Monday, January 18, 2016

Fair Comparison, Are Her Shoulders Bigger Than Mine?

by Kris Pitcher

My prep starts now. I have big plans this year and lots of work to do. My hope is, I've made some progress. You won't hear me talk a lot about the process personally...because July is a long time from now. And frankly, you'll get sick of hearing about it.

One of the first things I do is look for my "colleagues". Who else is getting ready for similar shows? Part of that is to find a peer group for support. Part of that is seeing how I stack up. Are her shoulders bigger than mine?

But there's one thing I know for sure. I'm competing against me and no one else. My single goal is to come in better than last year. Regardless of who else is there. The truth is, I can ONLY control me.

Worrying about who else will be there is lost energy. They might not even show up. Any number of things can come up in life and keep someone from making it to the stage. So comparing yourself to others along the way is playing the "what if" game.

Did you know 95% of what we worry about will never happen? It's true. If I were to spend my time and energy following other competitors and putting myself side-by-side against them in terms of my progress vs. their progress...well that's just silly. We are each working our own plan.

With continual and constant access to information and people on social media we get bombarded with what everyone else is doing, and how they look. There's a balance with "support" and sabotaging our own progress by worrying about what other people are doing, what they look like, and what their body fat is.

I watch women on forums spin in information seeking the opinions of thousands of others, when they have a coach...and their coach has laid out a plan for them. Just listen to your coach.

I also watch competitors compare themselves to unrealistic expectations. I see beginners compare themselves to pros. I see bikini competitors compare their body parts to women's physique. None of that makes any sense to me. Comparing yourself to anyone else is wasted energy. And why would you give your competition that advantage?

It's normal for self-doubt to creep in. It happens to competitors at every level. What sets high level athletes apart is their ability to keep their head straight. The ability to remain focused and keep your priorities in front of you will set you ahead of the competitor crumbling under the pressure of comparison.

The workouts are easy, the food becomes habit, but keeping your head in the game takes daily work. Visualize your success. SEE yourself confidently presenting on stage. Remain connected to your goals, your focus, your efforts, and your progress.

For some of us, and for me personally, this means closing my circle as I move through my prep. There comes a time when I have very little tolerance for social media. I don't want to see everyone's daily selfies, check ins, and workouts.

Put your clothes on. Stop posting progress pics every week. And consider focusing on you, not everyone else. It's my personal philosophy to compete quietly. I do my work. I'm not posting it all over IG and fb. I want to just quietly show up and let my physique do the talking. That's me.

It's what I need to do to maintain confidence along the way. It's the approach I need to take to be the athlete with her head in the game. It keeps me calm and focused. It's allowed me to compete at a high level.

And if I really, really want to compare myself to someone...I pull pictures of myself. It's the only fair comparison.

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