As women, we are especially prone to comparison.
We look at the woman next door mowing her lawn and realize we don’t even know how to start the lawn mower in our garage.
We watch the stream of pictures from the crafty mom half a world away and bemoan that the extent of our craftiness lies in a 24-count box of crayons.
We look out at the various women who cross our lives and see what they do that we don’t, and we chide ourselves for all we aren’t accomplishing ourselves.
7 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
1. Name your strengths
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. ~1 Corinthians 12: 4-7
What are your strengths? What gifts has the Lord given you? Have you taken time to consider what it is you’re good at?
Naming your strengths will stand as a good reminder to you when you begin comparing yourself to others that you’re not a failure. You just have different strengths and gifts than the woman next door.
2. Know your weaknesses
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We all have our faults. We can’t be good at everything! Take some time to consider your weaknesses. Acknowledge them and then review your strengths again.
Just because you have weaknesses it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you are human. Stop comparing your weaknesses to someone else’s strengths.
3. Determine your God-given mission
I am a huge advocate for developing a mission statement for your life. I believe every one of us should sit down and spend time praying and seeking the Lord’s will for our lives.
I don’t think our mission is as simple as “be a great wife and mom.” I think it’s more than that, more specific. We each have unique strengths and gifts. What gifts do you have that the Lord wants you to use to make you that “great wife and mom”? What has He uniquely called you to do?
If you don’t have a God-given mission statement, then please set aside time today to do create a plan to live for Him. Knowing your mission and purpose will help curb the comparison game as you stay on the path God has for you, and you can rejoice with the woman whose skills you admire because she’s excelling on the path the Lord has for her.
4. Go deeper into the Gospel
The single most effective way I have found to curb comparison is to look to the Cross. The Gospel levels the playing field. The Gospel keeps us humble. As we look at what we accomplish compared to someone else (or vice versa), with our eyes on the Gospel we know that apart from Christ we can do nothing. We can praise Him for His work in and through us and in and through our sisters in Christ.
5. Act on your strengths
Once you know your strengths, act on them. Don’t waste time being someone you aren’t. Use the gifts and abilities the Lord has given you! Seek to do what you do best with excellence.
6. Seek to grow in areas you are weak
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. ~1 Corinthians 15:10
Even though weakness can be something to get down on ourselves about, we shouldn’t. In areas where we are weak, we should seek to grow. We should be life long learners, daily seeking to grow in the Gospel of grace and in our everyday lives. Our weaknesses aren’t an excuse not to do what’s right. But in as much as it depends on us, we should seek to grow where we are weak.
For me this practically plays out in choosing one word to focus on each year. My one word is usually something I’m not very good at. Taking time each year to focus on one thing I want to change helps me to stop comparing myself to others and start seeking to grow in the Lord for His glory (and not my own).
7. Accept the journey
We are all on a journey. As we walk out our faith, we should rejoice in our weaknesses and thank God for His strength that shines through us.
None of us have arrived. Comparing yourself to others only wastes valuable real estate in your mind. When the comparison game starts, look back at your God-given mission, thank Him for the gifts He has given you, and choose to rejoice in your weaknesses.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. ~1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
What do you need to release today that has you caught in the snare of compare?