How to stop comparing yourself with others? Yea, that answer seems to be more slippery than a wet bar of soap. One moment, we’ve got it, we stop comparing ourselves to others and work on valuing the beauty of who we are. Before we know it, we are doing it again – comparing.
Whenever I think of comparing myself to someone else, I often recall those scenes in movies where the main character is on the outside of a house looking through the window into the house. Within the house, this main character sees everything their heart desires and what they lack. It’s quite an emotional scene for those of us who are “sensitive viewers”. 🙂
Yet, how often are we that person looking into someone else’s home (metaphorically speaking). We see the couple in church cuddling during the service and long for our marriage to look as loving as what we imagine theirs to be. Or, we see our tall, blond-haired model looking friend and wish we had her body because if we did we’d be more loved and desired. Sometimes, we even look at those in ministry and long to have what they have – the influence, the following, the wow factor, and so on.
Yet, when we look in the mirror we give ourselves a harsh and critical glance over. We become blatantly aware of our faults and flaws. Our lack and deficits stare us in the face. Instead of embracing who we are and who God has made us to be, we wrinkle our noses up or sigh in dismay.
Oh, how I have been here so many times and even now. But who are we comparing ourselves to? The answer to this question is one of the fundamental keys on how to stop comparing yourself with others. Let’s have a look:
Whether you want to look like that tall, skinny woman who steps out of the Vogue fashion magazine or have the ideal Christian marriage and family, you need to ask yourself what is beyond the surface. We only see the tip of the iceberg and hardly ever get to see the full picture.
I have found God pressing this question on my heart a lot lately as he helps me break free from comparison. It’s about realizing that when we compare ourselves to other people with the desire to have their life or be like them, we are not seeing their mistakes, messes, and flaws. I don’t want someone else’s messes, mistakes, and failures. I want mine because I know how to handle them and grow from them.
As people, we don’t like to be vulnerable so, we hide behind our walls and facades afraid of rejection or that we won’t be liked by the people around us. We hide all the time. What we so often don’t realize is that people develop a relationship with our walls and facades more than the real us. This becomes the measure that we compare ourselves to. Again, I ask you who are you comparing to? Do you really want all of their lives?
What do you think of me, God?
I love this question. Instead of assuming we know what God thinks, we can ask him. This question takes us deeper. We get to explore God’s heart towards us. One of the quickest ways to stop comparing ourselves with others is to know God’s thoughts towards us and allowing them to become our truth.
Yes, we know this through Scripture. But here, I am talking about having an encounter with God where his opinion of you sinks right into your spirit and becomes part of your mindset/belief system. (Side note: God never contradicts Scripture. He does expand on it and we know that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword Hebrews 4:12).
At the end of the day, God’s opinion is the only one that matters. He sets the barometer for our success. He defines our worth and value.
Renew your mind
Something so simple yet so easily forgotten. I’m raising my hand here and saying yes, I need to renew my mind. How do I do this? Reading the word, speaking in tongues, worship, taking each thought captive and testing it. Not every thought that runs through your mind is from God nor is it helpful. We have to become intentional about watching our thought life.
The more we think on a thought, the more ingrained it becomes in our minds. Before long we have established a mindset or a way of thinking which begins to define our behavior and view on life.
I love Dr Caroline Leaf’s teachings on thoughts, prayer and neuroscience. She shows us that our negative thoughts look like a dead tree in our brains but when we ask God to go to the root and help us pull that unhealthy thought pattern out, he makes room for a healthy new thought pattern (tree) to grow.
The battle we fight is on the battlefield of our minds. This is the place where we stop comparing ourselves to others. We catch those thoughts and deliberately remind ourselves of the truth that God says over us.
Here’s my favorite verse for a tool to help us as we renew our minds:
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Philippians 4:8 (AMP)
Speak in tongues
Ah, I love tongues. I didn’t always. I used to feel so self-conscious and shy (sometimes even embarrassed) when I would speak in tongues. Tongues is a beautiful way of privately communicating with God. Its our code with the Lord that nobody and nothing understands but Him. I love it. (Read 1 Corinthians 14:2,4)
This amazing gift from the Holy Spirit is to help us edify ourselves and is also a way of praying when we don’t know what to pray or are at a loss of words. It’s a another tool in your toolbox as you learn how to stop comparing yourself with others.
I recently found myself in a situation where I was tempted to allow my thoughts to spiral into a downward, counterproductive spiral of pity and negativity. Although I was aware of what my trigger was and the emotions I was experiencing, I chose to not partner further with them. So, I began to speak in tongues. Within a few minutes God sent me the help that I needed. Plus, I didn’t stay negative or go home moody and on the warpath (whew…what a relief 🙂 )
Bottom line? When you begin comparing yourself with others, start to speak in your heavenly language even if it’s under your breath. Let me know if it helps 😉
Get to the root of your triggers
Usually when we are comparing ourselves to other people, we are experiencing low self-esteem, pity, pride and inferiority (superiority too). None of these are pleasing to God nor do they reflect God’s heart towards us. However, they provide crucial information that we need to grow as people.
Comparison is a trigger to something deeper happening in our psyche. We may be subconsciously having a flash back to a memory that brings back emotional trauma, wounds or hurts.
So how do you stop comparing yourself with others using your triggers to help you? How do you know what your triggers are? To find out ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the emotion/s I am experiencing now?
- What do I need?
- Who can help me meet my need? (Sometimes its yourself, God, or others)
- God, when did I first experience this emotion and unmet need?
As you dialogue with God, allow him to show you the truth and walk you through forgiveness where necessary.
Need help overcoming comparison? Book a coaching session with me and we’ll get you through this together.
Other related posts:
- Don’t be perfect, be redeemed
- Fear of rejection limits God’s call on our lives
- Self doubt fades in the light of God’s truth
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