“Comparison is the thief of joy”
This quote has always stuck with me since the first time I have heard it. I may not always remember it when I need it, but it has definitely helped me to remember the power of comparison and how detrimental it can be to my life. Comparison is something that we all do subconsciously, there is no running from it, and in many cases by the time we realize that we are entertaining comparison, it already has wreaked havoc on our minds. All my life I struggled with conquering thoughts of comparison, and in the world we live in it has become a constant reminder because of social media and entertainment. There you find yourself, and those closest to you, caught up in the drama of it all. Every time I have allowed comparison to consume me it has always tried to devour the best parts of me, but I have found ways, as I have gotten older and wiser, to overcome thoughts of comparison and to love me as the unique woman God has created me to be. I may not have perfected it, because let’s face it no one is perfect, but I have won more battles against it than I have lost. I want to be able to equip you with the knowledge and power to say no to comparison, because your mental health isn’t worth the cost. Read further to find out the 4 Ways Comparison Kills and how to overcome it.
It is so easy to see someone stepping out and doing anything that looks like they remotely have success in, and want that for yourself. Especially if it feels like what you have been doing is not working. Instagram is a death trap, the perception of success that is constantly thrown on there deceives the viewer. It creates these emotions of insecurity, unworthiness, self doubt, ungratefulness, and even feelings of self hatred. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in someone else’s goals and dreams. The grass is greener Proverb is a reality because you have stopped watering your side. You have stopped investing and pouring into your dreams because you are so busy watching, envying, and comparing yourself to that person. We are all on our own personal path, with our own personal goals, and with our own unique God given purpose. Our race is more like a marathon, we are constantly training, learning, growing, and getting stronger when we face times of hardship or stress, and that is okay! It only makes us healthier and better equipped for when we reach our final goal, and then guess what? ON TO THE NEXT GOAL!
Can I be real for a moment. I have definitely got caught up in thinking that I should be the amazing multi-tasking, healthy lifestyle, active, incredibly put together mama as these other mama’s I’ve see on Instagram, or being a boss babe reaching success and starting businesses like these other women I see on Instagram. I have even caught myself wanting to look, dress, and mimic what these women are putting out there, almost losing myself in the vanity of it all. And I have ended up way too many times depressed, not understanding why I am not happy, why my husband isn’t noticing the change I think he is attracted too, or how I am not making any progress or strides towards the goals I thought were for me. I’ve felt trapped in a cycle of trying to please the image of who I thought I should be because of what I see on my IG feed, constantly irritable of others fitting that image, and thinking that I finally got it together, only to be quickly disappointed and even harder on myself. A life of self inflicted pain like that is not worth it. What we see on social media is only half the story. I read recently on an IG story post that said “stop hating on the girl you see finding success, you don’t know the pain and struggle it took for her to get there.” And it is so real! We don’t know her sacrifice, the pain she dealt with, the comparison game she may have gotten caught in, or the why behind why she even had that goal in the first place.
Hey Sis! You comparing yourself to her is not inspiration for you to be better, it is actually cheating you of being who you truly are.
Stop competing with what was never meant for you, instead use the energy you would spend on that to discover what is yours. Her success should be celebrated, because IT IS HER SUCCESS! It is unique to her, just as your success will be unique to you. Instead of playing the victim, feeling sorry for yourself, and putting yourself through an emotional rollercoaster, find something good to say about her. Find a way to support her, even if it hurts your ego, because if we could get to a place where we die to ourselves and celebrate someone else, we grow into a woman who is mentally strong. A woman who is secure in herself, her goals, her dreams, her body, and her heart. Then, and only then, can we speak life into others, love others better, and actually make a difference in this world, but also discover our unique purpose and the revelation of what we could be.
Your Sense of Value and Worth
I have discovered that the biggest reason I have felt not worthy or enough is because of how I talk to myself. Have you ever noticed yourself saying negative things? It may not even by consciously. Or even saying, if I had/looked/did this…, then I’d look/feel/be that… It may be little comments you say to yourself like I wish my tummy was flatter, or she can post a blog and post on social media, have a following, exercise, and travel because she doesn’t have kids to deal with like me. We are so quick to give excuses, undervalue ourselves, and be envious of others who are taking action, instead of giving ourselves a heart check to discover the root of our heartache.
To be clear, your worth and value comes from God. He saw you before the beginning of time, formed you, created you into His likeness, and made you uniquely you. There is no one on this planet who is you and He has proved that, just look at your DNA, there is no other! You are so fiercely loved by Him, and His love for you is immeasurable. The God of the universe, who created all things and does the impossible, says that You are worthy! WOW! He has loved you since the beginning of time, when you messed up, all they way to the end of time. How does that not speak volumes of your value and worth? If the God of the universe sees you, loves you, and says you are mine, why do we still give ourselves crap? You are worthy sis! Believe it! You have a Father in Heaven who believes in you and all your capabilities and talents, knows who you truly are, and loves who you truly ARE! When we believe and truly know that, we become content with where we are at, what we have, what we can do, and more importantly our identity, and that releases creativity to go and take action.
Your relationships can be negatively impacted the moment you start to let comparison change your perception of yourself. Trust me I have been there! Changing myself for another person, wanting to live up to the idea of who I think they want me to be, being hard on myself when they still don’t see me, or even being mad at them for not loving this person I created for them. It has often left a hole in my heart, a feeling of unworthiness, and doubt in that person’s intentions for me. It has allowed my mind to be a breeding ground for negative thoughts, difficulty in distinguishing what is real and made up, false perceptions, and unreal heartache. The small problems get blown out of proportion, and the other person is left thinking what happened? You lose your authenticity because you have taken on a fake persona, and it prevents you from moving forward in your relationships because you are stuck. Comparison keeps you stuck, it doesn’t birth new life and growth, it hinders you from becoming the best of who you can be for that relationship. It can actually kill even the strongest of relationships if not dealt with. The only way out is to talk it out. Be real with yourself and the other person, and stop assuming their desires for you. The reason we let comparison come in between our relationships is because we stop communicating. We assume this is what they want, instead of having the courage to ask what they want. Communication will restore what comparison has broken. So simple, yet the hardest thing for most of us to do.
Have you ever caught yourself just scrolling? You have so much on your plate, yet you are stuck scrolling through social media. Maybe you are a stay at home mom and should be giving your attention to your kids, or maybe you are in school and should be studying. The energy you waste on thoughts of comparison negatively impact your responsibilities. Your children don’t get all of you, your significant other doesn’t get all of you, your work doesn’t get all of you, your friends/family don’t get all of you, God doesn’t get all of you, and the list goes on. Your brain is filtering everything through the lens of comparison which makes it difficult to give your undivided attention to the things that are truly important. You have a good chunk of you still focused on how you could be the thing you wish to be or how you aren’t, and everything around you becomes less important, almost subconsciously. Or maybe the thoughts of comparison are so overwhelming that you are left feeling paralyzed. The depression has set in and you don’t want or feel like doing anything. You start to let go of your responsibilities and neglect the people around you. I have been there, just wanting to sleep in bed all day because my thoughts are so heavy, almost suffocating. The feeling of not being good enough to what I have idolized in my head slowly tore away at my soul, and my family suffered because of that.
It took a reality check from my mentor to really put things in perspective for me. When I confessed my struggle with the women whom I knew had my back, things started to change. My mentor and several other women surrounded me with love, called me out on my crazy, spoke life into the places that needed healing, and prayed with me/for me. These ladies checked in with me often, and I checked in with them whenever I was having a bad day. They truly mirrored the love of God and grace for me. I thank God daily for these women, He truly blessed me with sisters who can help bring me back down to earth when my mind was going to far off places.
The biggest thing that I have taken away with my experience is that you have to give yourself grace. Grace is so important for us because we can be our biggest critic. When we allow ourselves to not get caught up in the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s, and rest in knowing that we are doing everything we can and it is good, we don’t make room for thoughts of comparison. We are content with where we are at, and that makes room for God to do more in our life. If there is anything that you take away from this, I pray that you know that God sees you. He sees all of you and loves you to the depths of your soul. He delights in you and what you offer to this world, and believes in you. He has a bigger story for your life than what you could possibly imagine, and wants to bless you beyond measure. So give it all to God and watch Him grow you into the women you are called to be. Take that comparison!