Who doesn’t like chocolate? Now you might prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, but most people like chocolate. There are those rare birds…but this is not about them. It’s about one of my four brothers – I’m not even positive which one now -it’s been so long. Whichever one it was, his love of chocolate was so compelling that he consumed an entire package of Ex-Lax®. Needless to say, this had a messy ending!
Taking drugs when you don’t need them is like ingesting poison! The effects can be messy, but even more noteworthy, they can be quite detrimental!
These days, a whole lot of people are chowing down on poison! Habitually comparing yourself to others is like consuming poison. It’s easier than ever to consume this poison with social media, but social media it NOT the problem. Your flimsy sense of self is the real issue. It’s my issue too!
Indulging in “poison” never makes you feel good – just ask my brother (once I figure out which one)! Indulging in comparison doesn’t make you feel good either! And what do we compare? Just about everything!
- Number of followers
- Material stuff
The list could go on and on!
Sadly, comparison leads to some pretty undesirable side effects like…
- Low self esteem
- Unhealthy competition (typically the other guy doesn’t even know they’re competing!)
Comparing yourself to others points you in one of two directions: pain or pride. Pain because you minimize your worth in ways that make you miserable. Or elevating yourself above others which leads to pride.
Whether you tend to do the pain or the pride route, they are both motivated out of fear. They both keep you from walking boldly in who God create you to BE: a unique & wonderful combination of gifts, personality, strengths, experiences, and more that have add up to your valuable purpose!
If you want to waste time, kill your passion, and spin, comparing is the perfect activity.
However, if you want to THRIVE, walk in your unique purpose, and make a meaningful contribution to the world, I encourage you to stop measuring yourself against others and start appreciating who God created YOU to be. And appreciate who He created others to be – celebrate similarities and differences. There really is no comparison!
So how do you get there? Instead of comparing…
1. Accept Where YOU Are
Life is journey. We are all at different places in our journey. The temptation is to compare yourself to someone else who is also in process, without knowing exactly where there are along the way. You might be comparing your beginning to their ending. Or your ending to their beginning. Or your middle to their middle and the middle covers a significant span!
No two people’s journeys are the same.
So get crystal clear on where YOU are. Know where you want to be. Then trust that God knows just what’s needed to help you get there. The twists and turns and obstacles along the way are not intended to discourage you, they are intended to inspire you to even better possibilities! Each hurdle is there to help you leap higher! Your setbacks, a way to better prepare you for YOUR specific purpose.
2. Love YOUR Past
No doubt there are parts of your past that you wish never happened. Yet even those moments can direct you in powerful ways. Your past has played a role in shaping you into the person you are today. And your past is a factor in pointing you in a direction that connects to your purpose. God doesn’t waste anything! He uses it ALL for good so love your past and look for the positive ways to move on. Remember, YOU are the only one who experienced your past – it is yours alone! The same is true for your future.
3. Embrace Who God Created YOU to BE
Your Fear Monster works overtime gathering evidence to confirm your worst fear. As long as you are preoccupied with what you fear most, you will not be able to embrace the wonderfully unique person that God created YOU to BE; someone that reflects an aspect of God to others like being loving, compassionate, courageous, authentic, dependable, focused, etc.
Walking in who God created you to be requires you to rely on Him. When you are confident in His unconditional love for you, you are able to focus on who He created you to BE and there is absolutely no reason to try to be like anyone but the lavishly loved YOU!
4. Appreciate YOU & Others
When you come to appreciate yourself as God’s masterpiece – His one of a kind work of art, then you are free to appreciate the way He has crafted others. Rather than envying their talents, you can admire them. You can celebrate the successes of others.
Understanding that God has an unlimited supply of good to go around enables you to value what you bring to the table as much as what others have to offer. When others succeed, it does not mean that there is less for you.
5. Dwell on the Truth
The lies seem to light up like neon so that you can’t miss them. Their glow colors everything you see, experience, think, etc.
The truth is rarely as noticeable. It takes conscious effort to keep truth top of mind. That’s just one of the many reasons why it is crucial to spend time with God daily; to reconnect with truth every day. And keep on connecting with Him moment by moment!
How He feels about you – that’s what really matters.
6. Be Inspired
Let the accomplishments, talents, etc. of others inspire you. Let them remind you that the possibilities are endless. There is something meaningful for you out there, but it won’t look like what so and so has done or what that Facebook friend has. There’s no need to copy, strive, or rush to be like someone else. You have freedom to do something new and different. Your small steps of obedience can ultimately lead to something mind boggling big. And what seems enormously amazing might only yield a wee bit of fruit. You just don’t know!
So bravely move forward in what God’s called you to do/BE in this season and savor it. Enjoy it. If you are actively engaged in what you’ve got going on, you will have less time to watch everyone else!
7. Invest in YOUR Journey
I guarantee that whatever God has for YOU, will require you to grow, stretch, and grow some more! Spend your time investing in your journey, not watching someone else’s. Do you need to take classes to learn specific skills? Are you in need of slowing down or eliminating something so that you can invest time in what truly matters? Is it time to explore coaching as an option to help you refine your skills and eliminate beliefs that are holding you back? Don’t let the time and money hold you back – He’s big enough to handle those details!
8. Focus on YOU!
If you are diligently working on YOU and what you’ve been created to do – pursuing your purpose, there won’t be time to worry about what everyone else is up to!
Don’t waste another minute by comparing yourself to someone who is completely different! It’s like gulping down poison!
My brother’s episode involved having to take ipecac and it took him out of the game for a good 24 hours! Don’t let the poison of comparison take you out!
Where in your life, personally or professionally, do you compare yourself to others? Let that impetus work in your favor – it’s revealing something important to you. How can you take that revelation and use it to inspire your one-of-a-kind journey?