Comparison is the fastest destroyer of calling, joy, and peace. When you compare your life, journey, talent, gifting, or calling to someone else’s, you will always find yourself lacking.
Comparing yourself to others is so bad for you. You always come up short.
When we look at someone else’s life, we see the highlights. We see what we think is happening in their life, based on a perception filtered through social media, appearances and our own experiences and we hold ourselves up to this unattainable standard.
If I could take better photos, understood light better, or was a more gifted writer, then I could be where they are. Then I could have what they have. The thing is, everyone’s journey is unique.
I do myself a huge disservice when I spend all my time wishing I was over there, being that person, on that journey. It means I am distracted from my own journey. It means I am not 100% invested in my own calling, because part of me wishes I was elsewhere.
Don’t you owe it to yourself to be the best version of you that you can be? Don’t you owe yourself your best shot? Don’t you owe it to yourself to be able to look back and think, ‘I followed my calling, I trusted that I was where I was supposed to be, and I followed my own path, believing that God put me here for a reason’. Follow your passion wholeheartedly, follow it 100%. Yours, not someone else’s.
While I was looking for some quotes about comparison, I stumbled across Brene Brown. In this talk, she discusses whole hearted living.
One of the things she says is you are living wholeheartedly when you are living from a deep sense of worthiness. She discusses that to do this; you need the compassion to be kind to yourself and be willing to let go of who you think you should be. It is tough to do that if part of your heart is looking at someone else and wishing what they have is yours, or wishing that you were them.
God made you who you are; He gave you your gifting and set you on your path. He knows what He is doing. Maybe, if you aren’t where you think you should be, it is because you are getting your in own way by continually focusing on the person next to you instead of who God made you to be and what God made you to do.
Brene Brown says, ‘Stay in your lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy’. I don’t know about you, but I am a bit of a klutz. If anyone in our family will fall over it, drop it, or break it, it’s going to be me. If I am running my race, heading towards my goals and dreams, and I am looking at the finish line, the odds are I will stay on my feet. If I am running my race, heading towards my goals, but looking around at who is coming up beside or behind me, I am:
1. Going to run off course.
2. Going to trip over my own feet and stack it, taking myself, and possibly others, out in the process.
You are amazing. You are talented. You are incredible. You are where you are for a reason, and you have something to offer. Don’t let your joy and creativity be stolen by constantly comparing yourself to other people and coming up short.
It is okay to be inspired by others – but it is easy to go from admiring someone’s work, gifting, or talent, to becoming jealous and bitter toward them. These emotions can easily become part of your thinking, shattering your confidence, warping your mindset, and hold you back at every turn. I include this because this has been a massive struggle in my own life.
I have damaged relationships through my bitterness and jealousy whilst the other person was oblivious and just living their life. I am at a point in my life now where I have realised that everyone has their stuff.
Just because someone’s life looks easy, doesn’t mean it is. Just because someone else is better at something I want to be amazing at, it doesn’t change my calling. It doesn’t change what God has put on my heart to do with my life. If you can focus on where you are going and what you feel you are supposed to be doing, encouragement comes from the most surprising sources. I have had people comment on a blog or a photoshoot out of absolutely nowhere when I was struggling, and it is just a gentle reminder that yes, you are on the right path.
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Focus on being you. Be amazing, be incredible, and own who you are. Chase what God has called you into with everything in you. You were created just how you are supposed to be. Check out the passage in the Bible, Psalm 139. It is an amazing scripture about how God sees us.
Article supplied with thanks to Lorrene McClymont.
About the Author: Lorrene is an author and photographer from Natural Hope Photography.