Raise your hand if you have ever said these things to yourself:
I wish I were ______.
I don’t fit in.
If I was as smart as her, I could …
I never wear the right thing
I can’t do _____ as well as _____
Am I as pretty as her?
I don’t know about you, but I could raise my hand to all of these.
With just a quick scroll through Instagram or Facebook can make you evaluate all sorts of things if we are viewing from the perspective of comparison. Everyone “seems” to have it all put together while you sit there feeling stuck in life. That horrible, sinking feeling we experience is comparison.
Comparisons are NEVER fair. We often compare the worst in us to the best in others.
Comparisons have NO value. They only take away from enjoying the best in our lives.
Comparisons keep us PARALYZED. Instead of taking our next step, we do nothing because we devalue the process.
Comparisons BLUR our vision. We miss the beauty in us because we are too busy comparing ourselves to others.
Comparisons FUELS competitiveness. Instead of fostering collaboration, we build walls to keep others out afraid they may shine brighter than us.
No matter how many people cheer us on or are in our corner, if we are unable to embrace our own identity, we will always see ourselves from a place of lack. We will continually come up short because we see ourselves as never good enough, not smart enough, or can’t do enough. These ideas are merely lies meant to distract us from seeing our true identity in Christ.
We can decide to move from a perspective of comparison at any time. Here are three ways to put an end to comparison today.
Cultivate a grateful mindset
A grateful mindset causes us to focus on all the beauty in our own lives. Being grateful enables us to shift our thoughts from seeing lack to seeing potential. God made no mistake in the way He created us. If we can see the good in others, surely we can do the same for ourselves. Comparison isn’t a thief. When we compare ourselves to others, we freely give away our time, our energy and our joy. The moment we shift our perspective to gratitude, we take back our time, our energy and our joy.
So how we create this mindset?
- Start each day with praise. Thank God for making you for who you are.
- Replace negative language. Every time you find yourself saying ugly statements like, “I am not good enough” replace it with the truth of God. Identify scripture that reinforces who you are in Christ.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Spend time each day focused on all the good in your life and the good in you.
Embrace your journey
One of the best advice given to me in my twenties was, “Can’t nobody beat you, being you.” I am at my best when I am being myself. How can we compare ourselves to others when we are unique?
Just like we are unique, our journey is unique too. It’s okay if you complete your degree in your 30s instead of in your 20s. It’s okay if you are starting a new career in your 40s. It’s okay if life looks different than your peers because your journey is just that—YOURS. We experience stress and failure when we expect ourselves to complete life steps by society’s demands. Who says you should be married in your 20s? Who says you should have a baby by now? Who says you can’t start over?
What does embracing our journey look like?
- Savoring the moments. Too often we push forward to our next achievement or accomplishment without taking time to truly enjoy the moment. Before going to the next goal, acknowledge how God guided you through your current season. Reflect on your thoughts, your emotions, and your blessings.
- Be kind to yourself. How you talk to yourself has a significant impact on how you view your journey. Instead of saying, “I am not smart enough” ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience?”
- It’s okay to go slow. Everyone’s journey will progress at a different pace. Your pace will proceed or be restricted based on the variables of your life. Think about where you are and take the next step to move forward.
Be inspired not envious
Comparing our weaknesses to the strengths of others is futile. But taking time to learn from others, their journey, and their gifts is quite wise. From their journey we can gain inspiration in learning how they overcame obstacles, how they embraced their journey, and what God did in their lives. This inspiration can often prompt us to make positive changes. We are not trying to have what they have, instead we are inspired to go after all that God has for us. Inspiration prompts a positive change, but comparison leads to a negative influence. It’s important to know the difference.
How can I be inspired and not envious?
- Check your heart. When something positive happens for others, are you able to celebrate their blessing without secretly wishing or wondering when God is going to do something for you? Their success is not a reflection of your failure. Her success is HER success. It doesn’t take away from what God can do in your life. Celebrate with her. Cheer on others.
- Focus on God’s plan for YOU. Spend time writing down the assignments that God has for you. Are you working toward them? Are you spending time cultivating your gifts and abilities? Or are you running away from them because what God wants you to do looks different than the plan you had for your life?