5 Ways to Respond When Comparison Impacts Your Self-Esteem
Most of the time, I like to talk about food or spend hours listening to podcasts. But sometimes life requires me to put my big girl panties on and have heart-to-heart conversations. This post is one of them, and I’d love for you to join me.
Thinking back to my earliest school days, I can distinctly remember answering compare-and-contrast questions on dozens of tests in almost all of my classes.
And in a very strange way, I believe that this exercise, which was meant for our learning, has led to a society where we compare and contrast way too much, almost to our detriment.
How does her career compare to mine?
Hmm, I wonder if I’d get more dates if I had his (insert cool brand) car?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that comparing can be beneficial. It can serve as inspiration and direct you to become better in an area, or even remind you about just how well you’re doing in comparison to someone else.
But what about when it doesn’t help? You know, the times when you find yourself nine scrolls deep on someone’s Instagram account because you’re convinced that they have it all together.
I’ve been there. I am there. I’ll be there in the days to come. It’s just life.
But there’s hope. My pastor said it best when he told me, “Don’t let your struggle become your state.” This basically means that you can be going through something, but you don’t have to accept it as part of your identity. Keep fighting and eventually you’ll overcome.
So let’s talk about solutions to this issue that many of us face.
Remember your race. You were made with a specific purpose in mind, and God didn’t make a mistake, so it’s important to remember to focus on what you were made to do. If you don’t know what your race Is, take time to explore your talents, passions, and what makes you fulfilled.
Talk to yourself. When I find myself getting down after comparing my life to someone else’s, I literally say, “Stop it, Major.” It’s kind of like mentally blocking a shot in basketball. If a thought doesn’t enhance your self-esteem, it doesn’t deserve to occupy space in your mind.
Count it all joy. Sometimes you’ve got to take inventory of what you have and be grateful. Sit down with a friend and ask them to help you assess your life in order to create a list of what you can work on and what you should be excited about right now.
Celebrate those that you envy. Oooh, that’s a tough pill to swallow. All too often it’s challenging to compliment someone that you’re jealous of. But there’s a freedom in being honest with yourself and uplifting people that you find yourself tripping over.
Just chill. Be patient with yourself. When you get down, consider the steps above, go pray, and take a nap. Yeah, a nap. There’s a reason why five year olds take them everyday!
My desire is that you continue to overcome every situation that has you down, and that you tell people how you did it. You might just be the person to help someone win!