Late last night, I was sitting on my couch doing some blog work, when all of a sudden I stumbled across something on Instagram that instantly gave me a bitter taste in my mouth and made me feel so discouraged in that moment. All these thoughts started rushing to my mind … “Why not me?” … “I just don’t get it” … “That is so unfair” … “Why am I trying to do things the right way when the people who are doing things the wrong way are getting rewarded and I’m not?” … “I work 12+ hour work days to try and set myself apart & I still am not enough in their eyes” … I could go on, but you get the point.
Thankfully, my moment of comparison lasted only for a few minutes because I’ve already played the comparison game way too many times to count, so I’ve finally learned how to turn all of those negative thoughts about myself into something that wouldn’t tear me down, but possibly just build me back up. (*Disclaimer: I really feel like this moment last night was a God thing because I was just talking last week on my IG stories about comparison, and SO many of you wanted me to write a blog post about how I overcome those struggles. Sooo, HERE WE ARE! He really works in mysterious, yet amazing ways, and I’m so excited to share how I’ve overcome this personal struggle in my life over the past couple years.)
Before we dive into it, let’s talk about comparison for a moment.
Comparison is something that EVERYONE goes through – even more so in today’s world of social media. I don’t care if you’re flippin’ Beyonce. Everyone has played the comparison game at one point in their life, and it is ultimately the devil. It is Satan inside your head, thriving off of negativity and trying to distract you from all the wonderful blessings that God has provided you. Satan literally sits back and LAUGHS AT US when we start playing this game and feeling bad about ourselves (because we have fallen into his malicious trap), and then there’s God on the other hand, coming to rescue us from this horrible trap. Comparison is the thief of all joy and happiness in your life. It will literally tear you down over and over and over again if you let it, and that’s why I want so badly to help you learn how to overcome this struggle. Now, that being said, it may not ever go away 100% because we’re human. This worldly place isn’t our forever home, so we’re never going to stop comparing ourselves to others’ lives. We will never completely stop wanting what other people may have – whether it’s a proposal, a marriage, a baby on the way, a job, a best friend, a house, a car, a closet, a body, a family, a big opportunity, etc. Unfortunately, those jealousies may come up over and over again for you in this lifetime, but we can learn how to beat the devil’s game until we make it to our forever home.
This whole comparison thing still happens to me, clearly. I’m human. But, I will say that once I finally learned how to overcome it and win the comparison game, I instantly started living a happier and healthier life. I promise that you will too, if you start practicing the steps below daily. Even to this day, when negative thoughts about myself / my life pop into my head, I resort back to these reminders to help me get past those momentary hurdles and back onto the amazing path that God has already planned out before me.
- Have a good support system that will build you up when you need it most. This is crucial. It doesn’t matter if it’s family, friends, coworkers, your kids, an online community (heyyy! shoutout to my #LNLbabes!), etc etc etc. Find a few people that you can go to and talk about your struggles at any given moment. For me, it could be my husband, my mama, my sister, my grandmother, my best friends, etc. Last night (during my moment of comparison), it happened to be my mom. She was the first person that I knew would understand the situation and where I was coming from. She related to my point of view at first, but then helped me get to a positive space that instantly led me to dream bigger and better dreams for myself … to think positive thoughts and to remember that God put me on this particular path for a reason. Now THAT, my friends, was the perfect example of having that special support system. If you don’t happen to have that in your life at this moment, please reach out to me. If you feel like you don’t have at least one person in your life that you can go to for anything and everything, to support you and love you in your toughest moments … then, I will be more than happy (and honored) to be that person for you.
- Count your blessings. So, this saying may be cliche, I know. But, it’s true — I know from experience. Whenever I start doubting myself, comparing my life or my individual self to other, or feeling bad for myself, I start counting my blessings. And I’ll be darned if every single time I start counting, I can’t quit. God has blessed us with so much in this life, and when I finally take a moment to acknowledge the many blessings surrounding me, I instantly stop comparing. There are so many things that could be way, way worse. There are so many people in other countries that can’t even find clean water each day … that watch their children be sold into human trafficking … that have to watch their children and loved ones die of a terrible illness because they can’t get the proper medication they need … that don’t have the privilege to wear the ‘trendy’ clothes … that don’t even know when or where their next meal will be. Right now, try to think of the most terrible thing that could happen in your life. Is it your child being kidnapped? Is it seeing them having to go through chemotherapy? Is it losing your job and not knowing how you’ll support your family’s lifestyle? Is it losing a loved one in a terrible accident? Whatever it may be, if it hasn’t happened and you didn’t have to face that fear today, then you have SOMETHING to be thankful for, and that is a blessing in itself. If you just take even one minute each day to count the blessings in your own life, I promise you will stop comparing yourself to others’ lives as much and start being genuinely happier in your own life.
- It’s YOUR decision. Gonna be your mama for a second and get real with ya. It’s ultimately a CHOICE whether or not you decide to dwell in your negative, ‘feel sorry for yourself’, ‘why not me’ thoughts. You choose if you are going to stay in that negative space or if you’re gonna build yourself up, look at the blessings you already have in life, give yourself a pep talk, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together. Choose the latter. Every. Single. Time! Happiness and contentment is a choice in this life. CHOOSE to only listen to and spread the positive vibes!
- Love yourself while striving to better yourself. There’s always room for improvement in anyone’s life. I don’t care who ya are! Wake up everyday and try to be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. And when those negative comparisons pop into your head, try to think of ways that you can be even better than those original desires in your heart. The reason those comparisons may be popping up in your head could be God’s way of telling us that He has something bigger and better planned for us. We just have to listen / trust Him, and then act. Last night, during my Instagram comparison episode, I ended up thinking more outside of the box than I ever have before and seeing a bigger picture. Maybe that’s what God has planned for me. Maybe that’s what I should be striving for instead of this smaller ‘want’ that was in my head all this time.
- Let God in. I could go on for days about this topic alone, but I’ll save that for another day! Instead, I’ll try to keep it short, sweet and to the point. Once I started letting God in on all of my struggles (big or small, embarrassing and all … because sometimes it’s not always fun to admit everything to God, right?!), I started seeing a major difference in the outlook I had on life and how I was able to stop comparing myself to others’ lives every single day. Now that He knows all of my struggles (comparison plus all of the others), He’s ready to jump in and help me every single time the devil tries to get ahold of me or get inside my head. If I ever start doubting myself or comparing myself to others, I instantly pray, “Jesus, I know that I am Yours and that’s all I need. Please help me to see myself in Your eyes and shine Your light to others.” And I kid you not, it works every single time. An instant weight is lifted off of my shoulders, and I automatically gain a more positive outlook on my own life and the blessings that I already have right before me.
The comparison game is something that all of human nature deals with. It doesn’t matter who you are — everyone on the face of this earth has compared themselves to another at some point in this life. You are not alone!! However, in this age of social media, the comparison game has only expanded larger than ever before. Now, before I get too much further, I will say that social media can also (on the other hand) be a positive, uplifting influence to many (and I hope you all feel that way when you visit my social platforms).
That being said though, I want to quickly point out a message I recently came across in a Facebook group from a lady talking about how bloggers on social media (in particular) were, in fact, not inspiring her any longer. They were only making her feel worse about herself and the life she’s been living. She said she was falling into the trap of comparison because she felt the pressure to always have the perfect tan, to go out & spend hundreds of dollars on microblading, to get lash extensions, to buy all the $100 pieces of clothing a blogger was promoting, to invest in teeth whitening trays, to have a larger than life house because ‘those 25 year olds were building brand new 3000+ sq. ft. houses’, to have the latest designer bag, to share the perfectly decorated Halloween / Christmas / Easter porch decor, etc etc etc. And, in her defense, I can completely relate and see her point of view. From the outside looking in, the #bloggerlife looks wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy (just being real here) more glamorous than it seems. It looks like we have it all together, like we live in this perfectly clean & updated space with the best closet the world has to offer and all we do is document going on ‘trips of a lifetime’ …
Well, truth be told (just to set the record straight) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed in the back of a car or in a parking lot while sweating my butt (and makeup) off, how many times I’ve had to pee in the woods because the shoot location was nowhere near a restroom, how many times I’ve eaten a granola bar and a pack of chips instead of dinner because our ‘trip of a lifetime’ didn’t leave any room for a real meal, how many times I’ve felt ugly or bloated the day of a photo shoot, or how many days I work from sunrise until 2 or 3:00 in the morning with only one 30-min lunch break in between (and then, I somehow still don’t get it all done, lol). Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE this job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world … but, my point here is that I can totally see where this lady was coming from because influencers are almost always promoting the services and / or products (mentioned above) that we truly believe in (because that’s our job and how we can make a living to provide for our families) … It’s also part of our job to let our readers know these things. (I get overly excited when I find a new service and / or product that I love and get to share with y’all!!) However, just because we may not share every single struggle we go through on the daily (and just want to focus on the positives) doesn’t mean that we have some perfect life that is worthy of comparison. I PROMISE you all that I am no better than any of you out there reading this right now. We all have highs and lows. We all have good days and bad days. We’re all sinners. None of us are perfect, and that is OKAY.
All in all, I know it may just look like a glamorous life full of ‘pretty pictures’ on the outside … but the main thing I want to make clear to y’all is that I NEVER want you to feel bad about yourself or your life because of something I’ve shared about mine. My life is far from perfect (or glamorous, for that matter), as are the people’s around you. We all have our struggles (I still have mine every single day), and we are all growing into better versions of ourselves daily until we make it to our final destination. My main purpose on my blog and all of my social media platforms is to encourage and inspire you to live your best, most stylish, and happiest life!
Comparison may never go away completely in this lifetime, but you sure can learn how to beat it and how to win the comparison game over and over again if you practice the tips in this post on a daily basis. Don’t ever let the devil win over you!! You are stronger than that, and you deserve all the happiness this life has to offer. DO NOT let comparison steal your joy!