Monday, November 16, 2015

Why Do We Compare Ourselves to Others?

We’ve all done it at some point. Someone does something that we would like to do, or they have something we would like to have, and right away we start comparing our life to theirs. The unfair part about comparison is our unwillingness to recognize the struggles that led to the victory. 

Victory doesn’t come without hard work, determination, and sacrifice of some kind. 

Most of the time, though, we are not willing to put in the work to achieve the goal. We want the victory, but not the hardships that come prior. Success, wisdom, and knowledge all come with a price. 

How many times have we all said these things?

  • I could never do _____.
  • I wish I could do _____.
  • I wish my life was _____. 
  • I can’t _______.
  • I will never be  ____.

We compare our life and what we feel on the inside to what someone else manifests on the outside. The lens of perfectionism appeals to us all, but it doesn’t exist. No life is perfect. No career is perfect. No marriage is perfect. No child is perfect. No one is perfect. 

Examples:

The first time I went to the gym, I compared my first day to others who were there working out—who had been doing it for a long time. I watched  them and was envious of their strength and stamina. In doing that I discouraged myself. It didn’t take me long to realize that the only person I need to compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. 

To compare myself to an author who has been writing for 20 years is unfair. We are each on a journey. And we are all on different phases of that journey. It is fine to be inspired by someone, but to be jealous of someone else’s success is detrimental to my own success.

When I was first married, I couldn’t understand why my husband didn't look at me the way my grandparents looked at each other. It made me question the strength of my marriage. Then one day I realized that it takes years of struggles, heartaches, and time to get to the level of love they shared. Love grows over time, and I just needed to give my marriage time to grow and prosper. 

If we only share our victories with others then we prevent them from seeing the beauty of the struggle. People need to see our hardships, and how we overcome them. And we need to realize that whether or not someone shares their trials, does not change the fact that they still went through them. 

So often people comment that they admire my strength and wish they could be more like me. Having an easy life, however, did not develop my strength. It comes from crawling through the trenches with my Lord. 

When we compare ourselves to others we take away from our uniqueness, and are distracted from our own journey. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Just be you! And be the absolute best possible version of yourself. 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.


God has a plan for your life. Embrace it. And enjoy the journey. 

May God bless you, 

Candida

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your wonderful books ..Despite Your Circumstances, has helped me beyond words with all the questions at the end of the chapters . It has made me take a look at myself and what I want to change in my life ...Thanks so much for all you do ..

Candida Sullivan said...

Thank you for taking the time to tell me this. It blesses my heart great to know that my books have touched your life. Your kind words have brightened my day. God bless you!

Author shares message through Zippy the zebra