Do you ever go through times where it feels like everyone else is just nailing it? Comparison is so all permeating. They’re more organised. They’re always in the gym. They’re eating vegan and on top of that its organic vegan. And wait for it their kids are eating like that to. They’re having more fun. Achieving more in the workplace. Present in the home. Their marriages are on fire (come on). And they’re always on the most extravagant looking vacations. Do you ever feel like you’re falling behind the ever progressing highlight reels of everyone else’s existence? Maybe I’m the only one. Or maybe I’m the only one ‘fessing up? (Insert grin).
I don’t know why but for a moment recently I felt a little unravelled within myself. Maybe it’s hormones (Is that too much information?) Maybe it’s fatigue. Whatever the reason, I caught myself, recently, literally comparing myself and my life to everyone and everything. This person was way more intelligent. This person was way more in shape. This person had so many more opportunities. This person was living the travelling dream. Thankfully I realised that my head was going slightly crazy on me and I needed to rein it in before I found discontent and ungratefulness make themselves at home in my heart.
I don’t know how you deal with comparison but I like to kill it. Like wipe it out before it can do any damage kind of kill it. I liken comparison to a bush fire. It starts off small and unnoticeable but if a little wind picks up or the dry land allows for it, the fire can cause major devastation. There is this phrase circulating around social media that says “comparison kills.” This much is true. But I’d like to spin this around and say kill comparison. Kill it. Stop it quickly before it wreaks devastation on your heart.
Romans 12 in the Message translation has helped me so much in dealing with comparison.
“In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.”
Here are my comparison killers.
Choose to value the WHOLE
When I feel like I am getting weighed down by comparison I like to stop and remind myself that I am one part of a greater whole. We all have something to bring to the table and we need each other. We are better together. So instead of getting hung up on what someone else has that I don’t, I choose to remember that I need other people to find true and long-lasting meaning in my own life. It’s the whole that provides the purpose and meaning not just the one part.
Celebrate celebrate and celebrate some more
As soon as I recognise that I am spending my precious thinking time envying someone else’s story I stop and celebrate everyone and everything. Privately. Publicly and everything else in between. I go slightly overboard to remind my heart that I will not allow someone else’s success get me down. That is just warped. Your success is ultimately my success and so to ensure comparison can not kill my joy I mindfully, verbally out loud or via text or even over social media tell people that I think what they are doing or who they are is amazing. I get specific. I choose to see the good and celebrate people’s success. And honestly it’s not fake. It’s my stronger self telling my more insecure self to STOP IT and move on.
Claim the wonderfulness.
This is especially hard for me to do but this is very important to stopping comparison in its tracks. When I am feeling burdened by what I am not and what others may be. I tell myself that I am wonderful. (This takes courage) I tell myself that there are God ordained and great plans for life. That I am not forgotten or left behind but perfectly positioned by God to have the kind of life that leaves a lasting legacy. I choose to believe that the best days for me lie ahead and I will myself to smile at who I am and who I am becoming. I choose to believe in me. To get excited about the things God has placed before me and I decide to confidently pursue an authentic version of me over anybody else. I embrace my story. The whole of it. And choose not to trade that for somebody else’s version of me.
Count your blessings.
Gratitude changes everything. And it will change a heart that is feeling hard done by or disillusioned by comparison. I choose to be grateful for all that I have and I gain perspective by acknowledging that many live with far less than I do. I thank God for all He has given me, the people and the opportunities, and I let the feeling of contentment bring perfect peace.
Curb the social media addiction.
One of my best ways to completely annihilate comparison is to take a little break from social media. Let’s be honest. “Instaglam” and “Fake- book” are not real and when we spend too much time scrolling through and obsessing over everyone else’s highlight reel (only me) we miss out on the beauty of our own lives. Our present day beautiful and gift given lives. Sometimes we have the will power to leave it alone other times we need to delete it from our lives until we feel stronger and more adequately able to handle the phenomenon that is social media. This has been a game changer for me. Who knew?
Comparison will steal your joy. There are no exceptions and so we all need to be aware of it and take responsibility for the health of our own hearts. Comparison will make you question (and question and question) your right now so I would encourage you to deal with it as soon as you recognise it. Listen to your language. Watch your responses. Pay attention to how certain things make you feel. It’s not that difficult to spot. And please, don’t let it take one minute more from your life. And know that as you endeavour to kill this stinky thief I am cheering you on in this on going pursuit of cultivating a healthy and happy heart.