Comparison is the devil masking your real purpose with goals, achievements, and ambition that were never meant for you. Comparison says, you’re not good enough, you need to work harder, max out your credit to buy a new car or go on a vacation because you deserve it, you need to exercise more to fit into those skinny jeans, you need to stretch your budget to afford a house with all the latest furnishings and design pieces.
A few years ago, I was at my lowest. I had stopped going to church and decided to forge my own path that I thought was going to be great. I strived to have the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect family. But the harder I worked for it, the less happy I seemed to be. I couldn’t figure it out. Doors slammed in my face, but I thought that meant I just needed to work harder. During this time, comparison was at an all-time high for me.
I looked around and saw my peers owning beautiful houses, buying RV’s, taking trips regularly with their family to beautiful hot places, driving new cars and signing their kids up for every sport under the sun. And so that’s what I wanted.
But when I looked at what I had, I felt defeated, less then, and underachieved which only pushed me to work harder in order to get it. I wanted it all. So I pushed and pushed and pushed until it all came crashing down.
I was brought to my knees the moment I heard Thea had Mosaic Down Syndrome. It forced me to wake up and revaluate how I was living my life. It took a hold of my pride and smashed it into a million pieces. I could no longer lie to myself that I had everything under control. Working harder was not going to fix it.
That day was the beginning of my journey to realizing I wasn’t living My life. The one God created for me. I was trying to live a life that was not mine to live. No wonder it wasn’t working out!
At first, I had a bit of a temper tantrum towards God because it didn’t feel right or fair. But after a lot thinking and praying, I decided I had to stop trying to control my future. I had to give up control, be patient and wait for God to open the doors he created just for me.
It wasn’t about what others were doing, it was about what I was doing. I needed to stop comparing my life to others and focus on me, no one else.
Ever heard of FOMO? It stands for Fear of Missing Out. That was me. And I realize now I feared I was missing out because I WAS missing out. But not in the way I thought. I wasn’t missing out on the things other people were doing, I was missing out on what I was supposed to be doing.
I wasn’t listening to God, and therefore I was missing out on what he created just for me.
I was listening to a life coach a little while ago and she said, you can’t compare yourself to others. As soon as you do that, you will go down a negative path that is incredibly self-destructive.
Now it’s not like this was a new concept, but for some reason it really stuck with me this time. I thought about all the times I compared, and realized it was a lot.
I constantly compared the way I looked against other women, I compared how my kids behaved against other kids, I compared people’s relationships to mine, I compared our finances to others, I compared the success of others and the list goes on. I never realized how much I compared in a single day.
I do it without even realizing I’m doing it. It’s become second nature to me.
So I guess the question is, if it’s such a negative and destructive thing, why the heck to I do it?
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)
I believe its Satan pushing us to want more, to want what we don’t have, to become consumed with becoming someone else and therefore shift our focus from becoming who we are meant to be.
See, God made everyone individually. You and I were born with a different purpose. And it is NOT a COMPETITION. God didn’t make you one day and say, “hey, good luck. It’s a competitive world out there! I made a thousand other people just like you with the exact same purpose. So you’re going to have to fight against others to be able to live out your purpose and become successful.”
Thank goodness he didn’t do that because I would have come in last place every time.
Instead, he made you and me unique. Your purpose is different from mine, from your spouse, from your child, from your friends. So you don’t have to worry or feel less than if one of your friends is, in your eyes, more successful because their success isn’t your success. Their purpose isn’t your purpose.
So how do you stop yourself from comparing?
The trick is to pray, read the bible and constantly ask god what purpose he created for you. Once you are on the right path, once you have aligned your actions with Gods purpose, you will look around and celebrate others who are doing well because you will realize there is room for everyone. Once you are on your God purpose-filled journey, the feeling of jealousy, competition and worthlessness will not be near as much.
Now, I’m not saying comparison will go right out the window. We are human, and because it’s become a habit, it’s hard to break. But if you are able to acknowledge the times you start to compare, that is half the battle. The power it holds over you will lessen immensely by simply acknowledging it. Then once you acknowledge it, you can remind yourself that you are on your own journey.
Satan is a sneaky one though. Those comparisons will sneak up on you and take over your thoughts and actions very quickly. So it’s important to block them by praying to God that you will be able to recognize it when it starts.
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.” (Galatians 6:4-5)
And make sure you talk about it with someone. There is great power in telling someone else. We are way too hard on ourselves, so if you can express your feelings and thoughts to someone else, they will be able to be kind and gentle to you when you can’t do it for yourself.
I’ve realized I don’t want to waste my time trying to achieve a life that is not mine to live. I want to spend my time focusing on accomplishing what I was meant to do. And then cheer on others when they step up and follow their purpose.
No one else can do what you can. No one else has your story, your personality, your looks, your combination of skills and gifts.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
That is pretty special and God is waiting for you!