Comparison crept into my joyful young self when I entered middle school. Adolescence is when we start caring what boys think and say about us, we want to be the girl they like but we also don’t want to make ourself a target among the girls either.
I remember looking around at the girls that seemed to be confident and have it all together. I know, who has it all together as a 13 year old? I compared my clothes, the way I talked and the way I carried myself.
Comparison will drive us crazy and make us sick because it’s a constant reminder that we are never good enough, that we aren’t measuring up to the cool kids.
I remember my mama saying to me, “Quite trying to be like ______.” I would get so mad that A. she didn’t think I was naurally cool on my own and B. that she could so easily call out my bluff.
When we try to be like other people or operate their strengths and gifting, it isn’t natural and other people can easily sense something is off because we feel awkward.
I believe we compare ourselves to others to see if we’re doing okay. We feel good if we are better and terrible if we aren’t. Comparison is judging is others and ourself.
I was born with a critical spirit, I am highly critical of myself which also makes me critical of others. Comparison breeds a spirit of criticism, which can lead to pride if we’re on top or depression when we aren’t measureng up. Can you relate?
In the months of preparation leading up to Miss USA, I knew I would have a major problem keeping a winninig mindset if I didn’t get this comparison issue on lockdown.
How in the world could I spend 3 weeks with 50 other beautiful women at Miss USA and not compare myself?! How in the world does a woman handle everyday life, much less deliberately putting herslf in a situation to be judged, sized up and criticized?
Here is how:
1. Compete with Yourself:
I went to this week long mental management seminar and learned this valuable tool. Just like Miss USA isn’t a competition with other girls, life isn’t either. There is no way we can use other people as a gage to make sure we are on point. Everything you do is about being the best version of yourself. Ask yourself what you would be like if you were living in your fullest potential. Imagine her. Then get tunnel vision, focuususe that as your inspiration.
2. You can’t control outside factors:
COmparision is a waste of time. Other people are external factors outside our control. We can’t control the girls we want to be like or that we think are better than us in certain areas. We also can’t control the judges in life. We can’t control the onlookers and the ones that size uus up and rank us next to the girl in our space.
3. Focus on what you can control:
You can’t control others, but you can control yourself. You are responsible for your thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviors. Are you being kind and uplifting to yourself? Comparing yourself is judging and being critical of yourself and giving power to someone else. The moment you notice you are focusing on an external factor that you can’t control, snap your focus onto what you can do.
4. Know your assets:
Realize what makes you special. What are your best features? What makes you come alive and feel confident? I knew I couldn’t compete with the sexy, glamazons at Miss USA or Miss Universe because I’m not that tall, bronze, brunette girl. I needed to own by “wholesome, girl next door” vibe because that’s who I was, so I chose my styling to accentuate that.
For so long, I tried to be like other people who were winners, especially the sexy ones. But when I finally owned the essense of me, I was able to rock it with true confidence. Stop resisting who you are because you think the vibe of someone else works better. God made you the way you are for a very important reason. Tap into it, discover what your essense is, unveil it and OWN IT.
5. Want others to be their best too.
When we want to win, we think that means other people have to fail. We hope and even pray for their demise. (Yeah God is definitely raising an eyebrow to that prayer.) One of the most important mindset shifts I had when competing at Miss USA was that I wanted the other girls to be their best. Instead of getting intimidated that they looked so beautiful, I praised it.
There is freedom is wanting to see the best in others and trusting the outcome to God. When your heart is good and for others, that light will shine through your eyes.
6. Filter your social media.
It is wise to protect your heart and mind against things that trigger feelings of insecurity or comparison in you. With instant and addicting access to open our social media apps and scroll through photos, we are more at risk than ever to comparing ourselves.
If there are certain people that evoke neagative feelings in you, go ahead and unfollow or mute those accounts. Sometimes we have to take proactive, precationary measures to stay on track with what God is calling us to do. We don’t need to feel guilty or apologize for it either.
Don’t let the devil take you into a downward spiral through comparison. It’s a silent trap to fall into and you deserve more than tearing yourself apart by trying to be like other people.
Galatians 6:4-5 reminds us, “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.
Being The Best Version of Yourself = The Sparkle Effect
I praise you because I am uniquely and wonderfully made. Lord, help me to not fall into the sin of comparing myself to others that leads to envy. I realize that I am the only one able to respond to the call on my life and to being the best version of myself. I don’t want to stay miserable in feeling sory for myself. Self-pity can be addiciting adn I like the attention it gets me, but I know I will eventually be left behind if I don’t rise up and take ownership of my life. I want to honor you by honoring myself by keeping my mind focused on you. Change my heart to genuinely want the best for others because I can see your glory in their lives too. Help me to surrender my pride, criticism and judgement so I can just be open to what you want to do in life. God, I don’t mind if I get praise or accolades in this lilfe, but I really just want to live for your applause. Thank you for helping me see what the bst version of myself looks like. Amen
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12 ESV
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2 ESV
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3 ESV
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17 ESV