Podcast Episode #58
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Extraordinary Life Podcast from the creator of the Extraordinary Life Tribe, Crystal Obregon, the self-development podcast propelling you forward toward your goals, using science backed high performance habits. Reach the next level in your physical and mental health. See new heights in your relationships.
[00:00:18] Gain clarity on your purpose and live your extraordinary life. Welcome your host, writer, speaker, and coach, Crystal Obregon.
[00:00:27] HI there. This is Crystal of Crystal Obregon Coaching with Episode Number 58 of the Extraordinary Life Podcast. This week, I'd like to talk about comparisonitis, which isn't actually a word, I guess, though I think it should be. If it were a real word, I'd define it as the loss of motivation resulting from the comparison to someone else that appears [00:01:00] to be doing better than you are.
[00:01:02] I would also expand it to comparing yourself to yourself at another stage in life. I'm going to share a story about the latter. Since there are plenty of people talking about comparing yourself to others. This is a story about how I spent my day a few Saturdays ago. I posted a little about it on social media because although a little video my husband took is embarrassing.
[00:01:32] I thought most of you all could relate. I've been sharing about my journey, getting back into mountain biking, and that has recently extended to also dusting off my road bike. It actually involved more than just dusting it off since it's been about 20 years since I've ridden it much. So I put some new tires on it since you really don't want those failing as you're going down a [00:02:00] hill or something.
[00:02:01] And after going out for one ride, I also put some better gearing on it to make it easier to peddle uphill. Although I think I might need to go a little further with that. I've been somewhat inspired to do this by my son who has recently added road biking to his repertoire. He's been doing these big, long bike rides with a friend that I used to do back in my twenties.
[00:02:29] He's been doing routes that I remember fondly. One favorite ride of mind from back then was the Eureka Canyon loop. And it was a favorite because it winds up through the redwoods to a ridge top with amazing views and finishes down a sweeping descent also through the redwoods. And I did this loop many times throughout my twenties, as soon as I moved here for university.
[00:02:58] So I suggested [00:03:00] to my husband that we go do this ride. I knew that it would push me. I also thought that let's just take our time and that we should be able to manage it just fine. I knew also that it would take longer than it did back then. I even thought it would take about an hour longer, but we had the whole day and why not?
[00:03:22] The first quarter of the ride wasn't all that hard. Although I already had some reservations about doing the entire ride. When we stopped at a friend's cafe, I did keep them to myself. I hadn't yet been to this friend's cafe. So it was part of my plan to stop there. I ate a bunch of yummy food and had an iced coffee drink for better or worse.
[00:03:48] Then the real work began and we started climbing. I was okay for a while, but at some point, some of the parts started getting a lot steeper [00:04:00] and I had to stop four or five times on the way up because I was breathing so hard. I was in my easiest gear. That's when my husband took the video that I shared on social media.
[00:04:15] I'll put a link to it in the comments, because it is kind of funny. Never to my knowledge or in my memory had I suffered so much, certainly not on this ride. In fact, I remember the last time I did the loop. In my head, I was doing quite a lot of comparison to myself in my twenties and early thirties.
[00:04:39] Probably some of the time I was also doing some comparison to women friends about my age that are still doing these kind of bike rides. Now, in both cases, I was comparing myself to people with different goals than I have right now. Yes. I'm trying to regain some of the shape I had [00:05:00] back then, but my goal isn't to race or to be in the best shape of my life, or even to be in the very best shape I can be right now.
[00:05:09] I just have different priorities and different goals. In my twenties, I was racing and training was a very big part of my life. I still had work and a dog, but no other really big responsibilities. Well, I had school for part of it too, but no kids, no home ownership responsibilities, anything like that.
[00:05:33] My goal with my fitness right now is really just to have a reasonable amount of it so that I'm comfortable riding with my husband or maybe a friend or two, I guess my son's bike team, too. I like bringing up the rear of that, but in general, I just have other priorities right now. Back to last Saturday, I was struggling.
[00:05:56] It was hard, but I really didn't have too much [00:06:00] time to beat myself up because of the comparisons I was making, because since the road is remote, the only way for me to get home really was to ride there. So I had to use all of my mindset tricks to keep going. And I even had to tell my husband to stop talking because I needed to concentrate.
[00:06:24] Actually I needed to tell him quite a lot of times to stop talking. He's pretty talkative. I did make it home much later than I thought I would. I'm still kind of laughing about it, how long it took and how hard it was. On Monday, I relayed the story to a friend of mine when I went swimming. And she had a similar story about being invited on a backpacking trip with some friends over the summer.
[00:06:53] She said yes. And figured that she'd be fine since she used to do a ton of backpacking and had [00:07:00] been an Outward Bound instructor for many years. She did the backpacking trip and said that she spent most of the time trying to stay positive for her friend's sake yet really just wanting to go home because it was so hard.
[00:07:14] She just couldn't believe how much harder it was than back then. And then after I posted my video, another person shared a similar story about doing something that they used to do all the time when they were younger and having it be a whole lot harder. So I realized that I'm really not at all alone in comparing myself to the younger me and having expectations
[00:07:41] that I will be able to do with some ease, some of the same things that I did back then. You know, it's okay to try anyway and just think, well, what happened? Although I would recommend starting a little more slowly and building up gradually [00:08:00] because even though I got through that ride, I know I won't attempt it again until I have many more shorter rides under my belt.
[00:08:09] Something to be really careful with is allowing it to demotivate you. I'll turn 53 next month, and even if I had completely maintained my fitness in the past 20 years, I still wouldn't be as strong as I was back then. Even then there were people faster and slower than I was.
[00:08:30] The lesson of today's podcast is this: no matter what your goals or dreams, let them be your goals and dreams. Let them be your goals and dreams for this stage of life. Don't compare yourself to others along the way, or even to yourself at a different stage of life, unless you can use it a little bit to motivate you, but even if it does motivate you, be gentle with [00:09:00] yourself.
[00:09:00] Take one step at a time, push yourself, but be smart about it. There's more than one way to achieve your goals. Do what makes sense for you now, not for the you 20 or 30 or more years ago and not what makes sense for someone else who has different priorities and goals. If you'd like help, my Design Your Decade Workshop will help you get those goals and dreams on paper.
[00:09:32] And I've also made my Seven Day Wellness Challenge available. It has one easy health habit each day for seven days with some education about why you'd want to do the habit and it will help you start or restart some habits. And because they're fairly simple, they'll also help you build your confidence and trust in yourself so that you can tackle some more difficult habit.[00:10:00]
[00:10:00] During the challenge, I'll also give you some information about some of my other food based wellness challenges that I'll be putting on sale through at least the end of September. Following your dreams and achieving your goals does require energy and a few good habits, and what better time to jump on the bandwagon?
[00:10:21] I'll have a link to all of the details in the show notes. And remember the first step in creating change is just one. Have a great rest of your day, and I will see you in here next week. Bye for now.
[00:10:39] Thank you for listening to the Extraordinary Life Podcast with writer and coach, Crystal Obregon. We'd love to connect with you outside of the podcast, too.
[00:10:46] To find more helpful insights, show notes and more about Crystal, go to Crystal Obregon.com o B R E G O N, where you'll also find info for the Design Your Decade workshop. This workshop will help you to [00:11:00] stop drifting and start creating until next time, be extraordinary.