The Cold Plunge Comparison
Alright, do you find ways to discredit yourself or am I the only one?
I had a moment of this when I was taking a cold shower. My rule is any time I start a shower before 8pm I stand in the cold water for at least one minute. In fact, the way I do it is I stand in the shower and then turn the water on so that I get jolted by the first drops of cold rather than step in after it’s already on.
Cold exposure isn’t easy in any capacity, but in the shower I caught myself thinking “Man I’m a baby compared to what they do in the Cold Plunge Crew!”
Let me take a step back...
The last time I went to Mexico to build a house for a family in need (where I’ll actually be again this weekend), I went with a group of Canadians called the Cold Plunge Crew. They’re crazy. Basically they’re a community group that finds rivers, streams, and water all over Canada to plunge in. Needless to say, they’ve set the bar for me in terms of how extreme a cold plunge can get.
Comparing myself to them made me feel like my commitment to the practice was insignificant. Or at least that’s what I caught myself thinking…
Then, I remembered the ocean dip I took with them when we were in Mexico together. While the water wasn’t as cold as what they were accustomed to, my friend Natalia, one of the leaders of the Cold Plunge Crew, said a really interesting line to me. I was talking about my cold showers and she said “Wait, you do what? In the shower? And you just stand there and turn it on? That sounds awful!”
To her the idea of inconsistent, pressurized cold water was more unpleasant than her full submersions. I have to disagree.
But that’s exactly the point I want to make here. We will naturally discredit ourselves, our commitments, or achievements, and our capabilities relative to others. That’s what I did in the shower and that’s what Natalia did in the ocean.
When we compare ourselves to others we see the best qualities in them but the full spectrum in ourselves, leading to a sense of inferiority and a negative self-judgment. So give yourself credit where credit is due! If you’re in the game, showing up for yourself and feeling like things are right for you, don’t get too biased about how you’re perceiving others. Gain inspiration from them, yes, but compare yourself to them? That’s a slippery slope.