Comparison - The Thief of Joy
We all do it - we compare ourselves to others on a regular basis. We are human after all, and it's part of human nature to look around and see where you are at in comparison to those around you. It seems like almost daily, I hear someone at work say something along the lines of "Look at her - she' looks amazing, and I'm over here looking like crap..." or "Her arms are amazing - I could never look like that" or "Look what she's doing - I'll never be that strong..."
However, just because comparison is common doesn't mean that it's something we necessarily need in our lives.
We compare ourselves to others in relation to a variety of topics: weight, size, hair, skin, nails, strength, food, relationship status, children, job, money, car, support...the list is endless!
And when we compare ourselves to others, more often than not, we sell ourselves short.
My hair isn't nearly as beautiful as hers - does she even have one gray hair??
Why is it that she has the perfect job and husband - everything seems to grow right for her...
She can lift so much faster than me. Plus she's two sizes smaller too!
Do these kind of thoughts get you anywhere? Are they helping you become the best and healthiest version of yourself?
You know the answer - NO!
Comparison robs us of joy. It takes anything that we are proud or happy of and snatches away from us in the blink of an eye. Comparison sends us into a cycle of depressing thoughts - and we all know how hard it is to get out of that vicious cycle....
When we compare ourselves to others, we are comparing our internal struggles that only we know (because unless you can read others' minds, your the only one who truly knows what's going on inside of your mind!) to others' exterior self, which definitely appears more confident than what they're feeling on the inside.
We are all alike in this way!
When we compare our internal self to someone else's external self, we automatically set ourselves up for failure because we don't know their true story. We don't know their struggle. We can make assumptions, but most of the time, our assumptions are false. It's easier to put up a "face" or a "wall" instead of wearing our true struggles on our exterior.
But, all this being said, stopping the comparison game is HARD! I struggle with it every single day, especially after the journey I've been on over the past 10 years - heck even the last year. It starts with recognizing your triggers - who or what in your daily environment sets you up for comparison and what can you do to change your reaction to that situation? We cannot change others - it just doesn't work. But what we can change is our reaction to our situations.
And when we change our reaction, that's when we truly grow.
So live your life. Let others life their lives. God gave you everything you have in your life for a reason - he gave it to your to help fulfill his plan for you. Comparing yourself to others and wishing you had what they have isn't part of his plan. And his plan is always best.
I'll leave you with a few final quotes to ponder as you continue about your day:
The fastest way to kill something special, is to compare it to something else.
Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people.
Comparison with myself brings improvement. Comparison with others brings discontent.
Her success is not my failure.
Personality begins where comparison ends.
Jealously is the fear of comparison.
And the best for last:
Don't ever compare your version of real life to someone else's controlled online content.