Don’t compare you to…YOU.


These musings are an outgrowth of the comment above.

Sort of.

These musings are an outgrow of posts such as this one by a DoodleLovingBloggerIAdore and a BAD*SS squatter I admire.

Kind of.

These musings are an outgrowth of how I lead my life and something I recommitted to a few years ago.


I’m uncertain if I feel this way because of being not-twenty?

If I’d have reached this misfit-place in my life regardless of aging?

All I know is I’m here.


I’m not here anymore. 

Mainly because try as I might…no matter how much of an eating clean, working out like a maniac, get enough sleep, take care of me Carla I am—-I’ll never get back to the photo above.

Or this Carla below:


No under-the-eye bags yet!

I don’t compare myself to others (I’m grateful I’ve never fallen into that trap.  I avoid that trap by being an avowed non-joiner.  You’ll never find me jumping on the Blog! Challenge! bandwagon.  The bandwagon, for me is a thief of joy.).

And yet I also studiously avoid comparing myself to myself (which always brings to mind this beloved movie quote).

As crazy as it initially sounds (especially if you’re as I am and constantly have Austin Powers in yer cranium) comparing you to YOU can also be the thief of joy.


 Not here.

My philosophy is a simple one.

I do my best each day in everything from fitness to family.  I go to bed. I get back up the next morning and give my best efforts again.

Some days are amazing.

Some are less so.

Regardless, I focus on the fact our windshields are larger than our rear-view mirrors for a reason.

I can’t create my best TODAY if I’m too busy checking out Carla from yesterday.


For me this approach is the ultimate in self-care.

The pinnacle of realizing I am enough

I’m doing what I can when I can and if it isn’t as fabulous! amazing! as yesterday—-who cares?

I don’t care.

Neither does my windshield.

  • Do you compare yourself to the *you* of yore? Or are your eyes, like mine, permanently gazing straight ahead?



Wanna read more? The RUNtastic MCM Mama  joins me today in sharing her COMPARISON-musings….


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  1. says

    It’s a constant battle. Because I race often, and often the same races every year – I’m always comparing my times and trying to best myself even though I’m one year older. Sometimes I can let it go, other times I can’t, but I’m always aware of it.

    • Bea says

      I hadn’t thought about this before either.
      I have hung on my fridge a pic of me 30 pounds lighter and it only makes me sad when I see it.
      GREAT POINTS, Carla, and ones I needed to hear.

  2. says

    Amen sister! And I know that as I grow and EVOLVE I become a better person to handle what’s going on in my life at that MOMENT

  3. says

    You’re right. There are times that comparing me to me is motivating and helps me push along. And there are times when it is discouraging and leaves me frustrated. Comparisons of all sort are dangerous!

  4. says

    Oh, wow. Were you in my head yesterday? Did you get NSA to give you my text exchange with my Mom ? After my amazing PR at the CUCB yesterday I was struggling with how to keep racing when I know I can’t keep getting faster. When I talked myself down, I reminded myself that racing makes me train and run the best I can — on that day, under those conditions, at that moment. Quitting because I can’t do better would rob me of the challenge and joy of doing my best. (Now that I’ve outlined my responsive blog post …..)

  5. says

    i love the idea of keeping your eyes forward… i’m doing that now with pregnancy because there’s no use to comparing myself to myself at any other point in my life right now – i’ve never been pregnant before so i’m embracing this beautiful journey!

  6. says

    i definitely would have to agree with you. Each day is work in progress. Some days you make progress (in a day), some days you don’t. Do you move forward? not sure. But i think if you count your blessings each day, then the comparison never happens. Thanks for being YOU

  7. says

    Love this especially the windshields vs. rear-view mirror analogy. I have fallen into the comparison trap in the past. I think largely due to age, I’ve moved away from that. But comparing me to me? That’s a hard one. More on that later this week…

  8. says

    Carla this is perfect and well said. I get caught comparing and it just brings me down. And what’s funny is self comparing is even worse, I used to… Remember when I could…each day moves forward there is no reason to get lost in the past. Keep moving forward and do your best!

    • Olive says

      I am really great at not comparing myself to people out there who exercise hours a day and stuff (I think they’re nuts), but I do tend to think how much thinner I was back in my 20’s and that depresses me.

  9. says

    I am very critical of myself – something I am learning more and more these days. I need to relax. And just enjoy the process, but I get hung up on how I can make improvements and be better. Part of it is my drive – which I cherish. But the other side can be negative. So I am slowly but surely learning to step back, breathe, and be!

  10. says

    Oh my!!
    I constantly think of the days gone by. Just this past weekend I was thinking about how much I’ve changed as a career woman. Once where a new project/client would excite me and I’d work insane 60+ hr weeks, now all I want is a reliable project of far shorter time expectations and to have all the extra time to spend with my kids. And that made me feel sad like I’ve lost my identity as a professional.

    I love your philosophy of do your best for today. Thanks for the outlook!

  11. says

    I don’t think self-comparisons are inherently bad, especially when we’re looking at our past successes rather than our past mistakes.

    When I’m struggling, I do like to look at the old, healthier me to remind myself that I CAN do it, because I’ve done it before! Will it look the same this time around? Certainly not, and I need to respect my present circumstances.

    But I also find motivation from remembering my past triumphs. I guess that means I like to focus on the windshield while also peeking in the rear view mirror when I need to.

  12. cherylann says

    It’s human nature to compare oneself to others. In fact I think it’s an admirable attribute-how else would we have Olympic champions, High achievers in education, medicine, etc. all strive to be the “best” in their field and comparison takes place. There is competition in everything and every where one looks. You aspire to have a blog and twitter feed with followers as it’s your vocation. I aspire to do the best at my job each day to get feedback from the little ones with which I work. A little bit of our motivation is to please others and thus we compare. It’s natural and not necessarily a bad thing. If we just sat around all day saying “I am good enough” then what on earth would get done? You would be like my niece who collects food stamps and is on welfare and likes to indulge in alcohol, drugs and has babies without a husband. But she thinks she is “good enough”.
    If you have to SAY you don’t compare, then I have to question that maybe you do in some aspect of your life…we all do.

  13. says

    LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still working – always working on the not comparing to others – I think due to so much trying so many NOs.. but I do so agree with just get up each day & do your best for me.. I really don’t think of it as I was better yesterday – I do think of it as trying to be whatever I can be that day & like you said, if it is not great, so be it. We can’t be at the best every day … Great post!

  14. says

    I feel as if i’m stuck in the middle. One half says hey look at how good you used to look, the other side says oh my gosh, I am SO PROUD of this body for birthing these two miracles that are my sons. Good thing though? I have been leaning towards the latter a lot more lately.

  15. Gordon says

    Dear Carla,

    I teach and coach middle – high school girls, and I will admit that I pull a lot of great information to share with them about living a life of gratitude and strength from your posts and blog. Thank you so much for being so cool, doing the heavy thinking for me, and for being brave enough to share.

    With deep appreciation from Texas.

    – Gordon

  16. says


    In my case, I compare my current self to the thinner, strong self I was before I injured my shoulder… and gained some weight… and had my hip die… The person who could do a chin-up, the gal that the men in the weight room admired because of my workout ethic, the one with the arms other women wanted!

    There were good things about that person, but also some not good things that I conveniently ignore. And I can never get back to that place.

    Thanks for a reminder to keep my eyes on today.

  17. says

    This is beautiful and so true. Such a good reminder. It is so very hard to keep comparison at bay, but the windshield analogy…perfection! I’ll be keeping that in mind from now on!

  18. says

    Thanks for this today. Lately it has been hard to not think back to what I could do before I got sick and let my weak days discourage me (some days going downstairs is the exciting event of the day!). When I stick to yesterday it gets simpler…and I remember its about today that matters. That’s where I am and where I need to be to get better :)

  19. says

    I LOVE this! You are so right. I am always upset with myself when I don’t do as well as I have done in the past. I have never thought of it this way. Comparison *is* the thief of joy, but not just comparison to others. ALL comparison. (Sorry for gushing, but this really was a lightbulb moment for me.)

  20. says

    “our windshields are larger than our rear-view mirrors for a reason.”– LOVE. I am guilty of comparing me to me ALLLLL the time. But I’m getting better about it. Case in point– I ran this weekend’s 10 mile run 10 minutes slower than last year. BUT– I’m okay with it. I felt great, had a great time, and stopped and took pictures along the way. I was completely “present”.

  21. says

    As usual my wise friend, you hit the nail on the head. And I need to do better about comparing myself to myself….

  22. says

    Sometimes i do compare to yesterday. It’s part of being happy with where i am while on the way to where i am going, and it isn’t a bad kind of comparing, more observing and using it to correct course.

  23. says

    This is a tough one for me. I definitely compare b/c I wish I could be the person I am today inside with the healthy, easily running body of my 30s. So yep, there’s some joy thieving going on right there. I’ll keep working.

  24. says

    I SOOOOOO needed to read this. If I compare myself today with me of 3 yrs ago, I could break down in despair. It’s all just #wycwyc!

  25. says

    I think this post is fantastic. I’ve really never liked that quote about comparing to yourself. I’m one of those people that does struggle with comparison, and I think that comparing to my “old self” is just as harmful as comparing to other people. I’m learning and growing every day, I shouldn’t be like I once was because I’m different now, and that’s a good thing!

  26. says

    I used to do this (compare myself to myself) but my 40s have helped break me of that. I know that I will never be certain things/ways again and I’m totally OK with it. I’m actually at a point that I’m happy with myself the way I am right now!

  27. says

    Interesting take, Carla! I think there are many paths that lead to the top of the mountain. As long as ours does, than it’s fine, unless we fall off the other side :-)

  28. says

    Good stuffs here! I’ve gotten beyond comparing myself to others in a negative way and am pretty good about not comparing myself to myself. (I think that’s illegal in my state.)

    I *do* compare for specific goals, like weights and such….last week I could do 10 whatevers, this week I’m doing 12. That kind of thing. I find it helpful, but I can definitely see how it could turn icky if not listening to the inner voice.

  29. says

    I just love your philosophy Carla, “I do my best each day in everything from fitness to family. I go to bed. I get back up the next morning and give my best efforts again.” Words to live by!

  30. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE…sometimes my eyes go back into the distance, but I am working hard on only looking forward and doing what I can every day. And like you said…some are awesome and some are not so much. I keep moving forward though with my chin up! :)

  31. says

    This one phrase:

    “I do my best each day in everything from fitness to family. I go to bed. I get back up the next morning and give my best efforts again.”

    Mind if I steal that mantra and give it a try? Because I’m pretty sure I could use it. You’re wonderful!

  32. says

    Thank you! This is so true but I often forget it. Lately I’ve been trying to remind myself of your mantra “do what you can when you can” and it is so freeing and motivating!

  33. says

    Great post, and you are so right. You really shouldn’t compare yourself to you at another point in time. You really start disliking yourself that way! You become your own worst competition not to say nightmare.

  34. says

    I totally agree with you, Carla! But this is something most of us are guilty of, but it is workable. We just need to give our best efforts everyday. Great read!

  35. says

    such a fine line sometimes with the word comparison as sometimes it can be used in a negative way, and the other times more positive. It can be hard not to compare, and sadly think it will always be a part of life.

  36. says

    I hadn’t thought about comparison this way but I am absolutely loving this perspective! I’m all too quick to compare myself to my previous states of being and I realize that’s just as unhelpful as comparing myself to other people.

  37. says

    This is such a good post. It is true that we can identify that comparing ourselves to others is unhelpful, but it’s so easy to overlook how unhelpful it is to compare ourselves to our past! Not only due ageing, or tiredness, or babies, but also because we change so much as a whole. I know for me, I have changed so much mentally and physically just in the last 3 years. It’s not that we were ‘better’ and will never be as ‘good’ as we were in the past. It’s just that, we change, and are just different to what we once were. It’s neither good, nor bad. Just different. Thanks for this post, such a great perspective to look at.

  38. Eva says

    This is a very powerful message and i’m glad i read your post this morning. i’ve been stuck in the past all morning, but i am reminded me that each day is a new day. and i will live fully today.