How to Fight Back When Comparison Strikes
Do you have that one person on social media who makes you feel bad about yourself? I know I do. In fact, I've got a whole list.
I don't know a single small business owner, entrepreneur, creative, or human being that doesn't feel discouraged sometimes when they look at the success of others. We know we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to others, but we do it anyway. As a result, we are envious of other people who get more done, have more followers, get more publicity, have better clients, make more money, have more experience, take more time off, or just flat out have more talent than us. Others have what we do not, and we are desperate to answer a troubling question.
“Why not me?"
Some of us blame ourselves, leading to discouragement. I could never achieve what others have achieved because they are better than me. I’m not talented enough, strong enough, dedicated enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, confident enough to have what they have.
Some of us blame others, blame our circumstances, or even blame God, leading to bitterness. Based on my talents, dedication, upbringing, opportunities, morality, and merits, I should have more. I deserve what others have, but it is being unjustly withheld from me.
It isn't comparison itself that is stunting our progress and, ultimately, holding us back from doing what we are meant to do. I don’t know if we, as human beings, are even capable of completely avoiding comparison. But when we respond to comparison by asking “why not me?” we direct our brains to search for and recall all of our negative qualities, shortcomings, weaknesses, obstacles, and deficiencies, leaving us discouraged, bitter, and unable to find a clear path towards the things that we most want to achieve.
So let’s flip the question. What if, instead of “why not me,” we asked ourselves this:
“I wonder what I can do?”
By flipping the question, we ask our brains to search for and recall all of our giftings, talents, resources, skills, opportunities, and relationships. We are thinking about what we do have instead of what we don’t have. And, by reflecting on the things that we do have, a light shines on a path that was in front of us all along — a path that, blinded by our bitterness and discouragement, we were formerly unable to see. Life stops being a race to the top and becomes a journey of joyfully discovering what you can do with what you have been given.
I hope that you can step out on the path, with courage and faith, and start surprising yourself.
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