Writing a post on the dreadful c word has crossed my mind for sometime now. You know the word….comparison. I dislike that word so much, mainly because of the way it makes me feel. I fall victim of comparison, sadly, more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes it’s like comparison hits me out of nowhere; like I will wake up and just immediately begin comparing everything in my life to everyone else….it’s terrible. Honestly, I often feel like being a blogger is a comparison death trap. I’ll compare my business to the much more fruitful business of someone else, I’ll compare my regular size home to someone else’s super large, perfectly clean home, I’ll compare my financial situation to someone else’s glorious financial state, I’ll compare my blog followers and readers to every seasoned and highly successful blogger on the planet, and I’ll even compare my body to the teeny tiny 19 year old Victoria Secret model who’s never birthed a child. UGH, comparison will literally suck the life out of you. I’m guilty of it and I’ve realized that, as much as I know I shouldn’t allow myself to do it, I don’t think it ever really and truly goes away. We just have to reduce the instances in which it happens and find effective ways to switch gears when we find ourselves starting to compare our lives and situations to those of someone else. Here are five things I try to do + remember when I find comparison being the thief of my joy.
GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
I blame social media for so much of this. Yes, I know that social media just a highlight reel. I know it’s not ALL ‘real life’, but, damn, that doesn’t mean it can’t suck you in to thinking that everyone else’s home, children, relationship, bank account and life is much better than yours. The instant I catch myself thinking anything negative about any given situation in my life, while browsing social media, I put my phone away. Truthfully, 99% of the instances in which I feel down or in a funk from comparing things to someone else has happened while browsing social media. If I wouldn’t have been scrolling someone else’s highlight reel, I would have never had those thoughts in the first place.
CALL YOUR LIFELINE
Anytime I get in rut about anything, I call my best friend Heather. She always, without fail, will make me feel better within five minutes. She gives me the big fat reality check that I need, tells me to suck it up and get a grip, and then reminds me that EVERYONE has their own issues…even the person who seems to always have it all together. Yep, they have issues, too. And I’m not saying we should get pleasure in someone else’s pain, I mean that we’re all human and no one has a perfect life. I had a dear friend tell me once – Jen, just like you’re comparing yourself to that person, there are people who are comparing themselves to you. I had never thought about that before and, honestly, it made me sad. I would never want to portray my life in such a way that would cause someone else to feel blah about their own life, wardrobe, home, etc. However, we all have to acknowledge, it’s not the other person forcing us to compare…it’s us. It’s our own issues and insecurities. So, it’s nice to have your friend(s) or family that you can reach out to when you feel that way.
There have also been times when I’ve talked to my mom or my sisters about how my kids are hard or my husband and I are in a funk (or whatever my complaint it is at the moment) and how everyone else seems to have raising toddlers and nurturing their marriage all figured out. They very quickly remind me how that is not the case at all, that the majority of couples go through phases when raising children is tough and your marriage is hard…that’s part of life…for everyone! And though deep down I already know this, it’s still nice to have someone else reiterate that for me.
FUEL YOUR FIRE
If you’re comparing your business to someone else’s or perhaps your body to someone else’s, let that fuel your fire. Let their success motivate you. Rather than getting down about yourself, be happy for the other person, company, etc. and take their ways and apply them to your own life. If you admire someone who has a great body and you know they workout four times a week and they eat clean, then start incorporating those things into your life as well.
Ask the Lord to help you see the blessings in your own life, for you to be able to see your victories and acknowledge your own strengths. Ask Him to remove the negative energy and your tendency to compare yourself to others. Pray that you will no longer place your own happiness, or lack thereof, in someone else’s hands. One of the fastest ways of discouraging ourselves and getting trapped by the sin of envy is when we compare ourselves to others. God already has a beautiful and very specific plan for each us.
“Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.” – Galatians 6:4-5
Remind yourself not to compare your normal, everyday life to someone else’s highlight reel. To not compare your first day at the job to someone else’s third year. Remind yourself how freaking awesome and fantastic you are; how incredibly lucky and blessed you are to be who you are and to have what you have. There are millions and millions of people in this world who have absolutely nothing, yet they choose to see glory and grace. Let us do the same!