The Comparison Game...we have all found ourselves being a player in this game whether we like it or not. You and I may not always play, but when we do, NO ONE wins. In fact, we loose in some pretty harsh ways. It takes away from you and your life. It steals our joy friends...and I am ready to take my joy back and keep it!
So, WHY do we compare? WHY do we spend so much time comparing ourselves to friends, women we don't know, the mom down the street, the entrepreneur who started when we did, women on tv, or every woman who walks on the face of this earth? I can't really answer that question completely right now where I am at in my own life but, I might can answer part of it. I think we compare ourselves to each other because we are so busy looking at what they are doing and looking at what we are not doing.
We let social media fill our heads and make us think that the highlights of her life is how it is every day for her when the truth is, that is really not her behind the scenes. And you know what? While we sit there and look at her and her social media, she is doing the same thing when she looks at our social media!...looking at our highlights and trying to make sure she matches up to what we are doing and what she is not doing. It is a vicious cycle. Comparison then begins its slow purge of our joy. It begins to plant seeds of shame and guilt and fear and failure all at one time. Then, we keep playing. We keep rolling the dice and those seeds begin to grow and overtake our minds, hearts, and lives.
What do we compare? We compare EVERYTHING right?!?!? We compare our bodies, our marriages, our kids, our jobs, our homes, our vacations, our churches, our friends, our clothes, our food, our cars, our families, where we live, our hobbies.....I mean the list could keep going right? You may even have your own list in your head of what you compare yourself to when you are looking at "her".
Just this past week, my family and I went to our local aquatic center for Father's Day, and I was comparing myself to the other women before we even left the house! I changed into 3 different swimsuits trying to think of what everyone would think and what they would look like in their swimsuits. My 4 yr old daughter ended up saying that afternoon that it was "the best day ever mommy" and I almost missed it because of comparison.
How do we stop it?!?! I don't know about you, but I am not playing the Comparison Game anymore. I quit! I refuse to pick that dice up and roll it anymore! How...how do we walk away and stop? Here are a couple things that I am learning and I hope it helps you on your journey too.
First, stop looking at what she is doing and what you are not doing! Change your focus! What are you doing friend? What have you accomplished in your life already? Take a minute and step back and look at how far you have come. I get it...I totally do. You are ready to be in your promise land but at least you aren't stuck in Egypt still! You may be walking in the wilderness right now but look at how far you have come! You are doing something so don't look at what you aren't doing right now...those things will come!
Second, watch what you say to yourself and about yourself! God tells us in Psalms 139:14 that we were fearfully and wonderfully made! Yes, that means YOU! He took time to create you, and when He created you, He knit you together with gifts and talents that were just for you. He gave you those things to use and help others that maybe no one else could help. Start reminding yourself who you are and that you were created for a purpose. Speak life giving things to yourself. Sometimes I have to pretend that I am talking to someone else and I have to think to myself, if this was a friend of mine right now, what would I say to her and then I say those encouraging things to myself.
Third, have a heart of gratitude. Being thankful can change our perspective on EVERYTHING. When comparison creeps in and tries to make you roll the dice, just start thanking God for all the blessings in your life and name them...every single one that comes to your head...no matter how little or big they may be! Proverbs tells us that a peaceful heart gives LIFE to the flesh but envy makes the bones rot (OUCH)...I don't know about you gals, but I am not ready for rotting bones!! Being thankful will bring peace in our hearts and shut the door on comparison...and rotting bones!
Finally, we need to carry the load we were created to carry. Galatians 6: 4-5 says, "Each of you should test your OWN actions. Then you can take pride in yourself alone WITHOUT COMPARING yourself to someone else! For each one should carry their own load." Wow! I just discovered this scripture this week. Think about it for just a minute...when each of us are carrying our own load and doing what we were created to do, there is no time for comparison! We then become a unit and in that, we become UNIFIED!
Kind of like our own human bodies...we are not all made up of just legs, or just arms, or just noses....can you imagine if our body was just noses?!? Ha! I am so glad God put more thought into it than that! He even put more thought into you and the load He created you to carry and do. That's how amazing you are my friend! Comparison doesn't want you to see that. It also doesn't want you to see that when you start doing what you were created to do, you become a dangerous force to be reckoned with! So put the dice down and walk away from this comparison game.
Remember, there are no winners in this game....actually I take it back. You do win when you quit...when you quit giving comparison your joy, your life, and your purpose and you decide to take it back, pick it up and carry the load you were created to carry!