“Is it possible for someone who hates running to learn to enjoy it? As much as I love fitness and being healthy, I hate every. Single. Step. Of running,” was a question from one of the people in my Instagram community.
My immediate reaction was: “Oh of course! Just persevere, keep pushing yourself, it will eventually feel good….” BUT, then I suddenly realized my initial response should be: WHY do you want to love running? Why force yourself to love something that your body doesn’t want to love?
Sometimes social media or the people around us make us believe that a certain exercise, a certain food trend or way of eating, or a certain lifestyle is the one and only way to be healthy or successful. Comparing ourselves to the people around us who are successful, or have a success story, makes us think that these things can be translated into our lives with the same results. We go beyond just getting inspiration from these people and actually want to do exactly what they do. Essentially we want to BE them because whatever they’re doing is working for them so it must work for us!
But I can definitely tell you that running, eating gluten-free, enjoying golden milk, or working 60 hour work weeks are things that are definitely NOT for everyone.
How did I learn to stop comparing to others? How did I stop feeling the need to “copy” what successful people were doing because I wanted the same success - and rather know that I have my own gifts, talents, creativity, and drive? How did I learn to love others and celebrate with their achievements without letting it negatively affect my self-worth? It all started with running, actually.
While I (currently) love running… we have a complicated history.
Multiple stress fractures from over-training and all the typical tendinitis and knee pain. However, the biggest challenge I had with running was the internal mental grind.
“Sally looks so strong and skinny and I don’t look even LOOK like a runner, I clearly need to run MORE. I'm running so far, but I'm not as fast as Suzie! Maybe I need to eat less so I look lean because she never has treats and she looks amazing…”
These thoughts would sneak up ever so slowly, so gradual that I wouldn't even notice they were there at first. They began to turn running, something I loved and enjoyed, into something that was stealing joy from me. When these thoughts started to take up an unhealthy amount of brain space, I knew I needed to give up running in order to re-focus and to work through the root cause of those thoughts: comparing myself and my journey to others and where they were at.
I needed to learn to love myself and the way I was made. I needed to celebrate other people’s successes without comparing and feeling less-than.
Learning that I am loved and valuable has taken loads of time. It’s a process that I don’t think will ever stop. But as I started to get better and better at knowing my worth a crazy thing happened - I gradually began to celebrate other people’s successes and achievements without letting it affect my own thoughts about myself. The “comparing-to-others” changed to “loving-on-others” and “loving-myself” and this branched out into all areas of life.
Have you seen a new food trend on Instagram? Is there a new way of eating or exercise plan that everyone is talking about? I encourage you to get inspiration from it and even try it out to see if it works for you, but just know that the world needs what you have to offer. You have talents, gifts, and creativity that can make a difference! I want to see what YOU come up with, dream up, & create. Be YOU.
My hope is that by me sharing this you will be able to learn your own worth and know that you are:
You will gradually stop worrying about where others are at, what they look like, and what works for THEM because you’ll be too busy loving others and working on your own journey. This can also be called: FREEDOM.
Celebrate others. Love on others. Encourage them on their journey and take joy in their successes.
What is life-giving for YOU? What gives YOU joy?
Find the exercise, the creative outlet, the new way of eating that is good for YOU and enjoy THAT. Then share your joy with others! This should be life giving and leave you energized and jazzed about life rather than zapped of energy. Check in with yourself often and ask:
"Is this life GIVING, or life DRAINING?"
"Am I doing this because I ACTUALLY love it, or because I think I'm SUPPOSED to love it in order to appear a certain way?"
Embrace the journey!
Love you all,