Comparing Ourselves to Others

applesoranges

Nobody’s perfect. We hear that statement all the time….but we act like we don’t believe it.

It’s tempting to look at someone else and think they have it all together. That mom with the musical genius kids, the friend whose house is “always” clean, the lady who seems to effortlessly run a home business—looking in from the outside she looks amazing.

And I’m not. Or so we think.

Comparing ourselves to others is like comparing apples to oranges, if you’ll pardon the over-used expression. We haven’t walked a mile in their shoes and they haven’t walked in ours.

Take me, for instance. You haven’t seen my kitchen floor when it crunches, or the girls’ room when you can’t see the floor. You don’t know the struggles I’ve had with thoughts of despair and discouragement, or the times I thought I couldn’t take one more minute of homeschooling.

I sometimes eat sweet boxed cereal, use powdered creamer in my coffee and like frozen pizza. Sometimes I wear my fuzzy green robe until late in the morning. My shower needs a scrubbing and there are two baskets of clean laundry sitting in the laundry room even as we speak.

Often we only hear about other moms’ best days. The time when they had cookies and milk ready when school was over. The day their children did an impressive science project.

You don’t often hear about the day they yelled at everyone because they were late, the time they loudly loaded the dishwasher in anger or the moment they sighed loudly when approached by their husband in bed.

I’m not saying that we should air our dirty laundry in public (and that includes Facebook), but we should give ourselves grace, know that others are real human beings and not get discouraged with comparisons.

I bet you’re doing better than you think. 

We think things about ourselves and say things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to someone else. When’s the last time you said, “You are so fat” or “That was really stupid” to your good friend? So why do you think it’s okay to say it to yourself?

We tend to think that mean words don’t count when we say them in our heads to ourselves.

Pay attention to your thoughts for the next few days. Notice how often you compare yourself to others. You might be feeling superior and prideful, or you may feel hopeless and “behind.” Either way, it’s not helpful to you.

Be who you are, keep working towards being better. Don’t try to be someone else and don’t focus on your perception that they’re better than you.

Instead of wasting emotional energy on comparing ourselves to others, we can steer our thoughts to gratefulness for what we have and thoughts about what we DO want in our life.

We all have plenty to do without adding the burden of comparisons that always make us the loser. Stay aware, take thoughts captive and enjoy YOUR life, because it’s the only one you have.

 

 

Tips From a Mom of 12

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You'll love this free guide with simple secrets from a Mom of 12. You won't feel "less than" with these tips, you'll be encouraged!

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11 thoughts on “Comparing Ourselves to Others”

  1. Thank you, Charlotte! I have heard this before, but really needed to be reminded of it today. I have been comparing myself to others, when I should have been comparing myself to former me. I cannot serve God as well when I am thinking I am not doing a good job being a friend, mom, wife, etc. I had someone tell me yesterday that I have been a great mentor to them, and want to do the best I can ( with Gods power, of course) to continue to guide them. I have made A LOT of mistakes, but hopefully have learned from them and can help others see the right path and avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made. We need to realize God can use us even in our weaknesses, because that’s when we are fully relying on Him!

    1. So true! When we’re all closed in on ourselves because of comparing, God’s power can’t flow through us, it gets stuck!

  2. I love the redesign! Beautiful, clean, easy to navigate . . . great!!!

    Thank you for all your encouragement, Charlotte. You are a blessing in my life!

  3. Comparison is the thief of joy. On Friday mornings, especially, is when I am either happy with myself or not. Why? Weigh in happens then. This morning the number was up .8. So I am not happy about that and feel defeated by all this weight gain. But when I lose a bit I am full of confidence. Lol. I have 40 ponds to lose and am not interested in taking any supplements but BOY is it challenging to lose weight after 50. Rant over. Thanks for listening. Lol

  4. SO GOOD Charlotte! Thanks so much for the reminder. It really is true. I made a sticky note to put on my computer screen to look at all the time. It says, “My Identity is in Christ”!!!!
    Hugs

  5. Charlotte thank you so much for your encouraging words. I always feel better after reading your blogs.

    I love your new design.

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