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Comparison is the thief of joy

About six weeks ago, I had a little extra time one day and was perusing blogs. I somehow stumbled upon this beautiful blog written by an even more beautiful woman.

As I read her posts, I began to feel very inadequate. She was pretty, in shape, creative, witty, had a gorgeous home, had more children than me, and really seemed to have it altogether.

I started to feel ugly, disorganized, out of shape, and like a really pathetic woman in comparison to her. But I kept on reading–and continued to feel even worse.

Then I landed upon a post where she talked about this woman that she so admired and wanted to be like. I was shocked when I clicked on the link and discovered the woman she was referring to was me.

Yes, this woman whom I felt I paled in comparison to wanted to be like me.

And then I realized how silly this was. Here she wanted to be me and I was secretly wishing I were her.

It hit me anew just how easy it is to want what we don’t have–better hair, better decorating skills, a better personality, more creativity, more spunk… there’s always someone who it seems we’d like to trade places with because they have what we want.

But trading places with someone wouldn’t fix anything; we’d just inherit a new set of things we wish we could change. No one has it altogether. Everyone has struggles and difficulties.

Comparison only leads to discontentment.

We can’t change who we are, but we can make the most of our situation. We can’t choose the personality we are born with, but we can choose to be thankful–even in the midst of difficulty.

And we can choose to be intentional and purposeful in how we live our lives so that we make the most of all that we’ve been given instead of wishing we were someone else.

I loved this part of Amy Lynn Andrew’s post on The Trouble With Blogging:

…Never forget that what you see on the screen is not the whole picture.

Never forget that the people behind the blogs are, well, people…with unorganized cupboards, unmanaged time schedules (ahem!), cranky children (ahem again!), painful stories, crafty train wrecks, struggling marriages, unpaid bills and burnt meat loaf. (Those are the examples I use, because those have all been me behind the scenes.)

Never forget that their story and their journey and their choices apply to them, not to you.

You are who you are for a reason. You are where you are a for a reason. Don’t do what I do and beat yourself up for not being where someone else is. It’s a colossal waste of time.

Appreciate everyone else’s outside, but embrace your inside. (Read the full post here–it’s fantastic!)

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  • Love this post Crystal! I’ve been thinking a lot about this…and to be perfectly honest it’s why I haven’t opened Google reader in over a year. Oh the horror! I must be a horrible blogger. LOL! But doing so, has helped me mind my business and not dwell on the lives of others. 🙂 xoxo

  • Katie Haney says:

    Thank you so much for this reminder!!! I thought of Colossians 3:23– “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…”

  • Amy says:

    I love this post! So true.

  • Very true. And the more we compare, the more we hide who we really are. Then . . . we cause others to have those same misconceptions about us!

  • So true! There is always that underlying desire to have more, be more, etc., but “the grass is not always greener on the other side.”

  • K Quinn says:

    Crystal I love this post. My sister and I sit around and talk about this every now and then. We can spend so much time agonizing over not having it seemingly together like the other person on the other end of the mouse when they are probably doing the same thing and so on and so on. When we start to feel that way it’s a great time to stop visiting and reading other blogs for a while and focus on our own strengths.

    Amen to the scripture quote above. It popped into my head in the KJV version. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23”

    • Beth says:

      I really like the idea of foregoing visiting and reading other blogs for awhile to focus on your own strengths. I’ve down-sized my Google reader, keeping only those blogs that truly encourage instead of condemn me (even if the bloggers purpose was never meant to do so!), but I think taking a break for a while would really help me to put things in perspective even more. Thanks for sharing!

  • Like Myra I’ve had to step away from Google Reader as well recently. Not only was it getting overwhelming, but the desire to compare is too great.

    And I pretty much always have to stay away from Homeschool blogs, lol. Most of the time I end up feeling like I’m not doing enough!

  • Kathy Wright says:

    Oh, yes! The comparison trap! Hate it. Been in it, and didn’t come out any better than when I went in, either. Thank you for this timely reminder, and encouraging post.

  • Emma says:

    Thank you for sharing. I often catch myself comparing myself to others. It’s been something I want to be purposeful about stopping. It is good to know I’m not the only one who does it. God made me Emma for His purpose and that is what I need to remember. Especially during Victoria Secret ads…. Ugh!

    • joanna says:

      remember, emma, that vs models don’t really look that good; they’re the object of airbrushing or some other high-tech editing. hard to remember though when they look real-life, right? i totally understand your feelings!

    • Wendy says:

      Really!!! I just remember that to look like that on TV they have to eat totally clean and work out. I’m just not willing to do all that. I enjoy eating too much. Plus I remember I had 2 kids and my body is a product of that. I’d rather have my kids and enjoy my food………

  • Flamingo says:

    I love this. It seems that women can’t hear this message enough. I too have stopped reading a lot of blogs. Not yours. Of course:) I frequently feel paralyzed because I don’t feel that my “real life” is as together as it needs to be and it tends to keep me from blogging. who am i to share anything? I realized from relelvant (and even talking with u and a few others there) that it is a silly strong hold in my life. I am a communicator …I do not need to communicate perfection…I simply need to communicate. whew. you should start charging for therapy sessions 🙂 lol

  • Kacie says:

    Wow! What a moment. I think you’ve reminded us before that blogs are just snapshots, and they’re just what the blog writer allows us to view.

    Some of us leave our dirty dishes in the sink, but some of us are better about shoving dirty dishes in the oven when company comes by to hide it out of the way 🙂

  • Koree says:

    Hehe. Love this post! Don’t judge my carpet-my long haired cat sheds A LOT! I can’t keep up.

    • Diane says:

      This made me laugh, probably because our medium haired cat just threw up on one of the beds yesterday (including the quilt my grandma made for me).

      • Jen says:

        I can so relate! I love my cats, but the older they get the more they throw up… everywhere! I get so tired of cleaning it all up, and of course there is the occasional incident that I miss and find later. Sigh. Not to mention all the shedding (especially the long haired cat).

  • Meg says:

    Thank you for this post! I was so in need of this today. Sometimes I get lost in the blogosphere and find myself lusting over another blogger’s hair, holiday traditions, craftiness, blog design skill. It definitely extends to “real life” as I get down on myself about my job or lack there of, where I am in my life as opposed to where I thought I’d be or where I *should* be (ugh!). This post definitely puts it all into perspective and I definitely this kind of truth today! 🙂

  • Melanie says:

    I quit comparing myself to others because it seems that a lot of people I have held in high regard (high enough to envy if I didn’t believe that my life is the perfect one for me) often have dramatic implosions. “Perfect couples” getting divorced after lurid details of the husband’s affair get out, “financial whizzes” going bankrupt, “great mothers” stunting their children’s growth with inadequate food supply, or other seemingly ironic occurrences that make you stop in your tracks.

    I’m not perfect, but I think that the reality of my own life is a far sight better than the illusions created by scores of bloggers out there. I just don’t have to validate myself by plastering all my (contrived, and with affiliate links!) happiness for the world to see.

  • plaidjaney says:

    Thank you.

  • Stacie says:

    Thanks for this, Crystal. You know I have troubles with this…and just when I think I have victory over it, it shows up again. *sigh*

    When it does, I have to stop and pray and renew my mind. God has made me uniquely me for this time and this place. I don’t have time to lose playing that comparison game!!

  • Brandy says:

    Well said, Crystal! Each of us is designed to be a different piece in one big puzzle, fitting together just where we are supposed to, working together, connecting at different places……to complete one beautiful picture. To wish to be like someone else is to reject our unique God-given design.

  • Jen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I find myself thinking “how in the world does she do all that…” about other women who seem to have larger families, or more responsibilities and make it look easy. God has gifted us all in different ways and He convicted me about being thankful for the gifts He has given me rather than wishing I had someone else’s gifts. I can seek to glorify Him in my weaknesses. Thanks for always being so transparent as you are always such an encouragement to me!

  • Jessica says:

    This was an excellent post. I read somewhere that same thing happens with Facebook. Everyone writes and posts photos like their life if perfect. Then you feel like there is something wrong with you because your life is not.

  • This is why I avoid Facebook- I don’t like when people try to act perfect because no one is.

    When I write on my blog I try to keep it real. I am a mom who even after three kids readily admits that I have no idea what I’m doing! : )

    • Meghan says:

      I used Facebook quite a lot previously, but in the past month I’ve pretty much given it up for the same reason—too much comparing back and forth, too much wasted time……I am trying to be more intentional with my time and focus on the present and Facebook really detracts from that.

      The interesting thing was that my experience “giving up” Facebook was quite like different times I’ve given up caffeine……I think about it/crave it for a few days, then it’s like it never existed.

      • Jillbert says:

        I think I need to give it up, too. Not that I’m really active posting but I read a lot and it does make me feel inadequate quite a bit.

        • Heidi says:

          After praying about Facebook for awhile, I ended up paring down my friend list to just family and far-away friends. I took off everyone local that I am blessed to see on a regular basis. It wasn’t popular with some people that I did that, because Facebook calls it “unfriending” when they are still very much my real friends, but I felt like Facebook could be a real distraction for me. It is, however, a wonderful way that I am able to keep up with some very far-away family and friends, and I didn’t want to delete it permanently. I decided that if I was blessed enough to see a person face-to-face, I didn’t need to be online friends with them. I just offer this to the discussion about Facebook, because it can be a source of real distraction and discontentment, and I needed to find a balance for the sake of my own heart.

  • Joann says:

    Thank you, Crystal! I have been such a horrible wife this week, comparing my husband to other husbands, and can’t believe how I miss my blessings by doing that. Definitely needed this post.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you.

  • Jeff Crews says:

    Right on. I used to do this many times (whether it was financially, athletically, academically, etc.). In the end, I decided to make the best of my situation and it was then I feel God truly blessed. God doesn’t put us in the situations we are in for no reason…everything is planned.

  • Annie says:

    Like many others, I’ve had to step away from reading blogs at times. As someone who knows (without comparing) that I’m disorganized in “stuff” and time, the opportunity to begin comparing is too great. I’m down to following 3 blogs regularly, and life is so much better. Just enough to inspire, but not enough to overwhelm.

    That said, I’m improving, and working very hard to change those things about my life. Now, I’m less frequently discouraged and more often inspired.

  • Emily Hunter says:

    It is so very crazy that we’ll look over and think that someone else has it better or are more eloquent or whatever – it… it feels good to know that there are others out there who have felt the same thing. Thank you for this post, and thank you for not quitting. 🙂

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you….this could not have come at a better moment for me! This can be related to so many aspects of people and jobs…. I am a photographer that belongs to a local group, which is fantastic, but it is also easy to compare what everyone else is doing and how they can fit in so many clients etc…and not focus on what I do and love and be content to know that I am where I am suppose to be! I read Amy’s full article and it was fabulous!! Thanks again!

  • Conni says:

    This reminds me of an Irma Bombeck quote, “the grass is always greener over the septic tank”! We can always look over into the neighbor’s yard, and see the lovely flower beds, and perfectly manicured lawns, but what we don’t often see is what it took our neighbor to get such results. If there is ever a comparison to make, it must be to Christ and his example for our lives.

  • Sheila says:

    We all have warts! Some are obvious. Some are hidden.
    My pile of mail on the kitchen table. Some my oldest sons ~ An excuse to go visit the grandkids if he’s to busy to drop by.
    The mess on the stove and in the sink ~ Fresh hash-browns and eggs for the boys who are off to school. Something I do on my day off as a contribution to their education.
    The unfinished mittens, afghans and multigenerational photo albums for the boys. I shed way too many tears looking at those we have loved and lost and needed a break.
    My 4 sizes of clothes in the closet that I might fit into someday. I really need to bless someone else with that.
    Guess what I’m trying to say is I need to be me. While I can appreciate what others have, I am fortunate to have a healthy family, food on the table and the mess that goes with it, and people who love me. I’m happy with that.

  • Amy Looney says:

    Thank you for this post! I think this is something we all struggle with! With my ten-year college reunion coming up, I’ve really been in this rut lately!

    Have you read Beth Moore’s _So Long Insecurity_? It’s a really fantastic book, which encourages Christian women no to compare themselves to other women. Our security comes from the Lord, and no one can take it from us. I highly recommend it!

    • Crystal says:

      I haven’t read that book yet, but I really want to. It sounds like such a needed reminder!

      • Krystal says:

        Great encouragement and Biblical reminder! Thanks, very needed- this is easy to fall prey to 🙁 ! When I choose to focus eternal things, I am completely INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to change the little things that I CAN work on through people like you 🙂 ! (Col.3:2) P.S. I think you would love Beth Moore’s books too! 🙂

  • Nicole Z. says:

    Great post, Crystal! Best line in the whole piece…”But trading places with someone wouldn’t fix anything; we’d just inherit a new set of things we wish we could change.” How true, sista!
    I love, love, love all of your inspirational posts and helpful reminders about where our focus should be. 🙂

  • Heather says:

    This is so true! I’ve had a problem with judging or being jealous of other ladies in my life. But it always happens that as I get to know them, I learn that they have their own struggles too. Like the time I was envying my friend whose husband has a better-paying job than we do. But it comes at a price – of being on the road all the time! Or the skinny gorgeous friend – who it turns out has struggled with health problems all her life. God equips us to deal with the problems we have, and I’d rather have my problems and my joys than their problems & their life. I know they would say the same thing!

  • Lana says:

    About 15 years ago I went to a new GYN. Her husband was our pediatrician and this lady doctor was so cute and blonde and all I could think was how she just must have the best life. Well, she comes into the room and sits down on her doctor stool, opens my folder and says, ‘Oh, I am so jealous of you! You have 5 children and you homeschool! I only have 2 children and I would love to homeschool and have lots more kids!’ She has actually become a friend of mine over the years and we keep up by email. She has always envied my life and been so torn by her absolute love of her profession and wanting to be at home. Here I still am at home and retired from homeschooling after 23 years now and she still envies my life. In many ways I envy hers. She goes to the office everyday and has such compassion for the women she treats, works with our local pregnancy center doing ultrasounds in their office and has a housekeeper. It’s all a matter of perspective!

  • Laura Jane says:

    I’ve definitely fallen prey to the comparison trap both with blogs and with friends in real life. Others seem to be able to do everything better than I can. The truth is we only see peeks into their life and don’t notice their struggles. It is hard to stop comparing ourselves. Thanks for the reminder.

  • rachael says:

    For years I’ve had this quote written in my Bible…. “Comparison kills contentment.” And I think it’s only worse since blogs came on the scene. I used to have a personal blog and my life looked wonderful on the computer, but that’s because you put out there what you want people to see. I have to remind myself of that when I start getting discouraged reading facebook or looking at blogs. They put “their best” out on the computer…just like I did. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    I have always compared myself to others, even as far back as my earliest memories of childhood, and didn’t feel good about myself unless I was doing at least *something* better than somebody else. And that temptation is still there. I wanted to be a blogger, because I wanted people to think that I was actually good at something, to look up to me, to want to be me. Me, me, me. The Lord really convicted my heart on this, and so I willingly gave up my famous blogger aspirations. But the sinful pride is still there lurking in my heart, which I have to work hard to slay. It rears its ugly head when I am tempted to think myself a better mother than so-and-so because of such-and-such, or when I am afraid to invite someone over for fear of them looking down on my cooking or my lack of interior decorating skills. Oh Lord, please let people see You and not me!

  • Deb H. says:

    Thank you Crystal! I soooo needed to read this post this AM! Last night we found out that my beautiful high school senior daughter was not chosen in a piano contest, but was beat by a freshman who did not play as technical of a piece as my daughter played. I have been crying and angry for hours. I’m still struggling, but this post helped!

  • Wendy says:

    Oh my goodnes. I was just discussing this topic this morning with my son during our Bible study time before he began school.

    Galatians 6:4–Let each one examine his own work and he will have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another.

    I was telling him not to compare himself to others as there will always be someone smarter, more athletic, etc….Just do your best and that’s all you can do. Maybe God wants me to learn this lesson too today as it’s the second time I’ve had it brought up today.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you Crystal (& Amy) for this post. I do constantly struggle with comparing myself to others, so to hear another talk about it this way & give some poignant comments is wonderful. Something I needed to hear today. 🙂

  • Tabitha says:

    Thank you for your encouragement Crystal. I’m starting a blog and I’ve been doing the same thing looking at other blogs thinking the same way, “I don’t have that much creativity or I’m not that organized.” So thank you for the encouragement not to compare!

  • Amy says:

    I do not read a lot of blogs faithfully and this “comparison trap” is why. I start to feel overwhelmed and discouraged about myself and my life reading a lot of other blogs. Your blog is different, though. OK, I still think you have it way more “together” than I do, and I think you are all those things you thought about that “other woman” you mentioned. Yet the way you write and share, I never feel defeated or discouraged. I only feel inspired and encouraged to do better, and then, I actually do better! In the six months I have been following your blog, I have made more progress in the areas you talk about here than in my previous ten years of homemaking. Thank you!

  • Cari says:

    Crystal – I am beyond thrilled that I landed on this post today. It’s the most perfect timing. I am married but don’t have children and often think: “Look at all that Cyrstal Paine can do, why can’t I be more like her”?

    Such a great reminder and post – I’ve started and stopped several blogs because I feel inadequate compared to other blogging women. I have learned that is my own issue with myself (which I am working on) and not their issue. I’m ready to blog again Crystal so thank you.

  • Amy’s words are so true! I have a close relationship with a few bloggers and I have reminded them (and myself) to “keep it real” We often make things look too easy and it’s just not reality. We owe each other honesty.

  • Lisa says:

    I have to admit feeling like that. I’ve made every financial mistake there is at least twice. I was recently turned down for a mortgage on a $34,000 dump of a house. But, those moments pass and instead I let you inspire me to keep trying AGAIN to get money management RIGHT. I honestly, completely truthfully, think it’s awesome that you paid cash for a house and I’ve shared how utterly fabulous that is with my kids in the hope it will inspire them!

  • BethB says:

    Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement! I’m toying with becoming a blogger but I’m not sure it would be the most emotionally healthy thing for me to do. Mostly for this reason.

  • Ginger says:

    Wow! We just had a sermon on this on Sunday. The series is called “I Quit”, and it’s about bad attitudes, habits, etc. that we in general have. They gave out little bracelets (the plastic kinds that are usually associated with a cause) that say I QUIT. Now I can look down and remind myself that I QUIT comparing:) Thanks for the beautiful reminder today. I must really need it:)

  • Christina @ Youthful Homemaker says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! Your blog is the only one I read on a regular basis, and lately I have been feeling like my website pales in comparison to yours. I often find myself feeling discontent about it, which is silly because I know that even if my website never gets as big and wonderful as yours that it is the job I love and it is where God is calling me to be. I would not trade it for any other job, even if it doesn’t pay much at the moment. 😉
    It encourages me that you have the same feelings I do, and I really appreciate you being so candid on yor site. Keep up the good work!

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I need this reminder daily!!

  • Jodi D. says:

    I love this post! Your honesty and “realness” is awesome! I, too, have been in your shoes lusting after another blogger’s cute little muffin tin lunches, super crafty wreaths, or beautifully organized pantries. In fact, I was doing that just now! I love that people blog and share these wonderful things, but I need to remember that everyone has their own struggles. I needed this today. Thank you! Now, I am going to get off the computer and make this day the best it can be and be thankful for what I do have! 🙂

  • I was struggling with this same thing when my friend reminded me that we usually compare our weaknesses to another’s strengths. It was a sobering thought. I try to remember the whole picture, and that God has given us all varying strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of edifying the body as well as growing more Christlike ourselves. . .

    • “compare our weaknesses to another’s strengths”. I’ve NEVER ONCE thought of it this way, and as I sit here in tears, it really hits me, no I’m not perfect, but I’m me, and I try every day to be the best that I can be. See, that wasn’t always the case. I’ve always had depression problems but didn’t realize that I am bipolar. It threw me for a loop and it’s taken a LOT of therapy to get me to the point where I can get out of bed every day, let alone accomplish something. Right now, I’m working on growing my blog and Etsy store and staying out of bed :).

      Thank you for that comment. It’s given me a whole other reason to keep going. I’m going to turn it into a card and frame it for my craft room.


  • Melody says:

    Thanks so much for this great reminder.

  • Terrific reminder that comparison only leads to negative feelings. I’m wrestling with this today as it’s 2 pm and I sit here still in my pajamas staring at a long list of to-dos.

  • Tawni Miller says:

    Thank you! I suffer from “comparitivism” at times as well and need a good kick in the pants sometimes:)

  • Oh thank you again Crystal! Another timely, needed post! God is good! I’m grateful for you! I too read that article from Amy and loved it and shared it. But today has been one of those days 🙁 not good enough in anything and feeling overwhelmed in everything! Just so grateful for helping me remember, I’m Good Enough !

  • Karin says:

    I’m actually weeping to read this post. I’ve been struggling about this. I moved to the US for marriage, and still has no friends.(over 7 years) I read many blogs b/c no people from my home country here in the small city. I so hope to move to the big city in the future, but maybe very less chance b/c of my hubby’s job. I have kids and very happy with my situation as a SAHM, but still feel so lost and lonely. Everybody but me looks so rich and happy and visit my country at least once a year. I was born as a middle child and was always compared to other sisters. I hated that but I do the same thing to my kids now. I understand comparison makes no sense, but can’t help it. I feel I’m so worthless. But after read ‘You are who you are for a reason. You are where you are a for a reason.’ that touched me so much. I should do something to stop thinking negative and comparing to others. Thanks so much for sharing this post.

    • Sarah says:

      Aw, I’m so sorry you’re struggling like this! Where do you live? If you live in NH we can meet up! <3

    • Kathleen says:

      Sorry to hear that you’re struggling so much. And I understand your struggles. I moved to the US 9 years ago (I’m from Germany) and it can be a challenge. Making friends isn’t that easy, for once because I tend to do certain things differently than people here, and also if I do meet up with German ladies it seems everything is always about Germany.

      • Karin says:

        I’m very shy, and so that makes me harder to make friends here… I kind of get used to this situation, but sometimes I feel so lonely by myself, even with my family. I have few online friends from my country who live in the US, but they live far away and can’t actually meet them. But I feel I should do something. Hope I can find friends someday. Thank you so much for your reply.

    • Amy Zuck says:

      Yes please find a group that you could join. Maybe a MOPS group they normally meet at a church? Try searching for “moms group” and your area and maybe something will come up. When you’re a SAHM you really need that group of friends : ) Hope you don’t mind if I pray for some friends for you : )

    • karin, I would encourage you t o find some online forums for woemn who have similar interests to yours. You may find a chance to make friends in that way.

      Another thing that really helps me, is to invite over a couple from church with whom I feel I could become friends. Have a faily over for dinner.

      Take classes where you might meet others with similar interests.

      I used to live in Geneva, Switzerland. Everytime I got on the bus, I would heard 20 different languages. People from all over th e world live there.

      And at church, I watched as these women from everywhere served one another, and befriended one another. A woman from Italy and a woman from teh Congo were good friends. I saw love and caring from women from South America and Europe.

      Reach out to others, and you will find friends!

      • Karin says:

        I’m not a Christian(have different religion), so I don’t go to a specific church here. My in-laws go to their church, but that pastor refused me in the past(because I’m not a christian) when I got married to my hubby, so I don’t go that church. I wish I could be a member of a church, because there seems like many chances to meet people/moms. But I’m thinking about join the coupon forum and hoping to see someone in my area. Thank you so much for your reply.

        I didn’t expect to see such a wonderful and warm comments here for me. Thank you all ladies so much again for taking your time to write to me!!! 🙂

  • Great post, and how crazy that the lady you were admiring so was wishing she were you! Wow! So true that we only see a little glimpse through the blog world, and that glimpse is what the blogger chooses to show…so different than knowing someone in real life.

  • Carrie says:

    Thank you for sharing so openly. I, too, fall victim to the trap of comparing my weaknesses to others’ strengths. Sometimes without even realizing that it has happened; I just feel bad all over for not being “enough”. When I catch myself in this negativity, it helps to remember that there will always be someone younger, prettier, smarter, or more loving. But, the bloggers I really admire give me a good visual of who I want to be when I am trying to be MY best. Thanks for all you do! I can’t wait to read your book!

  • Ruth Schwenk says:

    Wow! What a powerful story Crystal! I love that you shared this because it is an eye-opener for all of us. It can be so easy to compare. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  • Kerrye says:

    I cannot be reminded of this enough. One of my most popular posts is one where I figured out a good way to fold my towels to fit on a shelf. The picture looks so pretty – and it WAS a successful moment for me. But, what no one saw was the rest of the closet where that towel shelf was located! (thanks to picnic and crop…) LOL!

  • Wonderful post, Crystal! The secret to winning the battle against comparison is contentment and thankfulness. I am thankful that God made me who I am because He made me to glorify Him in my own unique way because I am me!

  • Amy Zuck says:

    Wow! What perfect timing! I was having a bad day yesterday and one of the last straws (there were several lol) was reading a blog of someone doing all these accomplishments. I was practically in tears telling my husband how this person was doing so much and the baby is going through a bad stage and all I want to do is sleep! His advice, so stop reading it lol. Guess I felt too guilty to even do that. Next status in facebook is going to be “I WILL NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO OTHER, I WILL NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO OTHERS” lol why do women do that? Thanks SO much for posting!!!!!!!!!!

  • Beth says:

    Thanks for this post, Crystal!

  • One day my niece came over, and I was in the middle of setting up for a photo for my website. I had a table cloth and the food set up on one end of the table where I was taking the photograph.

    She took one look at it and started laughing. She said, “I love how your house can be a mess, but that part looks so pretty!”

    I think that’s the reality for a lot of sites!

    • Brandi, you are so right. And I think that most bloggers will admit that their blog is not a complete representation of who they are. There’s no way it can me. I know that for me, I will probably never post a pic of dirty dishes in the sink. NOT because they are not there, because they are. All. The. Time. But I feel like if someone wants to see dirty dishes they can look in their own sink. I truly admire other bloggers who do post dirty dishes pics, I’m just not one of them.

      I also think that it’s not just a blog problem. Most women are prone to compare. I know if I see someone (even someone I don’t know) who looks all put together I think “Why can’t I be more like that?” Then I remind myself that all I’ve seen is a glimpse.

  • Mary Beth Patnaude says:

    Thanks for the great reminder! I am working hard to let comparisons kill my joy!

  • Lorie says:

    Thanks for this great post! I have felt the same way before, and I have to remember to quiet that inner inadequacy.
    Whenever I read things are going great with others and rejoice with them. I also remember that most people only want to put good things on blogs or Facebook because they want to lift others up, now drag them down. I know this after talking with friends face to face…plus I am the same way!

  • Broke Girl says:

    Donald Miller pinpoints this problem (may have been in his book “Blue Like Jazz”), and I have never ever forgotten it. Said Miller, something to the effect that: There *was no comparison* in the Garden of Eden.

    It seems to me nearly every sin, wrong, trouble, angst in this world can be linked back to our need to *compare* ourselves with others. Like a dandelion, the craving to “one-up” and be just a notch above/better than the rest. Me, too; I get it. But what a great example / story in which Crystal finds the circle right back to herself! Kind of like the dog that chases his tail… Bless you.

  • What a great post, Crystal, and so true. We never know the full picture, especially with blogs, and our time would be better spent appreciating what we already have and focusing on how to change what we don’t like. Easier said than done, I know 🙂

  • Jen Knox says:

    This is exactly how I feel about Pinterest. Sometimes I feel worse using it rather than better. That’s why my reading list has really narrowed lately and only about five sites are consistently on that list, one of which is your site, Crystal! 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Back in October 2007, I was searching for ways to save money, articles and blogs kept referring to the blog moneysavingmom, I looked it up and was hooked. At that time she just had baby #2 and she was going on and on about how to save money and she taught me how to shop at CVS and Walgreens. At that time there was very few blogs that had that kind of information. A whole new view of money was opened up to me. Not only did she tell me how to use coupons, but also how to rethink how you spend and save before you buy. I kepted saying to myself (she didn’t have many pictures of herself and no videos at that time) this person is so wise and knowledge she has to be as old as me (39) or older. Then one day I read she was only 24 and I about fell out of my chair. This wise, knowledge person, teaching me so much, was only 24. All I kept thinking was how does she know so much in such a short time. I envied you so much. I wished I could go back in time and know that much at 24. I finally realized at least I know what I know now and can give the knowledge to my daughters at least. Thank you Crystal for being the person you are and you will always be the person who change my point of view in life a little over four years ago. I am almost debt free except I still have half my mortage. In four years I did the snowball effect and paid off a car, a camper, all credit card debt and saved enough to pay for my brand new car with cash) I plan to pay the house off in four more years and we still have 15 years left on it but I paid 11 years of it just in the past two years. It’s amazing how just a different view in life can make things so much better.

  • Chelsea says:

    I loved this post that I read in my email. It is such a great reminder that although we are jealous of other people’s lives, God made us all different and unique for a reason and he loves all of us equally no one is better than anyone else. Just a great post!

  • My desk is ALWAYS a mess. And it’s right where everyone can see when people come over. I hate that, but I am busy doing other things, and it quickly gets messy again.

    One day I dropped in on a friend unexpectedly. She often drops by to see me, and is usualy kind enough to not mind that I do dishes while we visit 🙂 The day I went to see her, I saw her desk–and it looked like mine! I stopped worrying right them about how my house looked when she came to visit. It was so refreshing, and I literally giggled when I saw it!

    • Jenn says:

      I love having friends that will come over and chat when I clean. Sometimes you need someone not emotionally attached to your stuff to tell you to let it go!

  • sarah says:

    I like it. Very very true.

  • Kelly Cain says:

    God used this post in helping to pick my one word! Thank you! Here’s my post about it:

  • I struggle with this a lot. It’s comforting to know that even “big bloggers” feel the pressure too sometimes. Thanks for posting!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Stopping by from Say Hi Sunday! That is a great quote at the top of your post!!!

  • Wow! You took the words right outta my….I wrote a poem on how we compare…for a women’s gathering. Thanks for this!

  • Madelaine says:

    Fantastic post! So true in so many ways! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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