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Less Comparison, More Confidence

During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Comparison

Not too long 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.

More Confidence

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!)

Originally posted January 2012.

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Comparison and Edie’s post on More Confidence. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

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  • Erika says:

    Wow, this post just gave me chills! What a small world – and how you both wanted to be each other. I am bookmarking this post and reading it again from time to time – it is so true: Comparison is the thief of joy.

    Thank you for this today – I really needed to hear it!!! 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Thanks for the post Crystal! You must be a mind reader because I was going through this today. I saw your post on Twitter so I think I was meant to read this! Comparing ourselves to others is such a drain on our souls. I love your quote, “You are who you are for a reason. You are where you are a for a reason.” I need to print that out and put it on my desk!

  • LOL! That’s so funny! I have totally fallen into that trap too. And once we start comparing, there’s no good place to stop. Comparing blogs, clothes, net worth, your car vs my car, your family vs. my family… it’s pitiful what we do. I used to be the worst about this. I went to a church conference once and these kids (like, they looked about 10 years old) were preaching on the stage. But was I happy for them? noooooo. I was really jealous.

    So then at that very same meeting the pastor got up and told everybody that they make all their kids read a book called “Envy” by Bob Sorge before they will let them be on the kids’ ministry team. I figured I must need to read it too since I was being so pathetic. I did and it helped. It basically said that when we envy another person’s gift or blessing or position, we are slapping God in the face for what He has given us. Ouch. Instant cure for envy; instant dose of thankfulness.

    The things we do. 🙂

  • Wow. How crazy is that? Thanks for the wake up call.
    So often I compare myself to others. My blog, my family life, my life style. I can only imagine also that it hurts God’s feelings. Because these things are what He saw fit to bless me with. And yet, I sit around wanting bits and pieces of others lives.
    I choose contentment. It’s a daily, sometimes hourly choice but I choose it.

  • Carrie says:

    Oh yes, we bloggers all do this (I believe). Wonderful topic. I derive a lot of joy thinking about the animal kingdom, and why God created all these different creatures. Some of them are majestically beautiful, some are ugly (to us – I’m sure they’re all wonderful to God). Some love people (dogs), some are scary (hyenas). But they all have a purpose. Even cockroaches serve a wonderful purpose as the trash collectors of the planet. Roaches can survive a nuclear war! God made them for a reason. We’re the same.

  • Diana says:

    Comparison is not bad when it causes you legitimately improve in an area of your life. Unfortunately, most of the time it just makes me have a bad attitude about my current state of life 🙂

    Thank you for sharing, and I love the graphic you included 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for this article. It is inspiring and comforting!

  • Tammy says:

    So much truth in this! My husband recently say a bumper sticker that said something like” I wish my life was as good as it looks on Facebook”.

  • Ginger says:

    What a great reminder! Your transparency is honest and inspiring – and exactly how I think we all feel deep inside! 🙂

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