The Thief Whole Steals My Happiness… Damn You, Comparison!

Anxiety eats away at the soul

I often wake up in the morning with my mind racing. The mornings where I have an extra 20 minutes to do a guided mediation are heaven! But, the truth is I’m usually fighting the feeling anxiousness. Especially right now. First, there’s a lot of crap going on the in the world – the “new normal” adds a whole extra nuance of anxiety to day to day life. But mainly, this anxiousness is coming from the 8-week intensive online business building course I’m in. I find myself constantly COMPARING myself to others way too much by force of habit. This was something my family embedded in me. “Why can’t you do what so and so is doing?”  “How come so and so doesn’t have this problem?” It’s awful to hear this in your head.  I’ve spent countless years trying to banish those voices of my family. But here I am, every day (multiple times a day) checking the group’s Facebook page with all the others taking the same course, wondering, “Am I falling behind?” “Why are some people moving so much faster than me?” “Are they smarter than me?” And so on.


The other morning, I checked Instagram.  I’m already in this “comparison” frame of mind. So maybe not the best move. I open my feed and see a bunch of beautiful selfies of women – mostly younger. And 😑 ugh! Here come more voices. “Am I too old for this”? “Does my ego need validation?”

Remember, I tell myself, “comparison is the thief of happiness.”


Putting Yourself Out There

Then I said to myself, “F@$k it.” I worked out hard yesterday, I did 2 days of 20-minute post-workout sauna sessions, I did a 24 hour fast (usually I just to 16 – 18 hours), l ate 80% well all week (Pareto principle for eating – anyone with me?). And on this day I will rest my body. So let’s to a damn SELFIE and put it out there!  I grabbed my phone, put one some spandex and posed.  Snap snap snap.  Thankful for the gentle lighting, I checked the 20 or so images I snapped and amazingly, I felt a tiny better… not sure why exactly.  Maybe because I worked so hard to get here.


Putting it out there

And I Posted it

I gulped before I hit “post.”  I knew I could be setting myself up to be trolled. What if someone makes a hateful comment?  It’s harsh out there in the SMuniverse as you well know!  I tagged may age.  It took me half the year before I could even write it!   But I did it anyway, trusting (more so, hoping!) that being honest and vulnerable would not backfire.

Do you ever feel this way ever?

When I taught my next class at Equinox, I looked around the room.  I’m so proud to have a wide range of men and women from their 20’s to their 70’s (no joke!) all doing HIITs and Complexes (a type of circuit format for strength building), all going at their own pace.  I remind them of this all the time.  Without ever saying it, I always allude to the fact that in my workouts, everyone goes at the pace they can maintain perfect form.  I remind them regularly, if they’re using lighter weights, they can go a little faster, if they’re pumping heavy weights they have to slow down and keep the form.  No one in there compares themselves to others.  The guys who go the heaviest all high-5 each other.  The older people in class are REVERED!  Intuitively I teach people not to compare, but yet I still do it to myself if I don’t catch it before the thought metastasizes.

So what happened with my Selfie moment?  Did it back fire and did I get trolled?  No!  Thank you universe for only sending positive people with wonderful messages my way.  I may still feel like I’m floundering in my business course, but for my age and fitness level, I feel INSPIRING.

Jill Brown
Jill Brown
Hi, I'm JillI am a Los Angeles based Fitness + Nutrition Coach. With 20+ years of experience in teaching, training and continuing my education, I have transformed thousands of lives through fitness and healthy lifestyle changes.