Can Comparing Yourself To Others Be A Good Thing?
You've likely heard that you should avoid comparing yourself to others, however I'm here to tell you that comparing yourself to others is exactly what you need to do sometimes. . . When I first started competing in 2013, I didn't know much about the sport and certainly did not know what "stage lean" was. All I knew was that I had a physique that was unlike anyone else in my circle of friends and acquaintances, none of which knew a thing about bodybuilding. I looked good. Beach ready, if you will. I was a lean, mean 165 lbs and had all the confidence in the world going in to that first show. . . SPOILER ALERT, I didn't win the show. Actually, Marshall Johnson won the overall. Yup. Marshall Frickin Johnson. I had no idea who he was at the time as we were conversing and making small talk at the polygraph and backstage. He introduced himself to my family and gave me some words of encouragement as I started my journey. Without knowing WHO he was, I could tell he was a stand-up guy. . . Anyway, the point here is that as I watched my fellow competitors on stage and finally the overall pro posedown, I noticed something...I didn't look like them. It was a realization that would prove to be pivotal in my journey through the sport. Over the years, I've become exposed to guys like Brian Whitacre, Philip Ricardo Jr., Jeff Alberts, Cleveland Thomas, Alberto Nunez, Sam Okunola, and many more...and have realized more and more what stage lean actually looked like. My journey began in 2013 at 165 lbs and in 2018 I stepped on stage at 128.8 lbs. . . Sometimes comparing yourself to others can be toxic, but other times it is exactly what you need. Don't try to be the next Marshall Johnson or Jeff Alberts, but rather use figures like that as markers true north. Comparing yourself to others can provide the direction, but it will never determine the destination. .
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