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Do you have Colorado Comparison Disorder?

Colorado Comparison Disorder (CCD) affects 4 in 5 Coloradans, and the remaining 1 in 5 are Olympic athletes. 

Oh, Colorado. Land of big mountains, epic snow, gnarly mountain bike trails, spicy rivers, technical crags. It’s a place where people like to get outside and go big. It’s also a place rife with a relatively unknown and often underdiagnosed condition: Colorado Comparison Disorder, or CCD.

I had my own flare up of CCD the other day. 

I was out on my bike on the local trails, feeling good about myself and life in general. I heard the familiar sound of another cyclist coming up behind me, and pulled off the trail to let them pass. They were going FAST up a steep climb. 

Suddenly, my thoughts went dark. I started judging my fitness and criticizing my commitment to mountain biking. I had painful thoughts about my age and being “past my prime” when it comes to adventure sports. I wondered if I should train harder, or maybe just give up biking entirely. 

CCD symptoms can manifest in the way I just described. 

CCD can also look like:

  • Getting irrationally angry with yourself if you mess something up while out in the wilderness, whether that be a ski run or a climbing move

  • Following professional athletes on Strava and comparing your times to theirs

  • Obsession with tracking yourself and others on whatever app or device you use to record your activities

  • Bailing on a group activity because you’re sure you will be fast enough, strong enough, or tough enough to keep up

  • Quitting altogether because you’ll never be “the best”

You’ll never find CCD in a diagnostic manual, and no therapist or doctor in their right mind would seriously give such a diagnosis (i.e. I made it up). A short burst of CCD like the one had on the trail the other day is pretty common, and not a big deal. 

What can get really real is the pervasive sense of low-self worth that comes with constantly comparing yourself with others, and the disappearance of the joy you used to find in play. 

You might need more help if you find yourself:

  • Consistently mired in the self-worth hole of comparison and low self-esteem

  • Constantly hating on yourself and your performance

  • Noticing that you’ve stopped enjoying activities and instead see them as a chance to prove yourself

  • Beating yourself up over mistakes or challenges while engaged in an activity

  • Feeling overwhelmed by extreme negative emotions while biking, climbing, skiing, or paddling

Sound familiar? If so, there’s probably more at work than just a mild case of CCD. 

You’re probably stuck in some sort of self-worth trap; one that is tough to get out of alone. 

If you are stuck in a trap of self-loating and low self-esteem, professional support can help you understand what's going on so you can get back to living a life you like and enjoy your activities again.

Ready to tackle your CCD? Schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation call today.