Getting out of the Comparison Trap
Updated: Oct 4
Yeah, me too. What’s your version of success? I’ve learned in the last few months, that success looks different for different people. Sometimes, I scroll through Instagram and wonder, “Why isn’t that happening to me yet?” or “Wow, they’re doing such a better job than I am. How can I be more like THAT?” or “She’s so thin… why can’t I look more like that?” There I said it. Yes, I’m self conscious, but guess what, we all are! I wish it was something we could all talk about more openly, but I understand not everyone will put it all out there, so allow me ;) When I start hearing these thoughts run through my head, I STOP ✋ and close whatever social media app I’m on. You know one thing that all of these apps have in common?
They’re a highlight reel of someone else’s life. SOMEONE ELSE’S life. Not mine, theirs. I’m comparing my life to another person’s filtered version of themselves. This is NOT healthy. I’ve realized I can’t rush the process because I feel like I’m falling behind everyone else. God’s timing is perfect and if I’m comparing myself to someone else’s journey, I’m not trusting God’s plan for my life.
They say, if you want to make God laugh, make plans. I laughed when I first read that because all I do is make plans. I reached out to my Uncle for advice a few weeks ago. I asked him, “In your opinion, what does it look like to seek God first?” I explained my obsession with planning and how confused I felt about knowing what God’s wants me to do first.
This was his response, “In Proverbs it says to submit all your plans to the Lord and He will cause them to succeed. I believe that if we surrender all to Him daily that He will give us the desires of our hearts. What this means to me is He will place His desires in our hearts causing us to want what He wants for us at any given time. Then when we submit our plans to Him we will be giving Him what His will is for us and the opportunity to watch Him bring those things into being.”
After reading this I thought, “How will I know my desires are from God?” Then I realized if I don’t feel like I know what I’m suppose to be doing, I’m not spending enough time with Him. My best friend Brittany and I met in a Starbucks coffee shop. I asked her to watch my stuff while I went to use the restroom. When I got back we got to talking and decided to sit together. She was working on college homework and I was working on my computer. She was in from out of town visiting her parents. We became friends on Facebook and whenever she was in town, she would reach out and we would hang out for a few hours. We’ve been friends now for almost 4 years! I know the things she likes, the things she hates, her favorite restaurants, her pet peeves, her favorite shows... the list could go on and on.
This didn’t happen overnight though. This friendship simply started by getting coffee and chit chatting or going for walks together. Whenever I feel unsure of what God wants me to be doing, I end up realizing I haven’t been spending enough time with Him. If I’m not spending time with Him, how am I ever suppose to know what He wants me to be doing? God doesn’t determine our success by the number of Instagram followers we have. He also doesn’t look at our friends and see things happening for them and decide those things should also happen for us too. The blessings and plans God has for our life have been the same since the day we were born.
I tend to rant to Brittany about A LOT of things. No matter what, she patiently listens. When I start to spin out of control she reminds me, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” I love this because she doesn’t make me feel bad for overthinking. She simply reminds me that God’s timing is everything. No amount of worry or overthinking will make things happen any faster. If you feel like you're getting stuck in the comparison trap call a friend, put the phone down, take a walk, or open your bible. I promise it will encourage you in ways nothing else can!