I’ve always thought of myself as someone who was content in what I had, in the life I was living. And honestly, that is true 95% of the time. But lately I noticed a shift in my attitude and my perspective. Instead of being thankful for what I did have, I started feeling badly about what I did not have. That way of looking at life dominated my days and after a while, I began to feel down about every area of my life. One morning I woke up in this mood and as I sat down to spend time with Jesus, I began by listing out all my “complaints”. As I sat there listing thing after thing I wasn’t happy about, I all of a sudden “woke up” and fully realized what I was doing. The things I wasn’t happy about were the things I felt I “deserved”, things I saw friends and people around me had. Comparing my life to someone else’s had gotten me into a very tough place.
How had I got into this mindset? What triggered it?
Growing up, especially in middle school & high school, I was always comparing myself to the girls around me-their looks, clothes, personalities, etc. and anytime I focused on those things, I felt terrible about myself. But still, I went back to that comparing game time and time again. I always hoped that when I got older, I wouldn’t struggle this way, that I would be happy with who I am. But as the years went on and the challenge remained, I realized that this would be a battle I dealt with my whole life. I think its something many, if not all women, struggle with.
So if I know that its going to be something I struggle with, do I just accept that? Or do I learn how to fight back? The past couple weeks I have worked at finding the tools I need to fight this battle.
1. The Bible. Seems like the obvious answer but this was one place I hadn’t been going to to speak truth into my struggle. The Bible is full of verses that talk about who God created us to be, how He sees us and the plans He has for us. I began writing down some of those verses on index cards and placing them all around-my bathroom mirror, my car, on my desk at work. Putting God’s truth everywhere I looked left little room for the lies to creep in…also helped me to memorize the verses seeing them everywhere!
2. Thankfulness Journal-seems simple and a little cheesy I know, but I’d encourage you to try it. Every night before bed, I write down 5 things I’m thankful for in that day and you know what? It really does change my entire perspective. When you’re being thankful, you don’t have the space in your spirit to be negative. When you call out what you are thankful for, you become more appreciative of your life as a whole. I saw it change my entire day because when I started looking at my life through a lens of thankfulness, everything around me became an opportunity for thanks.
3. I took a break from things that were aggravating this struggle. For me, this meant a fast from social media. Don’t get me wrong, social media is awesome for many reasons but I realized it was becoming harmful for me in other ways. Scrolling through friends posts, I began comparing my life to theirs. And it wasn’t pretty. Instead of being happy for what God was doing in my friends’ lives, I was consumed with the fact that those things weren’t happening for me. Downright ugly. Realizing I felt that way shocked me. That wasn’t me! I love my friends and I love rejoicing with them for the awesome things God is doing in their lives. But I realized that when I was so consumed with checking out what others had going on, it was so easy to compare myself. I needed to shut that down. FAST. I was so consumed with others lives, I quickly forgot the life I had been given. I took that break and I can tell you I felt free-er. I had better perspective. I held on to that promise in Psalms 32:8 that says “I will lead you down the best pathway for your life” and in that promise, I was able to not only thank God for the paths He had my friends on but also for the one He has me on!
I’m sharing this with you because I am guessing I am not alone in this struggle. And I don’t know how about you but I don’t want this to define me anymore. These are the ways I have started to battle this struggle, I hope they will encourage you if you’re wrestling today and maybe move you to find your own tools. Always remember that our first and more important defense against this is God’s truth. Go back to it time and time again. And remember, He is always with us. No matter how many times we fall or how bad the struggle feels. He’s there.
Are we going to have bad days? Absolutely! Is life going to be less than what we want somedays? Sure! But on those days, we have a choice. Everyday we have a choice: are we going to let the comparison game take us over or are we going to see what God has given us with and find all the joy in that?
I’d love to hear from you girls-am I alone in this? How do you deal with the comparison game?
Praying with you and trusting in Him who has the best plans for each of us,