Comparison is the thief of joy. We’re not meant to covet the lives of other people but instead learn to love and celebrate our own life. Life is sweeter when we learn to appreciate what God has for us and only us and use our blessings to glorify His name.
It’s so easy to look at others and want what they have. It might be the new job promotion they just received, their picture perfect family, their good looks, their new car, etc…. the list goes on and on. We may not live everyday thinking these thoughts, but I believe many of us have days when we want what others have and question God for not giving us what they have.
Social media gives us easy access into the worlds of other people. We’re able to see all their accomplishments and blessings almost as soon as they’ve received and achieved them. We begin first admiring their lives, but that admiration (if we’re not careful) can soon turn into jealously. We begin wanting what they posses and soon after the jealousy we begin feeling bad about our own lives or ourselves. It’s a dangerous game to play.
It’s dangerous because we’re comparing someone’s highlight reel to our behind the scenes. I struggle with this from time to time. I’ll be honest and admit that truth. It’s an area of my life that I have been working on improving.
Once I realized that we all have our own battles we face, I realized that social media was creating an illusion of a perfect life. I may see someone at their best, but I have not seen them at their worst. We all have our behind the scenes moments. Our not so pretty moments. Our moments when we’re at our lowest.
I think it’s important to focus on our own highs and lows instead of focusing on other people’s journeys. Instead of competing with other people, we can focus on competing with other versions of ourselves. I can work to become a better “me” than I was the day before. A better student, a better daughter, a better friend, a better sister, etc. Our own journey and transformation into becoming who God has called us to be is all that truly matters. We should set goals for ourselves to make ourselves proud not to make other people jealous.
Learning this sooner rather than later will save you so much heartache and will help you not feel inadequate.
The reason I titled this post “Comparison is the Thief of Joy” is because we often miss out on living our life to its fullest potential because we choose to focus on what we don’t have. We choose to focus on how we measure up to other people. We may be happy and satisfied with our own lives, but if we’re not confident and content in what we have, that joy can easily be swayed when we begin comparing ourselves to other people.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that what God has for me is for me only. I can admire other people’s intelligence, beauty, career, relationships, etc without questioning or diminishing the value of my own. I can say “wow, they’re great” and recognize my own greatness, too.
I think a way to eliminate this problem in society is to realize that life is not meant to be a competition with other people.
I challenge anyone reading this to write out a list of things you love about yourself, a list of the ways God has worked in your life, and a list of ways that you want to improve yourself. Focus and reflect on those lists.
Spend so much time focusing on the positives that you won’t have time for comparison and envy.
It’s a process, but I guarantee it will be worth it.
oh, and before I go: Life’s timeline doesn’t look the same for everyone. We’re all meant to do things at our own pace and at our own stages in life. Life wouldn’t be nearly as fun or interesting if we all completed the same steps at the same time.
If it takes you an extra few years to earn your degree, congratulations!
If you don’t want kids or want to wait later in life to have kids or get married, congratulations!
Life’s your own journey and we’re all just along for the ride.
Until next time,