Escaping the Comparison Trap
Over the years we have learned that CONFIDENCE is the number one result parents want for their athletes, and athletes desire for themselves.
We have also learned that getting to the ROOT of why you don’t have confidence is the first step in achieving it.
Comparing yourself to others is the new top hobby of youth today. There are 3 reasons they do it. Identifying these and working on them are the only way to develop true confidence from the inside out.
Reason #1 Your Kids Compare Themselves to Others:
They see false confidence in others and THINK they want what the other person has
It’s tempting for ADULTS to see what another person has and want that thing. But we all know that if and when we get that thing, it never does the “thing” for us that we thought that thing would do.
High school students need to be walked through this example and taught why they compare with unrealistic expectations of what that thing would bring.
What WOULD that thing bring?
In my experience, once they see this on paper, and they write down a few examples of times they have done this, they immediately start to change the way they view others and they begin the process of ESCAPING the trap.
ENVY: wanting for ourselves what God has given to others.
This is a scary place to go, we all know it. Envy produces a bitter heart and a mentality like this:
That person didn’t deserve that
What is all this hard work for anyway? I work hard and still don’t get what I want.
LUCK! That is all that was.
Take a step back...does your athlete have a Comparison Problem that could eventually turn into an ENVY problem? I have found that is where the road eventually leads...
Reason #2 Your Kids Compare Themselves to Others:
They have not considered what the other person has sacrificed to get what they got
Doing this makes you realize what it will take for me to get where that person is or get what that person has.
This ends up being an “AHA” moment for our athletes...they get to decide, am I willing to sacrifice those things?
The action steps we have them take are:
1. Write down the situations you compare yourself to others→ on the athletic field, body/physique, school, personality/likability, etc.
2. Write down the specific things you find yourself desiring or wanting that the other person has→ certain athletic abilities, their strength, their speed, their skills, their size/athletic build, their car/clothes/money, their ability to make people like them, their charm, their looks.
3. Write down what you would have to give up or start doing in order to get there.
4. DECIDE, do I still want those things?
This does one of two things. It gives the athlete a peace of mind knowing that they no longer have to strive for this “thing”, so it takes the stress and anxiety off of their plate
It motivates them and gives them clear direction on what needs to be done.
These are both good things.
Reason #3 Your Kids Compare Themselves to Others:
They compare the beginning of their journey with the middle of someone else's
OH how I have been guilty of doing this...comparing PFP to other fitness businesses that have been around for 15 years.
Every time I did this it caused me to be disappointed and frustrated when I should have been proud of what we had accomplished in such short time.
DISCONTENTMENT BREEDS UNHAPPINESS
If you are in a constant state of discontentment with where you are at and what you have, then WHAT on earth is all of this for? I have found this is routed in the Perfectionist Mentality, often a trait passed down from parent to child.
False illusions of what could be keeps you from enjoying the journey. Every morning I remind myself, “Enjoy the journey Andrew”.
We teach our athletes to NEVER EVER EVER COMPARE the beginning of your journey with the middle of someone else’s. Let it motivate you, not frustrate or paralyze you.
After showing them a few examples and visuals, and having them do some writing exercises, they start to get it. And man does it make a difference.
The Comparison Trap is a learned behavior, therefore it can be unlearned. If we can help your athlete escape the trap and step into their most confident self, email email@example.com or call 240-341-2921 and let us know. We are here to help your athlete succeed.
Dedicated to your athlete’s success,