In the age of social media it’s easy to compare your progress to those around you. You could go on vacation and have a great time, but later see photos from your friend’s vacation and find yourself feeling inadequate. With the success of others constantly in your face it’s important to remember that success and progress of any kind should feel good.
Today at the gym I picked up my usual 10lb weights and started my workout. Two curls was all I needed to realize that they were no longer heavy enough for me. I switched them out for 15lbs and continued with arm day. Half way in I was feeling really good. I could feel the familiar burn in my arms and knew a healthy sore would set in the next day. I decided to take a cheesy shot on my weight progression, because why not? I took my photo, stretched, and put my weights away.
Looking around at the others in the gym I began to feel a heaviness in my heart. 30lb weights being curled. 50lb weights being pressed. The joy I had felt moments before started to disappear. If had been more proactive about going to the gym these past months surely I could be lifting that weight, right?
As I sat editing my now unimpressive photo I started to wonder why I was putting myself down. What deadline was I trying to reach? Who was I trying to prove this to? Why was I now unhappy with my progress?
I realized that the gym was not the only aspect of my life I feel I had been doing poorly lately. From work to relationships to personal life, I realized I had been comparing myself to people who I didn’t even know. I had let go of a lot of my self confidence.
In that moment I remembered my biggest rule for myself: Do it for me, no one else. Everyone has something going on in their lives. Whether it’s a stressful job, a bad living situation, illness, or overall restlessness of life, we are not alone in feeling bad about ourselves at times. For all I know these people I’m comparing myself to are comparing themselves to someone else.
I had started trying to prove to others that I had things under control, that I was impressive. I believe today is the start of a new personal journey, a step towards regaining that lost confidence. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that progress is progress, no matter how small.