it Just Looks Different…

It just looks different for you and for me. These are some of the sweetest words ever spoken. These words can keep you focused, engaged, and motivated.  This simple phrase can bring so much peace and joy. It just looks different….hearing this can help you let go of self-doubt. It just looks different can help you stop comparing yourself to others. It just looks different gives you permission to love yourself exactly where you are in life!

Comparison and comparing yourself to others is harmful. Comparison keeps you from accomplishing your goals and keeps you feeling badly about your situation in life. Comparison only decreases self esteem and derails goals.  I want you to learn to love yourself for exactly who you are, exactly where you are in life. When you can stop comparing yourself to others you can start living life and start fulfilling your dreams. Remembering “It just looks different” will help you break free and start living your life in the way you desire!

Let’s face it, you compare yourself to others. It is wonderful to have a mentor, a role model, and a person to look up to.  It is OK to strive to model your life after them and want to obtain similar goals. Successful people have role models. Successful people take the advice of successful people before them and apply that advice. If you want to be a millionaire and a millionaire offers advice to you that to be a millionaire you need to wake up 2 hours early every day, you do what the millionaire says. 

People start to fail in their attempts of goals when they start to compare their life with someone else’s life.  What happens is you look at your own progress in relation to your role model. Although this will motivate you, it is also what harms you. You see all your mentor has accomplished. You see how successful they are at doing that thing you want to be doing. Let’s look at an example. I look up to a couple of women in the fitness instrudy. They motivate me to work hard and let me know that I too can attain my fitness goals. They motivate me to keep trying and working hard. And I work hard because I want to show them that I CAN!  But then, I look at their progress and I look at mine. I am not able to do the things they do. I am not as lean as they are, I am not as strong as they are, I am not as encouraging and motivating to others as they are, I am not as disciplined as they are, and on and on and on. I start to doubt myself. I start to question my ability. I question my goals. I question myself. I get frustrated because I am in a conflict with myself. A conflicted self does not make progress and a conflicted self cannot move forward. 

There is a psychological term called, cognitive dissonance. Essentially this means the mind has two conflicted beliefs and this causes upset. The brain functions with one set of beliefs so when thoughts come in conflict the brain does not know how to behave. You see, what you think drives your behavior. When I think I am strong, lean, and a fitness motivator I am those things. If you were to think on something long enough your brain would work to accomplish behaviors similar to the thoughts. Think about cake long enough, how good it tastes, the yummy icing, and the sugary goodness in your mouth and you will want cake. (Are you craving cake now?  Sorry). But if you also started thinking about how the cake can harm you and your fitness goals and that it really does not taste that good  then you will feel conflicted. A part of you will want cake, and the other part won’t. You just sit there. Doing nothing. Your brain is stuck with these two conflicted thoughts unsure what to do. The brain wants to resolve the conflict. This is where comparison becomes harmful. 

Your brain resolves conflict by looking for evidence. You are a scientist whether you want to be or not. So your brain starts to collect evidence to support a belief and the belief with the most evidence wins. Comparison will give your brain the evidence to make a decision. When you compare yourself to others you look at what you do not have, what you are not, and you see your imperfections. This gives your brain the evidence to support the negative thinking. 

Once your brain has confirmed the negative thinking you start to feel bad about yourself. This causes feelings of fear, doubt, and embarrassment. These feelings also confirm the negative thoughts in the brain. The body will support what the brain thinks and if the brain feels inadequate compared to your goal your behaviors will be consistent with the thoughts and feelings.

Here’s the thing. You are on a different level then your role model. You look up to your mentor because they have what you want. But guess what “It just looks different”. 

It just looks different because you are not that person. Thank goodness!  You are uniquely you. Your genes are different   Your life experience is different. What you know, like, and love is different from that person. And that is wonderfully, perfectly OK!

It just looks different because that person has traveled a different journey then you. And you don’t know the obstacles that person had during their journey.  Also remember the progress toward the goal is part of the journey and RIGHT NOW you are on your own journey. Your progress started when you said “Go”!  

It just looks different because you don’t know others struggles. You only see their best. You only see the thing they have that you don’t. You forget that person is not perfect and they had struggles, may be struggling, and will have struggles in the future. 

It just looks different because you have your own talents, skills, and knowledge. Someone else sees that thing that you have and they want it! 

It just looks different because what works for that person may not work for you. And what works for you may not work for the person you are comparing yourself to. It is acceptable to have someone to look up to. In fact the most successful people have had their own mentors. 

Continue to look up to someone, continue to seek what you are looking for and continue to strive for more. But don’t let comparison to others keep you from being your most fabulous you!  When working toward a goal and feeling frustrated take a moment to think about what thoughts are floating through your mind.  Comparison sounds like, “I am not as good as (insert name)”, “if only I could be more like” (insert name), or “(insert name) is so lucky because they have (insert that thing you want)”. 

Remember It Just Looks Different. Save that saying somewhere. Write it down. Keep it in your pocket and pull it out whenever you feel not good enough. Because it is different you are enough exactly where you are right now. 

 

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