Cheesy Phrase, BIG truth, y’all.
My husband will absolutely roll his eyes when he reads that but that’s okay. I feel like this really needs to be discussed so I’m gonna dig deep with this post today.
We as women, and men too, are absolutely obsessed with comparison. It honestly feels so inescapable sometimes. I have met so few people who don’t really struggle with it. As someone who’s allowed herself to be overcome with comparison, I know the horrible effects it can have on you.
Pretty much all throughout my adolescence I struggled with body image – to a degree where it was really unhealthy. I, fortunately, never struggled with an eating disorder, but my view of myself was still really really unhealthy. I would compare body to literally every girl that would walk by me. I would even ask the person I was with, “Am I skinnier than her?” or “I don’t look like that right?”
HOW HORRIBLE IS THAT?
Besides being terrible for my self-esteem, it was really annoying to whoever I was with and completely un-Christlike to the person I was judging. My sister and mom are probably rolling their eyes remembering this. Gosh I was annoying.
Crippling. I was absolutely crippled by it. The way I felt about my body could affect my mood at any time, too. (Just consider how moody young girls are for a second…YEAH.)
It took me SUCH a long time to get over this problem and to develop a healthy relationship with body image – thank you, thank you Jesus. The comparison problem doesn’t go away after your teens though. As we get older, we begin to compare ourselves academically, professionally, and even spiritually.
Why do we do this? Yes, we’re human and it’s in our nature, but why do we let this control us sometimes? When we fill our minds with the need to be perfect in some area of our life, we’re taking away room for God to fill that space. I’m so dang guilty of this I can feel my chest getting a little tight as I’m writing this.
So let’s get practical and be edified today, yes? Here are some things to combat comparison that have truly worked for me in the past. I’m going to re-do all of these things myself!
1.Figure out your spiritual gifts and USE THEM.
God gifted each of us with unique gifts that are intended to help us do Kingdom work. Figuring out your gifts helps you get one step closer to fulfilling your purpose. Step into that. Let’s not skirt around our best life for a life that’s someone else’s. Plus, it’s rewarding to figure out what you’re good at! Here’s a link to a quiz that tells you your gifts: click here!
2.Stop being such a hater.
Goodness can we please stop doing this? I’m the worst about this. We’re our own worst critics and sometimes the most hateful voices. Force yourself to say nice things when you look in the mirror. Write little encouraging stick notes and stick them everywhere. Do whatever it takes to not let yourself be so mean.
3.Do something that makes you feel good.
Go for a walk. Take a spin class. Read a good book. Cook a yummy meal. Call your mom. Pet a dog. Pet all the dogs. Plan a vacation. Blast some T-Swift. Buy some fun new makeup. Try the middle part.
One little negative thought can stem into a nasty spiral of comparison and bring you down. Once you’re there it’s hard to get out. With that first nasty thought – make the second thing something good.
4. Hangout with people who won’t let you bash yourself.
If I start to hate on myself, my friend Megan will literally say something like, “You need to stop, you’re so cute, and you’re being annoying.”
We laugh and then we move on. Isn’t that better than someone being like, “Ugh yeah you should see how ugly I am when I wear this…”
That’s not a supportive friend. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about the “Can we dress slouchy tonight?” texts that you send your friends before you hang. Those are great and also very necessary sometimes.
5. Talk to God about it.
You may be thinking, “Oh prayer? That’s revolutionary.” But if you’re in a sad pit of just feeling super down or ungifted – vent to God, repent a little, and ask for guidance and tell me you don’t feel at least a little better.
None of these things may work for you. If they don’t – tell me what helps you! If you’re someone who is really struggling with this – please know you’re not alone and please know that brighter days are ahead.