I am a serious goal setter. Even if some goals sit on my list untouched for a few years, I usually get around to completing them. Then there are others that are not suited for me. I may take my time in making this realization but that dead end gets knocked off my list and I move on to something better suited.
I find a lot of times teaching Pilates that people want to be in competition with other people in the class. They try to get their leg farther in some exercises, which can cause their hip to be out of alignment and their abs to relinquish control to the hips. I remind clients of what the goals of the exercises are and that competition is never one of those goals. I encourage them to work at their own best level, and just because someone else’s leg is higher or their twist is deeper does not mean they are doing the exercise correctly. You never know what someone else is struggling with, and when you are lying or siting on the mat next to them you can’t always see what else is happening when they are performing the exercise.
As a teen, I spent most of my life in the ballet studio. I was always comparing myself to the girls in my class because we were in direct competition at all times. We were competing for attention from the teacher, parts in the next ballet that included a youth cast or simply giving out flowers on opening night. I then took that mindset to the streets of New York as a college student. Living in New York City, I saw people of all walks of life on the street or in the subway everyday. New York is naturally a competitive city. Everywhere I was, there was probably someone else doing better or worse than I was, at exactly what I was trying to do with my life. I found myself in constant comparison, thinking about how much prettier that lady walking towards me was than myself. Or I would sit on the subway and think about how I surely had my life together more than that guy on the other side of the train. Finally, I realized what I was doing and how it had to stop. I was getting nowhere fast by comparing myself to others. Who was I to compare myself to these strangers or anyone? Why was I wasting my brainpower on worrying about someone else? So what if that lady was prettier than I was? That did not affect my life one bit. I started that day to change out the old tapes of comparing myself to others and instead thinking about ways I could make myself better or just plain other things.
I have seen some people be very mean with their comparisons and need to compete Not only to others, but to themselves as well. I have also been in situations where people put their competition aside to help those that need it. I am far from perfect but on my goal list this year is to stop competing and instead appreciate the people around me. I am enough and you are too. Can we just agree on that and support each other?
Do you have a way you have supported someone else on a journey similar to your own? I would love to hear your advice in the comments.