS has taught me to be gracious to myself and to others in terms of my judgments and comparisons… I guess that’s one of the good things that’s come out of this decade long journey…. The comparison trap is ugly and certainly doesn’t help us out in our own personal growth, and every bit of it that we can let go is going to be beneficial to us. I push myself as I can, but I’ve also learned to treat myself with kindness and grace.
Now it’s your turn to share! Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others?