Let’s talk! Why do we measure ourselves against other people? I don’t mean in the sense of admiration or mentor-mentee relationship although in some cases it could fit. I’m talking about how women look at other women and say I want to be like her. Her hair is so long, her skin is so flawless, her physique is perfect, she has an amazing career and or she has the perfect husband and family. All the while not realizing that we are subjecting ourselves to perception and making it our reality.
In a world where social media continues to allow platforms that produce perfection with every swipe and validation based on likes, it is easy to fall prey to this. There is nothing wrong with admiration, but once admiration turns into obsession and we begin to pick ourselves apart, we have reached the danger zone.
The reason I call comparison a curse is because I have dealt with it personally and know first-hand the effects of it. Depression can easily creep in like a thief in the night and before you know it, here you are in a lonely and desolate place feeling like a failure and your fate. Then one day I got a wake-up call and realized comparison is a device of the devil used to take our eyes off of God and place it on man. It lures us to praise the appearance of the perfection in man when none is perfect, but the Father. It robs us of appreciating the many blessings God has given us. Comparison causes us to covet, which violates one of the Ten Commandments. It produces defeating thoughts that negatively influence our self-awareness, which can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth. Simply put, it is the thief of joy.
Surely you all can now see why I call comparison a curse. The pivotal moment that brought this epiphany came almost 2 years ago when Pastor Chris, my church home pastor, challenged us to fast social media for a week and just seek God. That week changed my life. It caused me to really talk to God and hear from him. By tuning the world off, I was able to hear him clearer and gain perspective. My heart was light. My emotions were pure and not infiltrated with negativity. My thoughts were good toward myself and others and overall, I was just a happier me. It was a sobering experience and one that I encourage others to try. I can guarantee you will be refreshed and refocused, whether you struggle with a comparison issue or not.
Once I gained a new perspective, I was able to identify when I was allowing comparison to creep in and attempt to steal my joy. Let’s face it. Life is filled with ups and downs. Our friends get engaged, married, and have babies and we remain single. Businesses like ours seem to be prospering while ours appear to be failing. Others are being promoted at work while we are stuck in a stagnant position. Our weight is going up instead of down despite our desperate efforts to get the perfect bod. Finances aren’t increasing and we find ourselves living pay check to pay check instead of walking in financial freedom and the list goes on…but guess what?
You are alive, you are in good health, you may be single, but you are crushing your goals. Your business may not be where you want it to be, but at least you have one and if you re-strategize and market correctly it can catapult you into a realm of success. Your promotion will come whether it’s on the job you are currently working or moving to another agency. You just keep doing your best where you are and God will surely honor your faithfulness. You will lose the weight once you set realistic/attainable goals for yourself and establish your desperate why. Next thing you know, you will be a healthier you and well on your way to achieving your physical goals. Oh and that money issue, well, after sitting down and developing a budget and sticking to it or hiring a financial planner to show you the bigger picture and give you a plan to follow, you will be well on your way to financial freedom.
You see what we see on social media is subjective. It’s time for us to realize that everything we see is not the truth. Success is relative just like failure is. It’s time for us to step out of the curse and into appreciation.
Here are 5 steps that will help you defeat comparison and embrace appreciation:
- Every day take a few moments to write down three things you are thankful for. This will remind you just how sweet your life really is.
- Recite your positive affirmations daily. I provided 60 amazing affirmations if you need help with that in this post from earlier this week. This will boost your confidence and help you to appreciate yourself.
- Rejoice with others. The more we cheer others on in their pursuits the more fulfilled we will find ourselves because one day you will want others to be happy for you as you reach milestones and goals.
- Cancel out defeating thoughts by replacing them with good ones. Every time a negative thought comes to your mind silence it by intentionally thinking the opposite.
- Get rid of the thing that is causing you to fall prey to the curse of comparison. This can be done through a periodic fasting period or simply eliminating it from your life.
Lovies, I challenge you to fast social media for a week before the New Year. If you have a business, organize and schedule your post and then log out and let technology do the work. This will be an awesome way to set your intentions for the New Year and free your mind and heart.
Remember: “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.” – Unknown