How many times have you said, “I wish I was as talented as, or as good with something as so and so”? We have all said it at one time or another. It is part of the human challenge of always comparing ourselves with others.
We compare ourselves to our parents, our siblings, friends, co-workers, teammates, spouse, classmates, etc. We go through life comparing ourselves. We compare for dozens of reasons such as, wealth, health, job, appearance, race, religion and gender to name only a few.
Why do we constantly compare ourselves with others? Because we are always striving to become that perfect person, with that perfect life. As a result, there is always something we keep wishing for; thinking if we only had it, life would be perfect. But perhaps you’ve noticed; when you get that “one thing,” something else comes up that you are now wanting so life can be perfect.
This comparison trap has led to many living in denial of their true self, because they are trying so hard to be either as good as, or even better than whomever they are comparing themselves to.
The comparison trap has been with the human race since the beginning. In Genesis Chapter 3 we have the story of the fall, or how sin entered the human race. It was the idea of gaining knowledge like God that led to the fall. Compared to God, Eve did not know both good and evil. But she was told that if she gave in to the temptation, she would become like God knowing both good and evil. To this day we continue to live in the same comparison trap.
Escaping the comparison trap requires that you learn to accept yourself.
We are constantly being told to lose weight, get more education, look younger, upgrade our phones, cars, homes etc. This constant message of change, or “improvement” as it’s generally termed, makes it difficult for us to truly embrace who we are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Start by embracing this fact about yourself.
When you learn to embrace you completely, without comparing yourself to others, you will be more loving toward yourself, and more able to celebrate and live in your strengths and accept your weaknesses.
While we are able to change somethings about ourselves, the truth is that many things are unchangeable. In these latter areas, we must not separate what we like and dislike about ourselves from our whole identity. Rather we must learn to fully embrace ourselves as we are.
I am dyslexic. As such, one of the challenges I have faced all my life is that I am a very slow reader and struggle to retain much of what I read. My wife on the other hand is a fast reader who retains what she reads. I recall being very frustrated and upset for not being able to read as fast as my wife. I was able to get over my frustration when I embraced the fact that I am dyslexic and reading slowly and struggling to retain much of what I read is part of who I am. Rather than wishing I was like my wife when comes to reading, I embraced who I am.
The mistake many of us make when in the comparison trap is to ignore our strengths while envying the strengths of others and wondering why we are not as good as they are.
You are uniquely gifted to do and be in this world what no one else could ever be and do. You need to embrace who you are, stop comparing yourself to others, and fully engage in being the person you were designed by God to be.
Have you found yourself in the comparison trap lately? Have you been ignoring your strengths while highlighting your weaknesses because you are caught in the comparison trap?
Decide today that you will stop comparing and start living fully into the person God has designed you to be.
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.