how to stop comparing yourself

“I didn’t ask you to be HER, I asked you to be YOU. – God. ”

I love this quote. I love the special feeling it gives me of feeling secure, loved and unique. It’s easy to read a beautiful quote, but living it out in real life is an entirely different story.

We live in a culture where we can’t help but compare ourselves. A culture of over-stimulation. With social media its all about how many ‘followers and likes’ we receive. And based on how many we receive, that is the key ingredient to making one feel accepted and loved. For some, social media is used for business, but for a vast majority of us, it makes us feel valued the more attention we receive from those that love us as well as those that don’t even know us.

On the other side of this, as we are feeling valued (or not valued) depending on the response of the world, we are also admiring, feeling jealous, and comparing ourselves to others. I believe there are two ways you can compare yourself to others. 1. You feel superior to them. OR 2. You feel inferior to them. And this all depends on each individual’s reason behind the comparison, but both are equally damaging to your joy and peace.

It was none other than Theodore Roosevelt who stated “comparison is the thief of joy”. Ain’t that the truth. Comparison consumes us. Comparison is exhausting. Think about it. Trying to become someone that you are not and that you will NEVER be…that’s exhausting. Trying to run and catch up with someone in their lane when in reality, you will never actually catch up to someone else’s lane because it’s THEIR lane, not yours…that’s exhausting. Or if you’re not catching up but rather feeling you are superior, how exhausting is that to keep telling yourself or others about all the reasons why you are better, and then the negative state that puts your mind in. The pride that involves takes work. Regardless of however you compare yourself, it’s exhausting.

The Bible talks to this subject reminding to you stay in your lane. Galatians 6:4 says: “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” If we are always focused on what other’s are doing, how can we put all our attention to our unique calling and work? If you focus on you and what God has set before you, then there will be no need to compare yourself to others.

What if you have yet to walk into your own calling because you are so focused on walking in someone else’s calling?

Jeremiah 29:11 –  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

God has a specific plan for YOU and you won’t accomplish that plan by looking at others. He has a specific plan for you as well as a specific plan for that gal you compare yourself to at the gym, or that gal in your office, and the gal that seems to have the perfect relationship. Their plan is different from your plan.

Mine and yours goal should be to look at ourselves and only ourseles to become better at the calling we are currently placed in. Our goal should be to look more like the person we are called to be everyday. The perfect example of who we should aspire to be like is Jesus. Jesus who was a living human in the flesh and the perfect example to compare ourselves to. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul (the apostle) says to “be intimators of me, as I am of Christ”. He is the ultimate one we should compare ourselves to and try to intimate.

Perhaps you feel lost right now as you are in the middle of a career change, or going through a breakup, or just graduated college and not sure what to do. EMBRACE this season of your life exactly where you are rather than looking at what others are doing. When I decided to leave the financial industry and become a stay at home wifey, I embraced every second of being the best wifey I could be. When I was single, I embraced every second of it. Afterall, I would eat an entire pizza by myself on a Friday night with NO ONE around me and I embraced that fully with no shame haha. Stop comparing yourself to the girlfriend who just got engaged while you are sitting at home alone on a Friday night. EMBRACE it. You are ONLY you, and you are ONLY going to be you and everybody is on a different path. Right now, I have the outside pressure of having kids. I get told I am getting older and told that I am far behind the rest of the world. Well, says who? God knows the plans he has for ME, for ALISHA. My plan is going to look different than YOUR plan. Trust God for YOUR life, don’t trust in someone else’s life.

Here are some practical tips that have helped me on this journey to compare myself less.

1. Take inventory of what is in your life. One of the best words of wisdom I ever received that truly resonated with me was the first month my husband and I started dating. We hired a nutritionist coach for 6 weeks. She told us that whatever it is that we are eating that “if it doesn’t nurture you or nourish you, then get rid of it”. And you can take that an apply that to any area of your life.

  • what in your life isn’t nurturing or nourishing you and causing you to compare yourself?
  • Is the reality show you are watching you nourishing or nurturing you or allowing room for you to compare yourself to others?
  • Is social media nurturing you and making you feel good or bad about yourself causing you to compare yourself?
  • Is that friendship nurturing or nourishing you or are you comparing yourself to her?

2. Know who YOU are. Not what the world says about you. The world will tell you that you should weigh this much, or look like the models in the magazines, or you should dress that way, or have this career or that career. Perhaps some of the closest people to you have belittled you in the past and compared you which could be THEIR truth and although hurtful, it’s not God’s truth. Remember God created you, not men. I encourage you to seek the Bible for the truth about you. Psalm 139:14 says that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that you are a “masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10). The God who created the earth we live in, created YOU as a masterpiece. Let that sink in.

3. Control your thoughts before they control you. Philippians 4:8 says ‘’fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” If you are like most gals and look at your body or appearance and beat yourself up, it’s time you take control of your thought life and “take those thoughts captive”. (2 Corinthians 10:5) This is a very hard habit to apply. Gratitude is such a big factor in your thoughts. Finding the things in your life to be grateful instead of comparing your life to others is a great habit I try to implement daily. In order for these thoughts to not consume you, you need to take captive the thought first before it enters your heart and becomes a part of you. “As a man thinks, so is he”. (Proverbs 23:7)

Remember, there is only one you. And it takes up so much exhausting energy to be someone you were never intended to be. You cannot pursue your path when you are trying to be on someone else’s path that wasn’t designed for you. You have a custom designed path that God created that only YOU get to walk on. EMBRACE IT!

love is more than a good feeling

It’s wedding season. I feel like everyone around us is getting married. I LOVE weddings. I love dressing up, dancing, and paying attention to every detail at a wedding. I found my best friend and married him 18 months ago and I planned our entire wedding from beginning to end, down to the minor details like the color of the forks. I didn’t want any help from friends or family as I took on the project solo wanting to own it from beginning to end, and I can truly say I loved every minute of it. I had never planned an event before but it turned out exactly how I envisioned it.

I also love LOVE. Hopeless romantic? Sure. This past weekend, we attended a wedding for my husband’s college roommate in the Washington DC area (as seen in the picture above)  and I cried during the entire ceremony. I love being loved and I love to love others with all that I am.  

I just love LOVE.

But what does love look like AFTER the beautiful ceremony and honeymoon? How does it look during everyday life?

There are many examples of love in some of my favorite movies I’ve made my husband dreadfully watch with me haha. My top three love stories are easily the Titanic, the Notebook, and Aladdin. All stories of relentless love. I experienced a similar love story with my husband. He courted me, he pursued me relentlessly, and proposed to me after 94 days of being my boyfriend. My husband has loved me in a way that I didn’t think was possible except for the love I saw in the movies. He loved me for who I was, accepted all my past and current inadequacies. He sees my flaws and scars as beauty in his eyes. He loves me for the things that I wasn’t even sure I loved about me. He loves me through all my crazy moments even though I denied ever having a crazy side to me haha. He not only loves me at my best, but loves me at my worst. He loved me every time I broke up with him on a weekly basis because I was scared that our love story was too good to be true. Through his actions, he has shown me that his love for me is greater than his own selfish desires as he puts me first in all his decisions.

I am grateful I have a partner in life who loves me through it all.

Perhaps, you have not yet found your partner. Or you have a partner, but don’t feel loved. Or perhaps you don’t love yourself, so therefore it’s hard for you to accept that anyone truly loves you.

It is not until you feel the love of God, that you can truly love others with an unconditional type of love. There is a love that surpasses any earthly love and this love is from God himself. The maker of you. The maker of this earth, heaven, and skies.

Do you know the Bible is just one huge love story of God pursuing the lives of His people? If you don’t read the Bible or understand Scripture, I encourage you to dust off the dusty pages of your Bible and read a love story that is unlike any other.

God himself loved his people, both you and I, SO MUCH that He sent his very own son, Jesus, to die for us. I would have a hard time parting from my favorite pair of heels, let alone a child? He sent His son to not just die for us, but to be humiliated, tormented, beaten down, rejected by his own disciples, and hated on by thousands. Only so that he could be hung on a cross to die. To die for OUR salvation. The Bible isn’t just a history book, it is a LOVE story. It is prophesied of what has happened and is to come in the future. It’s the guide that we have at our fingertips to light up our path as we live our life here on earth and prepare to be reunited with our maker.

John 3:16 says “ for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes I Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

I used to think God was scary. It’s true. I used to believe that God was a God to fear that if I messed up, I would be condemned. I spent a lot of my life actively running away  from God. I was ashamed of my life everytime I messed up and afraid to pray thinking I was always in trouble. Do you ever feel that way?

All my life I was running away from God, yet all my life He was chasing after me.

It wasn’t until I realized through reading God’s word of the Bible that God is SO NOT that God that I once feared. He loves us so much that even when you think no one knows WHO you really are behind closed doors, that God knows and he STILL LOVES YOU. Girls – he STILL loves you. NO MATTER WHAT. He still loves you even though you’ve chased after fleeting attention from men in a pursuit to feel loved. He still loves you even though you had that abortion and can never forgive yourself. He still loves you when you mess up everyday by being impatient with your kids or lying to your loved ones. He still loves you when you idolize things above Him. He still loves you even though your ex boyfriend never did. He still loves you if you have cheated on your husband and feel so much shame. He still loves you even if the world doesn’t love you or the man you are with doesn’t prioritize you. God LOVES YOU. No matter what you’ve done, what you are currently doing or hiding, and what you are going to do in the future. His love never fails. I Corinthians 13 is all about the characteristics of love and it starts with God’s love toward us: “God’s love – suffers long and is kind. It doesn’t envy or behave rudely. God’s love doesn’t think evil towards us and is not looking out for Himself. God’s love bears all things, hopes for all things, and endures all things. God’s love never fails.”

It NEVER FAILS. No matter what you do or don’t do in this life.

Our God is the most loving and forgiving and gracious God. ALL HE WANTS IS YOU. He has been pursuing you your entire life even while you were pursing your own worldly desires. And ladies – people will fail you all your life. Your family and even your very own husband. But just as God loves us, we are to also love those He has placed in our lives. We are commanded to “love others, because He first loved us.” I John 4:19.

It’s extremely easy to love those that are easy to love, but after the wedding and honeymoon are over and life hits you in the everyday life, it is in those moments that you are to continue to love even when you don’t think that person who loved you is loveable. God loved us first and is the perfect example of love and forgiveness. And because He loved us first, we should love others with the same type of love.

And ladies – please start with loving yourself first. We have all made mistakes, but if you can’t learn to love and forgive yourself, how are you going to love the Lord and love others? You are so loveable. God knows every detailed yet tangled part about you from the inside to the outside appearance. Your heart and your body. Jesus was once questioned and tested by a lawyer when asked what was the greatest commandment of all time. Jesus replied saying in Matthew 22:37 that the greatest commandment was to “ love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

How do you love someone you have just met or perhaps you haven’t encountered God yet. In order to love someone with your whole heart, you need to spent time with that person. Every day, every morning, throughout the day. Spend time in the Bible learning about WHO God is and His character and just how much He loved us from the very beginning. God is already with you, RIGHT where you are RIGHT now just WAITING to hear from you, his daughter. James 4:8 says “draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” He’s waiting, and is so excited to hear from you, because he LOVES YOU with a love unlike any other. Open your heart, and let the maker pursue you and experience His love.