Why I've Decided To Stop Comparing Myself To Others

Registered Yoga Teacher By Rebecca Butler
Registered Yoga Teacher
Rebecca Butler is an E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, writer, inspirational speaker and retreat leader.

Many people I know slave to the comparison game. I’m not as thin as so and so; I’m not as tall or as pretty. I’m not as wealthy as she or he is. I’m not as strong or as flexible. I’m not as funny or as intelligent. The list goes on.

I totally get it. I do it too —  but not as often as I once did. At my studio, I’m surrounded by wide-eyed, young, strikingly beautiful creatures who have followed in my footsteps and become teachers. They have amazing practices and bodies. One of them is uber-exotic; another one has the practice of a contortionist. They are all wafer thin. Looking at these girls, I could berate myself. I could long for their... whatever  —  shape, poise, presence. And sometimes I am tempted to go to that place. But I’m happy to report that finally, yes, finally, I’ve learned how to re-direct myself.

Here’s the thing: Until we learn to accept and love ourselves completely and wholly for exactly the way we are today, in this moment, sitting on the couch, covered in dried sweat, with ornery gray hairs poking out of the pony tail holder and a pedicure that is weeks past due, we won’t ever be able to love another.

What you feed is what you'll create more of. What you feed is what you attract. When I'm tempted to go to that place of comparison, I catch myself. I stop. I breathe. I recognize that is not the energy I want in my life. I feel into my heart for the love of the person I am about to pit myself against. I feel into my heart for my love of myself, my life that I've worked hard to create, and all of the joys therein.

Instead of allowing myself into the dark place, I lean toward the light. I find a way to uplift the creature in front of me. There’s always a way: kind words, genuine smile, a hug. There is unlimited joy in this approach. I offer it to you humbly. Try it. At first it might be challenging, but gradually, you'll find yourself less and less apt to go to that dark place of comparison.

So I ask you:

What fuels you?

Fear or faith?

Love or anger?

Kindness or judgment?

What do you choose to feed?

Some of us have resorted to fueling ourselves via darkness. Please, I beg of you, rethink this habit. Darkness begets darkness; light begets light.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Choose joy. Choose not to allow your light to be dimmed by feeding the darkness within. Accept yourself for who you are today. Love your life exactly the way it is.

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