3 Ways to Conquer Comparison
I’ve been sick for over a week, and in that time I missed out on a lot of things I wanted to do and even more things I needed to do.
I had to find people to fill in for two of my speaking events. I missed a Clemson game with my family, cancelled two gatherings at my house and miserably laid in bed while we hosted a birthday party at our house…with live music.
There’s been a lot of FOMO going on in this little heart of mine. It’s hard to miss out. It’s harder when you’re bedridden wishing you could trade places with someone, soaking up the sunshine trying to peep in your windows.
Thankfully, I absolutely could not postpone my Overcoming Monday podcast interview with Nicki Koziarz on her new book “Why Her: 6 Truths We Need to Hear When Measuring Up Leaves Us Falling Behind” because I learned a lot from our chat. I’d like to share three of her ideas with you.
Be Wise in how you fight
In one of her podcasts, Dr. Caroline Leaf suggested that stress isn’t bad. I almost automatically rejected her statement until I heard her reasoning.
She suggested that stress is a warning signal from the body telling us that something is going wrong. Our stressful feelings are meant to teach us to adjust our behavior, habits or situation before we bring harm to ourselves.
But, if I’m honest, I usually dismiss my stress alarm and figure out how to push it aside and cope instead.
Comparison can also be a useful emotion. Without comparison we would have a hard time measuring progress and solving problems. Comparison doesn’t have to become an evil word in our vocabulary, but if we don’t process this emotion correctly we can fall into comparison’s trap- just like stress.
In her book, Nicki she suggests we use wisdom to fight against unhealthy comparison. She says, “Wisdom helps us move beyond the question, ‘Why is this happening?’ To ask a wiser question, ‘What can I do about it?’”
This is rock-solid advice! When we ask ourselves, “Why is this happening?” it’s hard to crawl out of our pity pit because we’re looking down, focused on our sorrows. But, when we ask ourselves, “What can I do about it?” we lift up our eyes and can find a solution.
“If not kept in check, the jealousy of comparison can become a wheel of destruction that never stops spinning” (Why Her). What are some ways you have fought comparison in your heart?
be wise in what you’re fighting
While comparison is useful for overcoming problems, it is demeaning when we use it to overcome people.
That last statement was probably as hard for me to type as it was for you to read. Why? Because I’ve used comparison to build myself up when I needed to feel secure at the expense of someone else.
When we don’t feel like we’re measuring up, it’s easy to throw someone else under the bus. Think about it; How many times have you been a part of a perfectly pleasant conversation where somehow morphed into “one-up” competition? It’s uncanny how often this happens.
Or what about perfectly pleasant convos which turn sarcastic?
Does anyone really win when we give into demeaning and outdoing one another?
One of my favorite ideas in Nicki’s book is this: “Comparison’s disillusionment begins when we believe our winning makes someone else lose.”
She wrote this in reference to Leah and Rachel who both kept trying to win Jacob’s love through children, whether their own or through their concubines. Neither of these ladies became settled in Jacob’s love for them, and their contention certainly put a splinter in their love for one another.
We don’t win when someone else fails. Instead, we fail too. This is why we have to be strategic in our competition. Use it to overcome problems, but make yourself less and serve people (John 3:30, Matt. 20:28).
Be wise in where you stare
A guy once shared with me how he’s learned the habit of bouncing his eyes so he didn’t stop and stare at any one girl too long and enter into lustful thoughts. I appreciated his honesty and pursuit of holiness.
When it comes to competition, I think we could probably all bounce our eyes a little better.
“Comparison can sneak into my heart no matter how strong my level of gratefulness and awareness. But by taking the time to recognize and thank God for the blessings he puts into my current situation- I’m much more able to stay honest and content with who I am and who I am not. Staring too long at the success of someone else can make us miss our own satisfaction with life” (Koziarz, Why Her)
What does staring too long at someone else’s success do to you?
Why can she eat whatevs and never gain an inch? Why is her marriage working? Why is her career lifting off? Why can she pay the bills? Why does her husband have a stable job? Why does she have a husband? Why Her?
Oh Woman! When you have these thoughts use your wisdom, be strategic and bounce those eyes! Because if you don’t, it will only get worse.
Bounce your eyes off that girl or guy and back onto yourself, but not to your pitiful self. Oh no! Rack your brain to find one thing good in your life and speak it out loud. Then find another, and another and keep going.
When my boys were little, we used to go around the table talking about “our thankfuls.” They were little, so the thankfuls were all super-cute and not complicated. We just found things to be grateful for and spoke them out loud. And most of the time I was the one who benefitted because my oh-so-out-of-control young boys usually said they were thankful for me.
Be wise and get a prize!
This week, I am giving you a chance to win Nicki’s book, Why Her (and there may be other goodies included- just sayin’). All you have to do is subscribe to my blog, and then leave a comment below on the biggest way you fight comparison in your life.
© 2018 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.