Comparing Yourself to Others

Flowers and mint

Comparing yourself to others is a shallow way to live. I know, because I’ve fallen into this trap many times. Bottom line: It really sucks to “look for affirmation in all the wrong places.”

I can tell right away when I’m comparing myself to someone else, which is silly because it’s such a joy-stealer when it comes to hospitality, because I automatically feel discontent.

Sometimes it’s on Pinterest or other blogs, magazines, or even just being with friends. At my age, I would like to think that I’ve overcome most of these feelings, but they still creep in.

Because someone always has something more fabulous or does something better than I do.

I don’t want to lose my sense of reality so I’ve learned to fight back! As soon as a feeling of comparison or discontentment sneaks up on me, I give thanks.

That’s right. I fight those feelings with true gratitude.

Giving thanks is a great tool to use when you struggle with “the wants.”

Feeling balanced and content requires a balanced diet of input. Pop on to Pinterest and pin a-way! Have fun! But don’t spend all day there. Organize your boards, get new ideas, but then get off and go live your life!

Oh, and don’t get motivation or inspiration mixed up. They are not the same at all.

Comparing ourselves to others makes us lose our vision of who we really are, how we were made, how we are here to bless others and live our lives. It’s a horrible feeling when you feel you can’t “measure up.”

A reality check, if you need one, would be to ask your husband, friend, partner, sister … someone in your life who really knows you, if they see you as a content person? (Ouch, yes, this can hurt!)

In what ways do you struggle with comparing yourself to others?

Be real, friends. Let’s get some good discussion going here!

   

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21 Responses to “Comparing Yourself to Others”

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    Pam — August 21, 2013 @ 6:19 am

    Sandy, this resonates so much with me. Thank you for reminding me where my focus needs to be and to exercise balance in the midst of it. I appreciate you and your ministry, and I definitely needed to read this today.

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      Thanks, Pam. It’s easy to get our focus out-of-balance for sure!

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    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — August 21, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    Great post and reminder, Sandy! So hard to do, but totally imperative to embrace the me that God created me to be! Thanks for all that you share and the encouragement that you always bring! :)

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

      And I love the “me” – “you” – Sommer! I love the zest of life that you bring to people who you are with!

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    rachel — August 21, 2013 @ 7:18 am

    Yes, yes, yes yes, yes.

    THIS – a 1000 times this!

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    Nancy — August 21, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    Wow! This week I’ve been hearing and feeling God’s words of reminders and leadings to be content with the person He has made me to be. Today you are His vessel to speak to my heart regarding an attitude that I definitely struggle with too often. Thank you for sharing your honesty and encouragement. Your blog is a true blessing and lots of fun!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

      Thank you, Nancy!

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    Karol — August 21, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    Sandy, your posts always seem to be so relevant to my life. I really needed this one today.

    I find that I encounter another mom in my life with whom I am always comparing myself. It’s an icky trap. And to be honest, I really can’t compete with her life…fancy exotic trips, lots of money spent on clothes for her children, a home that is always picture perfect, and so on. But, I know a bit about her upbringing…it was tough. And I think she is creating for her own family a life she never had as a child.

    As you said, I need to count MY blessings and be grateful for all that I have in my life. Love this reminder. Thank you.

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

      I can think of a few things, Karol. First of all, don’t spend too much time trying to figure other people out. Give yourself permission to move away and focus on new friendships. Sometimes we get in a rut, and it’s okay to move through the seasons of life, which sometimes means friendships. It sounds like you are wise and have figured this out already! :)

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    Mersad — August 21, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    Also, why should you compare yourself to anyone? No two people are alike. Difference should be celebrated and not extinguished. Thanks for the post!

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

      Great points, Mersad! Thank you!

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    Casey Stonecypher — August 21, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    I have been struggling with this very much lately. Is my blog as good as the next? Am I as pretty? Why can’t I do what she does? Why can’t I lost weight as fast as she does? It is a never ending dilemma with me. I know that God created me exactly the way he wants me but I struggle. I want to thank you for posting this. You aren’t the first to post something along the lines of this this week and I need to read then reread all of these posts.
    Thank you!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 10:14 am

      Thanks for sharing, Casey. It’s so easy to do, even for a seasoned blogger. Sometimes it’s all about the mind, and focusing on truths and reality, and then like I said, giving thanks. We can change our thinking but it takes an effort! Have a great week!

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    Brittany — August 21, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    “So Long Insecurity” by Beth Moore is a huge help to anyone struggling with these issues. It really helped me.

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

      Brittany, I read it and have that book. It’s excellent! :)

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    Cassie — August 21, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    It’s so hard not to get stuck in the trap of comparison. It happens to me all the time and I find that I have to completely shut everything down, step back and re-prioritize to bring myself back to earth.

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

      Good tips, Cassie-girl! :)

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    Barbara | Creative Culinary — August 21, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

    I think it’s hard not to…but then often that is the intent of those who many covet. Photos are splashed everywhere when bloggers convene and often it seems to be an out and out call to have others feel envy and it can lead to questions of self worth. ‘Why was I not invited?’ ‘Why are they more important?’

    I guess I’m lucky? I’ve been through so many life travails with an alcoholic mother, a philandering husband and a daughter with cancer that my life in the online world is a piece of cake in comparison. Beyond that? I’m secure that what I do has value; that sharing my lifetime of preparing and sharing food around my table brings a measure of something to the people who read my blog. They are what motivate me. They motivate me to try something new, to take better photos, to make what I do worth sharing. The numbers? The day that I’m motivated by numbers or the success of others is the day that I’ve lost my reason for doing this!

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

      Great points, Barb. Thanks for sharing your journey and wisdom! Even the people who we think always get invited, or are so important, don’t and aren’t. It’s all about perspective and how we’re motivated. I feel very blessed, too. :)

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    Shari Kelley — August 21, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    This is such a great post. I love your solution to inadequate feelings – being thankful. I am going to try to put it into practice this week!

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    Andrea Doherty — August 23, 2013 @ 4:33 am

    “Our need for worth is so powerful that whatever we base our identity and value on we essentially ‘deify.’ We will look to it with all the passion and intensity of worship and devotion, even if we think ourselves as highly irreligious. ”
    ― Timothy Keller

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