Comparison: The Thief of Joy
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Pastor Steven Furtick
Be honest. How many times have you seen someone with something and your first thought was “Man I wish I had that!” How about on social media? Have you ever seen someone portray a lifestyle that you see as so appealing that you wished for something similar? If you said no, you have either reached such a level of self fulfillment that what another person has (or appears to have) means nothing or, you simply prevaricated.
It’s ok if you did. I promise. I’ve been guilty of it at one time or another. But the problem with comparing your lot to that of another, is that we begin to believe that we are not succeeding if we have not acquired what he or she has. This creates a false sense of failure. The other issue is that a lot of what we see is smoke and mirrors. Social media, although reality, is absolutely not always reality. I’ll say that again. Social media, although reality, is not always reality. Applications like Instagram and Facebook are platforms that allow people to create the lifestyle that they want. Most people are going to show you exactly what they want you to see. Would you still want that person’s house if you knew that they closed with a 6.5% interest rate, budgeted way above their means, and could barely afford to make the monthly payments? They’re literally eating Top Ramen in an empty crib. What if you knew that that perfect IG couple who always posts the cute pics deals with infidelity on a regular basis. What you also don’t know is that she’s had enough but she’s too scared to leave because she thinks she can’t manage on her own. That business owner, with the ‘K’ behind his follower count, he’s been in business 10 years and yeah, it’s successful now. But he slept in his car for a year after he quit his job and had nights where he didn’t eat because he sacrificed everything for his dream. Would you still compare your life to theirs? What you have right now is enough for this season! And even if you don’t think it is, work until you get there. But don’t let your vision board be filled with items that you’ve seen other people with. Even if what you see is a genuine reality, stop comparing your chapter 1 to their chapter 5. You just might not be equipped yet with all you need to get where you are intended to be.
Look at it like this. You’ve planned a camping trip. You’re super excited and can’t wait to experience the good ol’ outdoors. Upon checking your inventory, all you have is a sleeping bag. No tent, no first aid kit, no compass, no map and whatever the heck else you’re supposed to take camping. Cuz…idk man, that’s not my thing. Either way, you are nowhere near prepared. But you get in the car, sleeping bag in tow, and you’re off to experience the adventure of a lifetime. Sound silly? Exactly my point. Just because you’re not where you want to be doesn’t mean that you won’t get there. It just means that you have other items that you need to pack on your way to that chapter. But while you’re on the way, keep your eyes on your own paper because what you don’t know is, the teacher handed out 5 different versions of the test and your neighbor’s is vastly different from yours.