Caravan Sonnet: 5 Ways to Stop the Comparison Game and Love your Life

8/31/15

5 Ways to Stop the Comparison Game and Love your Life

"Comparison is the thief of Joy"

Last week I discussed the topic of "Envy in the Single Journey". Although I only received a few comments in public on the post I received many more emails with people expressing the difficulty that they have with comparing their lives to someone else and asking how to overcome the envy or comparison game. I am not an expert but as I enter my fourth fall of being primarily home bound, living with my parents, and having nothing that resembles a "normal" life at my age, I have learned a lot of lessons (the hard way) regarding the topic of comparison. Here are five tips that I use and hope it will encourage you to stop the comparison game and love your life:


1. Focus on Your Life, Your Loved Ones, Your Family, and Your Relationships.
This might seem like an overly simplistic thing to do but when we spend time focusing on others and pouring over their lives we waste precious time missing out on the blessings and gifts that God has placed in our lives. Focus on your life, your loved ones, your family, and your relationships and the joy that can be found there not in comparing to someone else. Darling, lets be adventurers in this beautiful journey God has given us. 


2. Limit Social Media
In 2014 there was a study released that said that people were spending an average of 21 minutes a day on instagram in addition to the time spent on other social media outlets. (Lets be honest depending on the age range that you fall into it could be more or less.) The study went on to conclude that people were spending an average of 2 to 3 hours on combined social media outlets.
 Another study being performed currently shows that in one year researchers are expecting these numbers to triple. Y'all, I am going to suggest that part of the issue with dealing with comparing our lives to others is the amount of precious time we give to social media.

Look, I love social media, especially with fighting for my health right now because it allows me to connect with others outside my home, book speaking engagements,run a boutique and an etsy shop from my home, promote my books that I have authored, allows me to stay connected with friends and loved ones, and gives me the opportunity to make new friends. BUT, I am the first one to say that I am very very purposeful with how I spend my time in regards to social media. Those closest to me know that I will spend some time on instagram, post a picture, connect with others, and then log out of it. Many of you blog readers know that from my blog tips and advice I suggest organizing time each week (not each day) on various social media sites, I also highly recommend limiting the amount of social media sites you are on. I just do not see how it is possible to be on a million social media sites all of the time?!? I want to ask people that I see that are on all of these things: how do you have time for work, for your friendships and relationships in person, and time with the Lord?

I DEFINITELY believe that you can have a healthy balance with using social media. I truly do. I also believe that social media can be a wonderful tool for sharing the gospel and encouraging others. BUT I also believe that if you are really struggling with the comparison game that taking a step back from social media can be a really helpful tool. As I mentioned in #1- take the time to focus on your life, your loved ones, your family, and your relationships. Instead of spending hours looking at how great someone else's life "supposedly is" build into your own life and relationships.


3. Focus on the Blessings You Have in Your Life.
As I mentioned last week, I truly believe that each of us has so many blessings in our lives. I do admit that sometimes it can be hard, in certain seasons to find those. This is especially true when you are longing deeply for something in your life like marriage, babies, etc. But there is always something to be thankful for. I urge you sweet friends to dig deep and really focus on the blessings that you have.

One of the greatest lessons that I have learned in being sick is that I honestly can say that I would never complain about "ordinary and routine" things again as I get better. Y'all, I miss grocery shopping, I miss working outside the home, and I miss spending time doing the laundry. Before you start to complain about these things and think that other people's lives are "easier" remember the blessing it is to do the simplest things.

One of my favorite quotes that has challenged me and changed me is: "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." (William Arthur Ward)


4. Work Hard and Create Your Legacy
"Stewarding your life wisely can bring confidence, excellence of character and peace of mind- and lead you to create a legacy, a story worth telling." (Sally Clarkson)

One of the things that amazes me is when I hear people comment on how they wish they had "so and so's life because it is so easy". Y'all everyone has difficulties in their lives and most people are comparing a life that has worked incredibly hard to get somewhere with the beginning stages of our own. I love this quote by Sally Clarkson and the truth that comes with "stewarding your life". We all have the same amount of hours in a day but think about how you want to spend them. Instead of complaining about how hard your life, think about the legacy that you are creating even now in your life.

What are your dreams for your life? Have you prayed about where the Lord is leading? Steward your life friends. Put in the time it takes to follow a dream instead of envying someone else's dream. Need more education? Go back to school. Need more experience? Work your way up in a job to get that experience. Need (fill in the blank here)? Take the time to steward your life and go after your dreams and create a legacy and a story worth telling. Choose to be wise with time, even in the hard seasons of life. Don't look back and say that you wished that you had spent more time chasing after the areas that God has called you to because you were spending hours comparing your life to another's. Feeling like you are suffering through a difficult season in life? There is a legacy that is even created in suffering friends.


5. Give to Others.
There are seasons of life that we must rely and lean into our precious loved ones a little more heavily. For me, this is one of those seasons. I am leaning more on friends and family for not only physical needs (including financial) but also go them for emotional support and ask for countless prayers each day. Maybe you are like me friends in this area. Maybe you don't feel that you have a lot to give right now, but we can each find little and big ways to give to others. Whether it is a simple smile to a stranger, a kind word to the person checking us out at the grocery store, a card to a lonely friend, or taking the time to supporthandmade shop, you always can give something to someone. I have mentioned so many times how cards and packages have made my entire week (or month). You truly never know much your kindness can make a difference to someone.

Giving changes everything. Not just for the person who is the receiver, but for us as the "givers". Your kindness can change the course of someones life and nothing can compare to that friends. 

8 comments:

  1. This is absolutely beautiful and I love it. The "focus on the blessings you have" is seriously so true. My husband and I were just talking about this last night. It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing that we completely miss what beautiful things are happening right in front of us. This was super uplifting!

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  2. This is so good! I love your point about focusing on the blessings in life - when we do it shuts out all room for complaining and bitterness to creep in. I needed this reminder today so thank you! Pinning now

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    1. Thank you friend!! :) You are such a blessing to me!! :)
      Rebecca :)

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  3. This is such a beautiful post! I couldn't agree more with your points. I especially love the ones about choosing gratitude and building your legacy. I think many people don't see these things as active choices we can make, but they are absolutely things that can be built out of seemingly small habits.

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  4. I feel like this is such a good post. I was just having a talk with someone about this topic and several of these were brought up. Choose. Make a choice. That came up a lot.

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    1. I love the concept of choosing and making a choice in how we will handle this type of issue. Great point!! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Nina! :)
      Blessings, Rebecca

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  5. I love this post. I especially like the reminder to get off social media. As bloggers, social media takes up a lot of our time, but it can definitely be limited- great reminder : )

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  6. Great post!! I need to get better and get off of social media. It definitely causes cases of "the Jones".

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