“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!