A good friend of mine won’t look at Facebook. When I ask her why, her response is “Compare and despair.”
Well, isn’t that the truth!
Comparing yourself negatively to others is not only harmful to your self esteem, it is harmful to your spirit. It makes you feel hopeless. Context is important when observing our thinking. The playing field is rarely level, which is why it is so crucial to stop yourself from negative comparing. Even if Susan lost 55 pounds last year and Ted lost 50 pounds, maybe they both weighed more to begin with? Maybe they each had more weight to lose? The most important question is, why does it matter?
What matters is the amazing fact that this person lost 30 pounds. If you’ve ever had 30 pounds to lose, then you know that is an accomplishment. Comparative thinking diminishes our successes and robs us of our accomplishments.
Further, this kind of thinking doesn’t take into account the goals you set. After all, what is the point of feeling bad about goals that you didn’t reach when you didn’t set them? Realistically, how could your actions have added up to an accomplishment if you weren’t effectively taking steps in that direction?
You are closing the door on opportunity when you think this way.
So the next time you find yourself comparing and despairing, stop.
Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016.
Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form
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