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Thoughts on comparison…

Do you struggle with comparison?

Or ever feel like you SHOULD be doing more based on what others appear to be doing?

In today’s world, we get a window into the lives of others through social media. This can be encouraging and helpful – but it can also lead to an unhealthy habit of constant comparison.

Comparison on the internet is a topic that’s been talked about a lot over the past few years. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it on Carrots ‘n’ Cake back in 2012 (that’s a long time ago)!

But I heard a quote a few weeks back that I’ve been thinking about it on a daily basis and I just had to share it with you.

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Isn’t this just the best?

When I’m tempted to compare myself to other business owners who have built empires,  fitness professionals who exercise for hours every day, or stay-at-home moms who do all the amazing Pinterest activities with their kids, I have to remind myself of my current circumstances and stage of life.

As I’ve been growing my business, I’ve also been growing babies: pregnancy, childbirth, recovery, breastfeeding, baby proofing, nap strikes, food allergies, childcare, etc. etc.

I can’t compare myself (my business, my body, my parenting, etc.) to others without considering the bigger picture.

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By choosing to run a business and being the primary caretaker of a 1-year-old and 3-year-old I am currently not capable of:

  • spending hours in the gym
  • working 10 hour days
  • shopping and pampering myself on a regular basis (these days showering = pampering)
  • having an instagram-worthy social life during the week
  • attending pre-school activities and meetings that fall during my scheduled work hours
  • growing my business at the same rate as someone who doesn’t have kids or has full-time childcare

I may be capable of these things in the future, but not right now.

I am in a unique season of life. And you are too.

So measuring our success based on what OTHERS are doing is futile and misleading.

What matters is what we are capable of doing, given our unique circumstances. 

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If you are a new mom, don’t compare your body OR your workout routine to someone who has grown kids or is not a mom.

If you are 65, don’t measure your success based on what a 25-year-old body can do.

If you are are mom who works 40 hours a week, don’t compare your fitness routine to a fitness professional who has an entirely different set of circumstances.

In doing so, you’ll only set yourself up for discouragement and disappointment.

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“Success is not measured by what you do compared to what somebody else does. Success is measured by what you do compared to what you are capable of doing.” -Zig Ziglar

Take some time to reflect on this quote and let’s make it a great week, beauties!

xo,

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14 thoughts on “Thoughts on comparison…”

  1. A moderate amount of comparison with the right target is healthy but seeing the bigger picture as you have described, Robin, is even more important.

    Doing our best while knowing what is “enough” for us individually require discipline and a certain amount of wisdom. We do and achieve so much every week, yet we rarely give ourselves enough of a good-job-pat-on-the-back appreciation. This does not make us complacent and forget about personal growth. Rather, we ultimately help our current and future selves if we choose to be kinder in words and actions to ourselves. “I did my best and I have done enough.” *Pat on the back*

    Thanks for this post, Robin.

  2. You are being an attentive, present mother who cares about the emotional and physical needs of her children. The healthy food alone that you provide for your family is amazing! I’d say you are prettty darn successful, we just have to figure out what is more important for us to succeed at because being super successful in all areas (or potential areas) of our lives is just not possible. I’d say you are choosing wisely!

  3. Wonderful, freeing truth!

    Thanks so much, Robin, for teaching us this healthy balance, and for openly modeling it in your successful life! This is what sets your business apart; not that I’ve had a personal trainer or even worked out at a gym, but I’ve never heard of another fitness professional “preaching” your message of grace over guilt so well!

    As for social media, this is so true. Our pastor had mentioned in a sermon how “perfect” others’ lives may appear because of what they post online. I often post my successes, wonderful food I’ve prepared or baked, beautiful and peaceful family shots, etc., but then just for fun throw in a photo of the burnt, frozen pizza I served for dinner or speak of real life mishaps…..just to keep it real. I love it when friends share stories of their imperfect day that allow us to laugh with them and know that we’re not alone.

    I heard it said that we must learn to say a good “no”, in order to say a better “yes” in our lives. Here’s praying that we can stop comparing and figure out the difference. 🙂

  4. Mantra in our house, thanks to Daniel Tiger: “Do your best, your best is the best for you.” I sing it to my son all the time but find myself needing to hear it also. 🙂

  5. Great post Robin, my step dad always says that all the young moms in our family are doing the best we can do, and that’s all you can ask. It was such a simple phrase but I think of it often because that’s really all it comes down to. Keep up the good work, you are so inspiring, thanks

  6. Stacey Hanrahan

    So funny that you mention an article you wrote for Carrots & Cake! I used to read Tina’s blog religiously for years! 🙂 Thank you for this post, I love the Zig Ziglar quote you shared.

  7. This post inspired me to finally join the Sisterhood! I could not have read it at a better time. I recently got together with a group of girlfriends that I’ve known for nearly 20 years. Instead of fully enjoying a rare girls-night-out, I found myself spending the evening internally comparing myself to the others. While all in a similar phase of life, we all live entirely different realities. Thank you for shining a light on this bad habit of mine!

  8. Thank you for such a meaningful blog post! Left me with a lot to think about. I also have a 1 year old and 2 and a half year old, I am their primary care-giver and am trying to grow my own business. Thank you! I appreciate your post.

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