Avoid Comparison!

Day 16 - Avoid Comparison!

Dear Younger Me,

If there is one thing I’d advise you to avoid in life, it is comparing yourself to other people.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and yet it’s such an easy trap to fall into.  It’s easy to look at other people and try to gauge how you measure up, whether that’s in terms of beauty, intelligence, talent or popularity.  It’s easy to base your sense of worth on how you feel you are doing compared to other people, but this is not the path to happiness.

You’ve seen for yourself that it’s not a stable foundation to build on.  Over the last few years you’ve put a huge amount of effort into your music, but even when you have succeeded the joy has never lasted, because it’s been a constant battle to stay on top.  If you continue like this, it will take away your joy.

The truth is, we are not meant to be like anyone else.

Paul writes, “We are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

A masterpiece is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation.  We were never meant to be carbon copies of each other.

Concentrate on being who God has made you to be, and cheer others on in who God has made them to be.  You’ll be much better for it.

God has plans for you and they are not the same plans he has for someone else.  Focus on him, rather than on others, and find the right path for you.  

I’m not saying any of this is going to be easy.  There will be times when you see things in others’ lives that you deeply desire for yourself, and you’ll wonder why God’s plan for you is different.  You won’t always get to understand, so you’ll have to learn to trust.

One thing that will help you with this is cultivating gratitude.  When you stop and think about it you have a lot to be thankful for.  I’m sure there are plenty of people in the world who would want what you have, so learn to be grateful.

Find a notebook, and take time each evening to jot down two or three things you are grateful for.  They can be big or small, and they can be ordinary or extraordinary.  Just learn to be thankful for all you have, and avoid comparison at all costs.  It will lead to a much happier life.



Dear Younger Me...

This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided.  Today the prompt is “avoid.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.

18 thoughts on “Avoid Comparison!

  1. Your life’s your own, and quite unique
    so I suggest that you do not dare,
    in depression or a fit of pique,
    with another life to compare.
    You do not know another’s trials,
    and you do not know their strengths.
    In comparison, the devil’s wiles
    will eat at you, at length.
    In the end you’ll feel bereft,
    or, what’s worse, much ‘better than’,
    and in your heart will form a cleft
    that divides you from your God-cum-Man.
    In comparison you make short shrift
    of His universal gift.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a great point, Andrew! We can compare our own life to what we see of someone else’s, but often there is a lot more going on under the surface. It might not really be as good as it appears at face value.


  2. This is such an easy trap to fall into, Lesley. You have such great advice here. “God has plans for you and they are not the same plans he has for someone else. Focus on him, rather than on others, and find the right path for you.” Definitely a truth to focus on every minute! Thank you for these reminders! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep! This is a lesson I wish I’d learned long ago! So much wasted time! My elderly neighbor used to echo your message. When things weren’t they way I wished they were she’d look me square in the eye and say, “Count your blessings!” I can’t sing that hymn with out thinking of her dear heart. Your words reminded me of her too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So good! Comparison has held me captive for a long time. I am learning to be grateful and thankful instead of coveting(that is what comparison really is). What you said at the end about people who would want what we have, and learning to be grateful really struck a chord with me. Gratefulness is the only answer to the comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

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