Focusing Inward To Escape the Comparison Trap

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Life is funny. It seems, sometimes, that we human beings can’t be content. Some of us are wired in a way that we are always focused on working towards or trying to achieve that next goal. In some ways, this can be a positive, motivating and serving as a catalyst towards achieving “success” in different aspects of our life, both professional and personally.

Unfortunately, this same motivating, need to achieve can also result in a damaging comparison trap. Trust me, the comparison game is one that you nor I will ever win. With 7.4 billion people in the world, there will always be someone faster, stronger, etc. For this reason, it’s so important to focus internally versus externally. Are you striving to be the best version of yourself or reach your greatest potential? Even though I have told myself this more months, since my therapist helped me understand the comparison trap, just this morning I felt myself wishing and hoping for something someone else had.

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As you all know, Bo and I have dreamt and talked about starting a family for years. Last year we started taking the steps to hopefully make this dream become a reality, God willing. Now, we are blessed to have a healthy baby girl growing and starting to evolve into a recognizable, smiling little girl as we just reached the halfway mark of pregnancy. Shouldn’t I be happy and content? Yes, of course.

Yet, as I scroll Instagram and read blogs I see my friends striving for BQ race times, planning race vacations, growing their blogs and yearn for that. Just this morning, seconds after remarking on my growing baby bump, a friend asked me what races I’d signed up for this Spring. It’s crazy – I know. But this is reality. I feel a gap in my life since I’m not training for a certain race, working towards a blog goal or working through a fitness challenge. For so long, these have been things that have defined me and been a key part of my life and lifestyle. Change causes unease, regardless how exciting. With one plus sign, our life began to change in wonderful ways but ways that are causing our lifestyle and priorities to evolve as well.

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So instead of focusing on what others are doing and what I’m not currently able to do, I’m sticking with what I know is best and focusing internally by reframing my thoughts.

-I’m training for June 18th and trying to be the healthiest version of myself as I embark on labor and motherhood. This means focusing on workouts that make me feel strong, safe, healthy and secure right now such as barre, working with prenatal certified or exposed coaches in group classes, stretching and relaxing in prenatal yoga and strengthening my core and breathing through Pilates. It means using jogging and walking as a way to catch up with friends and enjoy fresh air versus chasing a PR.

– I’m enjoying learning about this new chapter of our life through reading a few books but not becoming paralyzed or overwhelmed by all the information. My mom laughs that she and my dad were able to raise my brother and me without all this focused baby research and it’s so true. The books we are reading and loving are – Parenting from The Inside Out, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. We also love that reading these books together have resulted in some wonderful and thought provoking-conversations between not only me and Bo but also with our friends and family.

-I’m allowing myself to be selfish and focus on me in a way I haven’t previously and won’t for at least the first few years. I’m taking leisurely showers, reading books, having friend dates and sleeping A LOT.

-I’m learning how to be in tune with my body and give it what it needs and craves as it works so hard to grow and develop Baby Girl Diamond. I’m falling in love with my curves and weight versus fearing it. I’m embracing these changes and never ceasing to be amazed by human nature and the steps the body takes to prepare for birth and motherhood.

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So while I may feel a twinge of sadness as I decline races, vacations or tough workouts, I’m focusing on this picture and all those things I am striving towards.

Whether you’re in a similar situation or just find yourself coveting your friends goal, life or abilities be sure to pause and turn your focus inward at all those things you have and that you want to achieve because it will being you joy versus wasting time in the comparison trap.

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