Comparison is the thief of Joy.

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We say this a lot here at Refuge CrossFit. “Comparison is the thief of joy”

Comparison robs YOU…. robs you of joy, of celebration, of confidence,… lets face it comparison sucks. So why do we do it?

We as humans can compare everything.  We can compare…shape, size, skills, numbers (in the bank account, on lifts in the gym), times/speed, kids behaviors, life lessons, the way we speak, the way our brains work, we can compare ourselves to who we used to be / who we want to be / who we aren’t, we can compare ourselves to people we don’t know….making judgements against them and ourselves, we can compare ourselves by material things, by moral standings, political views, church affiliation, on and on and on and on…The CHOICE of comparison is everywhere.

Just the other day I found myself daydreaming about the days of being a young mom with young babies at home. The days we didn’t have to wake up and go, getting breakfast made, lunches packed, kids to school, and work going. The days where we stayed in PJs all day, with the option to watch cartoons and play with toys and be together.   Now, with my kids older and life as busy as it is, I find myself missing those days. To be honest though as I remember those days, I also remember how hard I was on myself.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t doing enough for our family, comparing myself to my own expectations. I remember those days being hard, because I was hard on myself…. Why?… because of the comparisons I was making day in and day out. It robbed my joy in experiencing the life happening before my eyes.

A more recent experience with comparison was at the gym. Just a week ago we had “Fran” scheduled for the WOD at Refuge CrossFit. I was anxious for that day, as I thought “maybe I’ll get a new PR for this workout today”.  {No joke, I even had a “nightmare” about Fran the night before *insert eye roll here*}.  That morning I woke up and my body was done. I was just so tired; physically dragging, not excited to workout, I felt like I had nothing to give to Fran that day. So I mopped through the warm up, did the things I needed to do, and loaded up my bar “ready for Fran.”  I told myself, “I’ll just go easy… get through the WOD and control my breathing and just get it done. I’ll stay steady and shoot for under 6 minutes.”  And, that is exactly what I did! So, goal met = check. I should be proud, right?

But was I…No! Not initially.

Why?… Comparison. What I immediately did was look at my previous PR and count the seconds I was off by on that score and gave myself crap for not pushing as hard as I knew I could. I mean, I went a whole minute slower than what I was capable of.  Then my husband came over, who came over as a coach/friend/husband/fellow athlete and gave me the TALK. The talk I have with athletes everyday. The talk I needed to be able to take a deep breath and let go of the comparison and realize I did what I needed to do THAT day, and that was ENOUGH.

Thankfully, I can look back on these moments and let go of the comparison I was putting on myself. Forgiving myself for giving into that thief and allowing myself to be proud of what I gave, when I gave it.  All I can do is control me, in this moment, on this day… I can control how present I am and who I am to everyone and everything around me.  If I choose to do that the best I can, then there is nothing to compare. Not with other and not with myself.  I’m proud and confident and full of joy for the life I choose to live.

So, lets break off this comparison crap. Because JOY is so much better than comparison, shame, fear, and guilt.

With Love,
Coach Emily