We’ve all been there. You’re running on the treadmill and the person next to you is going at a speed of 7.0 but you’re only going at 6.0, so you speed up to be at the same pace. Or you look over at what the person next to you is squatting and add an extra plate. You do one more rep because the person who’s always at the gym is watching you and you want them to see that you’re doing just as much as he is (reality check: nobody is actually watching you in the gym! – everyone is there for themselves).
Workout comparison gets pretty ugly. Just like any sort of comparison does. It brings you down and robs you of your joy.
So how do you stop comparing what you do in the gym to what everyone else does?
Appreciate your differences.
Remember your body is unique. What feels best for you during a workout may not feel as great for someone else. Honor that. Do what feels good for you, don’t do something because someone else is doing it.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Don’t beat yourself up because you may not be able to run as fast as the person next to you. They may not be able to do something as well as you. Remembering that we all excel at some things more so than others is crucial.
Remember your why.
Don’t lose sight of why you go to the gym. Everyone has different fitness goals but overall, you shouldn’t be working out to be better than someone else. Unless you’re training for a race or powerlifting meet, your goal shouldn’t be to out-lift someone or out-run someone. You should be exercising because moving is beneficial to your health, because it helps to relieve stress, and because working out is fun. You should love what you’re doing and embrace the fact that whatever workout you are doing feels good for your body.
Refocus your attention.
Comparison steals your joy. When you find yourself comparing what you’re doing to someone else, take a step back and refocus your mind by thinking back to your why. Work on being better than yesterday, not better than the person next to you in the gym. When we comparison within ourselves, we allow for growth. When we have it with others, we set ourselves up for feeling insecure and disappointed.
Stay focused on your own journey with fitness and you’ll stop caring about others’.
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