Before I start talking about the Comparison Trap, I need you to know that I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. I usually can’t wait until February when the gym returns to a normal volume as people fall off the NYR bandwagon and I can use the leg-press without waiting 45 minutes.
But this year I’ve decided to give it a try. In a less traditional way.
I’m not going to promise myself to eat less sugar (ummm huh? That’s never going to happen. Hello, cupcakes!) I’m not going to go to the gym more, because I already live there and that could get weird. No, I’m not going to eat more broccoli. (I’m 31 and I know my limits!)
I am going to get out of the comparison trap. Do you know what I’m talking about?
That mental space you enter where you compare yourself to others incessantly. Once I start I find it almost impossible to get out. I easily become overwhelmed by my inadequacy. My accomplishments aren’t good enough; the traffic on my blog is abysmal compared to my blogging friends, I don’t post enough and I always feel one step behind; my goals seem unattainable.
I could blame my career change. In case you didn’t realize, I entered the culinary world at 31, which is over a decade after most. Truthfully, I easily become overwhelmed by the success of the chefs in the restaurant in which I work and the friends I’ve made in the industry. In comparison, I feel like I’ll never learn fast enough.
I could blame my husband. Given that he is already a self-made success, he is pretty much the poster child for pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
I could blame my mother: she was one of the pioneers for women in Corporate America. She exceeded expectations amidst criticism and people constantly telling her, “you can’t.”
I could blame my dad who has achieved the level of career success reached by very few. Most dreams of mine seem paltry in comparison.
But blame lies with me. They have never told me I am not good enough. Those feelings originated with me. I must stop them.
So this year I vow to compare less and celebrate my successes more; berate myself less and congratulate myself more; look at all the things I’ve crossed off my to do list instead of the million I wasn’t able to get to; talk myself up instead of down; and be content with my accomplishments while not losing sight of my goals.
Who’s with me?!
I know, I know. That was a lot of words without recipes. I’ll get back to regularly scheduled food programming soon.
What are you New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make them?
All photos in this post are my own and were taken in New Zealand during our family vacation last Christmas.