The Comparison Trap
The two biggest problems with comparison is these 2 things. It robs us of our condence and it kills our contentment. Comparison is not natural. We were not born knowing how to compare. Comparison is something that is learned and takes place of something more important. We are born unique special and wonderful. We are born with a sense of awe and wonder in amazement.
One of the best ways we can avoid falling into the comparison trap is to practice gratitude. Most mornings, I start off by taking a few minutes to focus on what I’ve been given, the the things in life that I didn’t earn or might not deserve, but God gave me them anyway. For example, today I woke up with breath in my lungs. I get live another day… I’m not starving, I had a warm dinner last night, when others don’t always get that… I’m grateful for opportunity to be Dad and shape the life of a sweet little 4 year-old boy… a wife who loves me… and even after a night of rough sleep, waking up weary and disengaged, I’m grateful for the way God designed me… we could’ve been a mere thought, we could’ve been a speck, we could have been animals! But, we’re human. We have eyes that can see those around us, ears capable of hearing beautiful music that moves us, mouths that have the power to speak and carry conversation with one another, bodies that are capable of working to bring food to the table, bodies capable of running, jumping, and just breathing.
As humans, we can only truly focus on one thing at a time. So how can we focus on what we lack, when we’re focused on gratitude?
I like to share with people that I’m a “recovering pessimist.” Choosing to be more grateful, one step at a time has been changing my glass-half-empty attitude for the better, causing me to be happier, more content, and more encouraging towards others. Attitude is everything.
If you’re sick of being dissatisfied and want to learn more about how gratitude can change your life, read the book that changed it all for me. It’s called “Ambition: Leading with Gratitude” and was written by a friend of mine, Seth Buechley. You can pick it up here: https: //amzn.to/2XFbjjB
Where comparison rears its ugly head and how to combat it.
If we’re not intentional with our thoughts, comparison can feel like a natural part of everyday life. It’s hard to get away from. This is why we need to train our brains to become grateful for our own unique abilities and what we’ve been given, in order to become condent and content. But there is one place in particular that I would like to point out.
We need to get intentional about how we use social media. Are we just browsing or are we using it as a tool for creative inspiration or to connect with family and distant friends? Determine what you’re looking for in social media that you can get through real-life experiences.
My best suggestion is to stop using social as a browser and start using it as a tool to intentionally connect. This can help us to stop automatically comparing ourselves to everyone in our news feed (or at least who they appear to be.) My facebook feed literally has nothing in it besides memories. It was weird at rst, but I’ve grown to love it. Because it helps me stay intentional about my relationship and talk and text with the closest people in my life.
Recognize your relationships. Experts conclude that people are only capable of maintaining around 150 relationships maintaining up to 5 intimate friendships at a time. To expect anything more is simply unrealistic. Facebook can create a sense of pressure that we need to maintain ALL of our relationships. Make a list of the relationships in your life that are impactful, that add value, and are most important to you. Start scheduling in-person hangouts and video calls for the ones far away. Get real with your conversations and try to be a good listener. Watch how much these relationships will enrich your life.
How we view ourselves is not an accurate picture of our self-worth. A life of peace and joy begins with getting intentional with our identity.
Begin to think about the following views and how they’re different from each other. Which one’s do you value the most? How you view yourself, how others view you, what you think other people think of you, how you think God views you, and lastly how God actually views you.
Take a look at the fixing awed perceptions exercise below. For now, you’ll want to start getting your thoughts out and just complete step 1.