comparison

I compare myself to others

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If you are someone who struggles with comparison you might find this useful or you might have something to contribute. I would love to hear from you.

This week I want to address a common theme that I see pop up in my inboxes and in groups.

Here’s an example of what I am talking about, a message from a hooper: “I’m sometimes not confident, because of the billions of hoopers, who hoop so unbelievably fast and precise. But: I want to find my own (dance!)-style, so I shouldn’t care too much about others, I’m just not sure how to do it and often find myself comparing myself to the others”

Thank you to the hooper who had the courage to put this out on the table.

I have 4 words for you. In the kindest possible tone. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF.

Could that quite possibly be one of the hardest hurdles we face in an online world that pushes the flashiest, hottest, fastest, most skilled, most popular to the top of the feeds?

And if you follow a lot of hoopers on Social Media yes you will see young, fast and sassy is often favored. Not that there is anything wrong with young, fast and sassy, but there is also nothing wrong with 40, graceful and timid. There is nothing wrong with 30, chilled out and carefree. There is nothing wrong with 59, powerful and inspiring. There is nothing wrong with 29, lonely and confused. There is nothing wrong with 21, shy and stylish. There is nothing wrong with 71, steady and wise. There is nothing wrong with 62, sexy and suffering. There is nothing wrong with 23, wild and reserved. There is nothing wrong with 43, messy and no pants.

What I am trying to get at is you have to own who YOU are. Because no amount of trying will make you the person you are comparing yourself to and in the process of doing it you are missing out on loving who you truly are, you are missing out on discovering unique qualities in your own hooping and style.

Also, it is vital to remember that most people’s Social Media profiles are their A grade cuts. They don’t show you the 12 months of practicing daily, all the mess ups, the pain, the injuries. They don’t show you that they probably took that video 10 times just to get that 15 sec of awesomeness.

I have battled with comparison myself. I am 41 and me. But it wasn’t until I dropped comparing myself to other hoopers that I found my own way of hooping.

Do I still battle with it? Yes, from time to time. Most of my life is online, it is hard not to, I have to keep myself in check, my thoughts, my ego. I also have a pretty good sense of humor, great support and a healthy obsession with mindset mastery and human psychology so I try to see it all for what it truly is. Sure I wish I could do a 5 split with hoops, hoop super speedy without splitting my lip open, look stunning in those hot pants, be all super bendy and hoop upside down, do crazy technical moves. But I do what I do and I try to have as much fun with it as I can. I embrace the way I move, the way I feel, the way I want to express myself.

So how do you work on the great task of deleting comparison from your thoughts, or more importantly how do you focus on your own practice?

I don’t have all the answers but here are some strategies I use…

Comparison Audit

Try to catch the moments when your comparison meter is running overtime. Are there certain people, situations, times, other factors that contribute to negative feelings for you? Maybe your comparison runs high when you are feeling tired, lonely, haven’t hooped much, you are dehydrated or hungry. Maybe it goes into overdrive when you spend too much time scrolling through Social Media. Maybe it is at it’s worst when you are idle in your life and don’t have many projects going on or real-life connections. Becoming aware of when the comparison feelings are at their strongest and making some positive changes to alleviate them is going to be key. Action is essential. Notice what you do when the feelings of comparison roll in, do you allow yourself to sink deeper and deeper into them or do you make some changes to your focus and physiology?

Know YOUR why

Remember the reason why you like to hoop. Are you hooping so you can get a million views on Instagram? Maybe. But I guess you are probably hooping because it feels good, it is fun, you have met cool people, it has helped you to strengthen your body/mind/soul, you feel like you are part of a community. Anytime you start to compare yourself to others remind yourself of why YOU hoop and how it makes YOU feel.

Lots and Lots of Gratitude

Every time you feel the wash of comparison, doubt or negativity roll in make sure to reset yourself with all the skills, moments, learning you are grateful for in YOUR experience. You can turn this into a really structured ritual if you need to.

Inspiration vs Comparison

If there are certain people/hoopers/celebrities that you “follow” online, start to become very aware of how they trigger you. When you watch them are you inspired and filled with gratitude for their inspiration or are you unsettled, do you start to compare yourself, wish you were better, do they make you judge your own skills or progress?

When you see Beyonce on stage do you think “oh she is so strong > wow she has a nice butt > I wish I had a nice butt > I don’t > really wish I did > wish mine was like hers > why aren’t I Beyonce > I suck”

That escalated quickly. It is perfectly ok. Recognise it, accept it and make some changes to readjust to it.

Social Media Cleanse

It is perfectly OK to unfollow people/hoopers/celebrities for a short time or indefinitely so you can focus on your own style and learning. I do it all the time. We have a duty to be highly mindful of the things we watch and let into our feeds. Even if they are inspiring for a while, for your own growth and creativity it is valuable to mix things up, seek newness or switch it off altogether and trust your own inner wisdom.

Workout

Just get so crazy sweaty and puffed out that you don’t even have time to think about anything else! Th fact is that a higher intensity workout or movement ritual for an extended amount of time will set off a chain reaction of good feelings in your brain. The perfect antidote to comparison and self-doubt. I highly recommend doing it with a hoop.

Acceptance

Accept that you have the feelings of comparison, that there are certain triggers that make them stronger and take action to spend more time playing with your own practice and less time engaging with the triggers.

Most importantly accept that you are a strong, talented, creative, dedicated, caring, bright light. You are YOU. How cool is that?

I would love to hear your thoughts and how you support yourself. We all have different hurdles and ways that we work to jump them.

 

 

Photo by saskia fairfull on Unsplash

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DEANNE LOVE

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