Climbing levels is fun when you are playing Donkey Kong, but not when you are analyzing your life next to someone else’s. Have you ever fallen into the comparison game? I totally get it and have been there too. It’s like no matter what level you reach, there is always another level to climb to. It’s never enough. You can get to a place of satisfaction but if you are not careful, all it takes is one comment, one thought, one person’s success, or one social media post to get you thinking that what you have isn’t enough, what you’ve gained isn’t enough and who you are isn’t enough. A big sad-faced emoji stamped on the status of your life!
I just want to say that you are enough. The comparison shuffle. It’s not just a girls game. It’s not just a dude thing. It’s a humanity thing! Comparing isn’t something new. I mean think about Cain and Abel, first kids born to Adam and Eve. Cain compared himself to Abel and it drove him mad!
Comparing yourself can take you to one of two places. It can lead you to the desert of insecurity or take you on a prideful road trip. Both will keep you from reaching your full potential. So how can we combat the comparison game?
1. Be connected to the source. Let me spend some time on this one because it is VERY important. For me, having a new home to fix up has proven to be a distraction and, if I’m being honest, it has knocked me off my game a bit. Recently, the time that I spend with God is all off and I can totally notice it. I can see it in my reactions to situations, in the words that I speak and in the things that I focus my efforts on. When we’re not connected to our true source, we slowly lose sight of our true self. We open ourselves to be distracted by things that don’t really matter in life.
Let’s pause. You are created in God’s image, “imago dei.” You might be saying, “I know. I’m created in his image. Heard that before. Thanks.” My response is, “YEAH! Well, that’s kind of a big deal when you think about it!” Every bit of you was perfectly created to reflect an amazing God. Your strengths, your weaknesses, your personality and your gifts. Don’t insult your creator by wanting to be someone you are not. When Jane is flashing around her new pair of (you fill in the blank), before you feel like you’re not enough or better than her, remember you’re not made in Jane’s image. You are made in God’s and He’s a heck of a lot cooler than Jane (no offense, Jane).
2. Be true to yourself. Be honest with yourself. Why do we try to lie to ourselves… who are we foolin’? If you find yourself doing the tango with comparisons, don’t ignore it, push it off or pretend that it doesn’t bother you. It obviously does, so tackle that sucker! If you need a break from social media – take it. If you need to unfollow a few people for the time being – do it. Unsubscribe from certain product emails trying to convince you to buy the next best thing and cool it on your Pinterest boards. Do what it takes to guard your heart and remind yourself daily of your purpose. Declare whose you are every day.
You know what is a fun litmus test? Before you post something on social media, ask yourself first, “why am I posting this?” Is it because I truly enjoy it, it’s my hobby, I want to inspire someone, etc. or am I out to prove something or fishing for acceptance?
3. Stay in your lane. It’s easy to be distracted by the sleek car driving next to you. All of a sudden you find yourself veering into their lane! Before you do that, remember, there is no such thing as perfect! Everyone has their struggles. Driving in someone else’s lane leaves you unfulfilled and lacking. Stay connected to your source and do what God has called YOU to do. Do what you are destined to do. I LOVE this scripture in Galatians 6:4, “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.” Basically, you do you. Notice it says, “pay careful attention.” Be intentional, mindful and concentrate on your own work and your mission. God has given you a specific purpose, so don’t look to the left or the right. Live out that purpose to the best of your ability. In the end, your prayer and perspiration leads to contentment and a job well done.
4. Build up someone else. One way I get myself out of a comparison funk is to take the attention off of myself. Most people live their lives building themselves up. Strong men and women of integrity and character spend their time building up other people. That’s where I want to find myself. Go out of your way, not to mindlessly flatter, but to pull the greatness out of people and show them the gold that they have inside. You’ll find that pulling the awesome out of someone else will actually make you feel quite awesome yourself.
Now, take the time to recalibrate, and go and be bold you! You are the perfect version of you. Therefore, go do your thang!