Have you ever thought life was just harder for you, weight loss was just harder for you or you just felt like you seem to constantly get the short end of the stick?
You aren’t alone. The world we live in almost encourages comparison. With photo filters that erase wrinkles and so many opportunities for people to create the perfect social media post, it is easy to compare your normal life with someone’s photoshopped and perfected creation.
On social media, we can post our best moments, our prettiest photos, our best workouts and healthiest meals. We can post that perfect family photo without anyone seeing the dirty dishes or hearing the bickering conversation that led up to the final shot acceptable for the world to see.
Comparison Kills Joy
“We compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reels.” – Craig Groeschel
This statement really hit home to me. I realized I was just as guilty of playing the comparison game as many others. Steve often says “keep your eyes on your paper” when it comes to workouts and weigh-ins, but I wasn’t keeping my own eyes on my paper.
I have to admit, I have been so guilty of looking at someone’s social feed and felt a sense of jealousy or bewilderment that someone could have such perfect of a life; a life of travel, riches, time-freedom and ease. But, that is an imbalanced view. We don’t see the hours of counseling a struggling couple went through to get to the other side. We don’t see the hours worked or what people gave up to climb their corporate ladder or to get that time-freedom that seemed to come with such ease.
Just this weekend we were trying to take a quick family photo in front of our Christmas tree. Marley was refusing to sit up nice like Miller and stay still. We normally would have fought our way through 20 pictures to get the best one. This time Steve just propped his foot on Marley and we took 2 shots and just hoped one worked; and Marley’s head didn’t even make the shot at all. Oh well. An imperfect photo to match our imperfect life. That is actually pretty perfect!
If only I had the courage to be more transparent, more imperfect and more honest. What if we all were to take on that challenge? I think we would all be so encouraged. It is just so easy these days to fall into the trap of “woe is me” simply because we are contrasting our normal flawed life with an unrealistic depiction of someone else’s life.
“The fastest way to ruin something good is to compare it to something else.” – Craig Groeschel
Comparison Robs Others Of Hope
Most of us are not that unique. We all struggle. We just don’t all share our struggles with the world. We don’t expose our flaws, our raw hard moments. Can you imagine if we all posted all the cheat meals and binges instead of the healthy ones? What if we posted our feet under the covers when we decided to sleep through our alarm clock instead of going to the gym? Or how about announcing to the world that we have gained 5lbs instead of posting a story about our weight loss victories? Who wants to do that? No one.
However, the fact we hide our struggles just fuels the fire of comparison. If we aren’t careful, we can become unrelatable and then we become ineffective in helping people. I am not suggesting you need to share all of your sins, but I do feel it is important for all of us to risk being a little more vulnerable in order to encourage people and give struggling people the hope they need to not give up. It’s so easy to lose hope when you feel alone and feel like no one understands.
The good news is, there are PLENTY of people who DO understand. Be encouraged. For every struggle you have, there is someone who has the same struggle and more, but they are living in victory.
Remember our mind can get out of balance and it takes constant work to keep our mind healthy.
Fight the Temptation of Comparison
- Surround yourself with people who are not afraid to be vulnerable.
- Seek to follow leaders who will lead with honesty and integrity.
- Avoid getting sucked into the world of comparisons, even if you have to unfollow certain people to protect your mindset.
- Limit time around people striving for worldly perfections and achievements.
- Learn to celebrate small victories and the most simple blessings.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your story if you think it can can encourage someone.
- Ask God to help you accept yourself and all your flaws (this is a huge struggle for me)
- Study the Word and learn who you are in Christ.
- Be brave and be real.
- Be careful who you spend the most time with. We become like the top 5 people we spend the most time with.