You were never meant to compare your life to someone else’s life. It is the single biggest way to ruin the joy in your life and downplay all that is good in your life right now.
I remember the first time I compared my appearance and physical attributes against other girls. I was in 3rd grade. I had these big ole buck teeth and I was bigger boned that most of my girl friends. My friends and I were all in the same sports and we all did pretty well, but I remember that we compared leg size in 3rd grade and I had everyone on my team beat. God gave me big legs…. I don’t know why he chose me for big legs, but he did.
I remember getting braces in 5th grade and I remember finally being able to smile because I was proud of my braces and how they were going to improve my appearance. If you remember me in grade school, you know what I mean…
Comparison starts at an early age. Back then we only had magazines as guideposts to what we were supposed to look like but now social media has taken over and it is easier than ever to compare our looks, our bank accounts, our material possessions, and overall just how happy we are. We jump on social media to scroll through accounts and see what everyone else is up to.
Now before Mark Zuckerberg bands me from Insta and Facbook, let me just say that I do NOT think social media is bad…. I just think we use it wrong.
Social media was never supposed to take over our in person, real relationships. It was never meant to substitute real genuine connection. Our Facebook friends were never meant to be in place of our real friends in life that we can talk to and get advice from.
Facebook is a way to keep up with old friends that you don’t see because they live too far away or to help you plan your high school reunion or other events. It was never meant to be a place to come to and just scroll and take away time from your family and real life friends.
Just so I am totally honest and transparent…. I spend time on Facebook. I like catching up with old friends. I like seeing pics of my friends kids on the first and last day of school. I think it is awesome. But what I don’t like is when I come to Facebook and I notice that I am comparing my worth based upon what I have and don’t have.
Have you ever done that?
You come to Facebook and you stop on someones picture or profile and you think “man I wish I looked like her…” or “man I wish I had that outfit…” or “man I wish I made as much as they do…”
If you are anything like me, you start comparing your life to theirs and it makes you feel down. It makes you feel like your life is less valuable than theirs. It makes you feel like they are winning at life and you are over there barely surviving…
If this scenario is you, friend, please take a break from social media. Your life is valuable and you matter.
Your worth is not defined by what you have and don’t have. Your life is not less valuable than someone else’s. It is not fair to compare your life to people on Facebook that you know or don’t know because they aren’t you. You were given a totally different set of gifts than your friend on social media and you need to spend time rocking those gifts and helping the people around you. When we focus on all the good stuff in our lives, we forget about what we don’t have and concentrate on all the good stuff we do have and immediately our sense of self worth and gratitude skyrocket.
Let’s be totally honest right here too. Social media is nothing but the highlight reel. You don’t see the behind the scenes struggles that people are facing and believe me they are facing some type of struggle. You don’t see the real people behind the beautiful photos, you see pictures of people who are at their best at the current time. Do not compare your worst and your struggle to someone else’s best moments.
So 3 practical tips for when you are struggling with comparison or feeling not enough:
Take a break from social media. Yeah, I said it. Take a break from social media and while your at it, put your phone in a different room. Think about something that sparks joy and do that. I guarantee you will notice how valuable and worthy you are and how much you love life.
Talk to a friend. Like actually pick up the phone and call a friend, relative or spouse and have a heartfelt conversation about life. That connection is also a big key to feeling worthy and breaking the cycle of not enough. In her research, Brene Brown talks about shame resilience and if you ask me, comparison is in the same boat because essentially it is the feeling of not being enough or having enough. Brene says that shame resilience is made up of 4 parts- naming shame, talking about it, owning your story and telling your story. Y’all this is powerful (yes I dropped a y’all because I totally love using that word and I use it all the time in my head).
If you are struggling with comparison, talk to someone about it, but don’t just talk to anyone. Talk to someone who knows you well and who you can be vulnerable with. I guarantee this will help you.
Read something inspiring. Get off social media and pick up a book that inspires you. You can also read something online if that is your style but STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. Some people are inspired by Beth Moore so read something from her that inspires you but be intentional about what you are focusing your time on. Pick up the Bible. Go to church (I know not a book, but the service may help you).
The idea is to spend time in your life and only your life. There is something special about your life and you can do things I can’t do.
Give your gifts and talents away y’all. We need them.