Known for his exuberant personality, broad range of interests and achievements, Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’ve experienced that and have found that it is also an extremely slippery slope that can get to be a habit. This never-ending spiral depletes your energy and halts all the goodness that God has for you uniquely. While it is essential to learn to celebrate others without comparison, it is also crucial to avoid comparing yourself to your old self.
START SOMEWHERE with one of these strategies to get out of the comparison trap:
Evaluate your own strengths. There are many good free and inexpensive strength assessment tests online that will help you define your unique strengths and weaknesses. When you live from these innate assets, your life will be less stressful and more productive. You will cultivate more vitality and joy! Spend time contemplating your life’s vision. There is not a replica of you anywhere. While this may sound trite, even genetically identical twins grow up with different experiences and influences which make them very different people in personality and health despite their genetics. This is the fascinating field of epigenetics.Remind yourself daily of truth. Biblical affirmations are a fantastic way to embed your brain with timeless reality. Remember, what fires together, wires together and you can help it fire together by reminding yourself. One of my Biblical affirmations that helps me everyday is “God has given me everything I need for what He has called me to do.” This is based on 2 Peter 1:3.Sift through social media wisely. Being bombarded on social media with the accomplishments of others can be a stressful drain. The Social Comparison Theory says that we determine our own personal worth based on how we think we stack up against others. Proposed in 1954, this theory is even more influential as people become focused in creating the perfect digital version of themselves and forgetting to nurture their own tangible, three-dimensional world.
It takes intentionality and practice to celebrate the successes of others without thinking of yourself and how you “measure up.” There’s an endless supply of people with whom you can compare yourself but God designed only one you. If you spend your time living vicariously through someone else, you won’t be able to accomplish what He has in store for you using your unique gifts.
START SOMEWHERE practicing to celebrate others without comparison. Today’s post was stimulated by an old but totally relevant book that I saw on my shelf called, Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderan. I’m going to reread it this weekend! Live your life with more joy and vitality. You can do it. I will help you.