7 SIMPLE STEPS TO CONQUER COMPARISON & LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE
The Comparison Trap is Real But Freedom is Possible
I’ve written before about how a few simple mindset shifts can take you from simply surviving to thriving. You can read about a really important one here.
Today though, we’re talking about something that has the potential to suck the very life out of everything you’re doing and send you spiralling into a pit of despair that it can be hard to get out of. The culprit? Comparison!
If you’ve already encountered this arch-enemy and want some overcoming strategies, or you want to avoid it before it takes hold, then read on…
Comparison is an insidious thing. It can creep into our lives in many different ways, whether it be through social media, at work, in our personal relationships, or even within our spiritual lives. When it does, it can quickly undermine our sense of self-worth, erode our confidence, rob us of our joy, and paralyse us from moving forward on the path God has for us. If left unchecked, it can lead to a whole host of negative consequences, and even be a trigger for the onset of anxiety and depression.
One of the biggest culprits in the comparison trap is social media. We scroll through our feeds, seeing the highlights of our friends’ lives and begin to feel inadequate in comparison. This can quickly lead to self-doubt and a lack of confidence in our own giftings.
Having looked back at my own life, I have come to understand the power of comparison and how it can stop us from reaching our full potential. One minute you’re moving full steam ahead, and the next you’re stopped in your tracks, as a wave of self-doubt and inferiority wash over you.
As a coach, it’s an issue I see come up for my clients time and again, and I want to help you be able to recognise it when it starts to creep in, and take action to overcome and conquer comparison. The danger of comparison is real, and it’s potential to thwart our progress should not be underestimated, BUT here’s the good news — it doesn’t have to take over your life. It’s possible to cultivate an awareness of how comparison is affecting you, and take steps to break free from its hold.
So, how do we conquer comparison and live the life that God has called us to live?
Here are 7 key steps to get you started:
1. Recognise It!
It can be easy to justify the thoughts running through your mind and make them seem logical, but if they’re leading you down a path of feeling less capable than someone else or not good enough, then that is comparison at play.
Being aware of when and how you’re comparing yourself is the first step in overcoming it. Ask yourself, “What am I comparing myself to? How does this make me feel? What thoughts are coming into my head as a result of this comparison? Once we recognise the comparison trap, it becomes easier to avoid it. When we can recognise the lies it tells us, we can replace those lies with truth.
2. Know Your Worth
As Christian women, we know that God created us uniquely, with specific gifts and callings, but comparison can so quickly rob us of that truth. As a result of comparison, we may feel inadequate, discouraged, or even envious of what others have. Our thoughts can become clouded by the ways in which we measure up to other people around us rather than how God sees us and loves us. Comparison thrives when we forget who God made us to be and who He has called us to be. We need to remember that we are made in His image, and it’s from that place of knowing our identity in Him that we can resist the lies comparison tells us.
Be intentional about acknowledging your uniqueness: Remind yourself that God has designed you specifically and remind yourself of all the things that make you unique. When you’re secure in who you are in Jesus, comparison has no power over you!
3. Know Your Path — Stay in Your Lane
As people of faith, we’re all running a race. But that doesn’t mean we are competing against one another! The danger of falling into the comparison trap is that we run the risk of running someone else’s race, or even if we make a good start running our own race, we can still end up crossing their finish line rather than our own. What a tragedy to miss out on your own unique journey and the opportunities that await you by trying to compete with someone else’s!
Comparison is an outside-in approach; it looks at how others are living, and what they are doing, and then tries to fit our lives into that. It’s often a path of comparison that leads us away from what God has called us to do. Instead, take an inside-out approach and focus on the path God has for you — it’s unique, especially crafted just for you, and won’t look like anyone else’s.
In Joshua 1:7, we read..
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
If you’re a visual person, a great illustration of this instruction is a race horse. Ever noticed those blinkers? They serve a vitally important purpose: to block the horse’s peripheral vision and keep it focused only on what’s in front of him rather than being distracted by what’s happening in the other lanes. The same applies to us. We need God-given “blinkers” to stay fixed on our own path and resist comparison.
When we stay in our own lane and focus on the unique path God has set before us, we can be confident that He will equip us with everything we need to succeed. God equips those he calls and He won’t equip you to run someone else’s race!
We each need a revelation of our own gifts and of what our own purpose and calling is. THEN when we’re clear on that we can focus on it instead of being tempted to stray onto someone else’s path.
When you know what you’re called to do and who you’re called to be, you can switch off comparison, choose to stay in your own lane, and focus on living out the plans God has for you. He will guide you in ways that make sense to only you, so trust Him as you move forward on this path.
If you’re not sure whether you’re clear on exactly what you’re called to do or whether the path you’re on is the right one, take the ‘Passionate Purpose Quiz’ to find out.
4. Reframe Negative Thoughts
Comparison is full of negative thoughts and lies. We must be intentional and prayerful about recognizing each of them as soon as they come to mind and reframing them into truth from God’s Word. Whether it’s about our worth or our value, we must learn to take every thought captive in order to make sure that what we think lines up with what God says about us.
For example, the lie that “I’m not good enough” can be reframed into the truth from Psalm 139:14 — “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
When we hear thoughts like “Everyone else is doing better than me,” we can remind ourselves of the truth of Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
These truths about our identity in Jesus should be repeated often so that when negative thoughts arise we can combat them quickly. We need to arm ourselves with Scripture and when the lie of comparison pops up, replace it with a new thought that is rooted in God’s Word. The more we remind ourselves of the truth, the less power those lies have over us. Through prayer and time in God’s Word, we can fill our minds with truth that sets us free from comparison!
5. Practice Gratitude
Comparison often feeds on a sense of envy or discontentment, which can lead us to covet the things we long for but don’t have. Practicing gratitude is a great way to counteract this and helps us appreciate what we already have, rather than longing for more.
A great way to do this is to start a gratitude journal and take time every day to write down three things that you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as the fact that you have food in the fridge or that it’s sunny outside. When we remind ourselves of the good things in our lives, it helps us replace those feelings of envy and discontentment with feelings of thankfulness.
Another way to practice gratitude is to express it aloud by telling someone what you’re thankful for about them. This could be a friend, family member, or even your boss. Not only does this help us focus more on what we already have in our lives, but also helps build relationships and encourages others too.
We need to be intentional when it comes to practising gratitude as it helps us stay grounded in the present moment, rather than constantly looking ahead or wishing we had something different. This focus on thankfulness will help reduce our tendency to compare ourselves with others and remind us that God has blessed us with everything we need.
6. Put Boundaries in Place
Comparison thrives on comparison-inducing activities like scrolling through social media feeds or focusing on our career achievements compared to those of others. Setting boundaries with these activities helps us to reduce our exposure to the triggers of comparison.
For example, limiting our social media use to a certain amount of time each day or opting out of certain platforms altogether can help to break the cycle. We should also be mindful of what we’re consuming online and choose to follow accounts that lift us up, rather than make us feel bad about ourselves. And remember, it’s not just about the online world; it’s equally as important to limit our exposure to conversations and physical activities that focus on comparing ourselves with others in ways that are not helpful.
7. Reach Out For Help
Comparison is hard to overcome alone, so seek out help from friends, family, or a professional if you feel like it’s getting the better of you. There’s strength in unity and knowing that others are there to support us on our journey is an invaluable tool for conquering comparison.
Finding a community of like-minded and supportive people who can provide insight into their own experiences and offer encouragement is also a great way to tackle comparison. Committing to becoming each other’s biggest cheerleaders and holding each other accountable can help us identify our areas of comparison and begin to replace them with more healthy thought patterns.
Whether it’s in our personal, professional or spiritual lives, comparison can be a huge hindrance to our growth and progress. The journey towards freedom in this area can be hard but it’s well worth the effort! So, as Christian women with unique and amazing destinies in God, let’ focus on being the best version of ourselves, embracing our uniqueness and celebrating the gifts and the successes of those around us. Let’s put some of these helpful strategies in place and fight comparison every step of the way. Together, we can become a reflection of God’s grace and love!
FREE GIFT: Our FREE ‘Conquering Comparison Journal Prompts’ Worksheet will help you to process your thoughts and emotions around comparison, helping you to identify triggers, expose lies, get out of the comparison, and be released into freedom. Download it HERE
BONUS: If you want to know more about how to live your life as God’s very best version of you, you can download my FREE guide ‘3 Keys to a Life Without Limits’.
Praying blessing over you and your week!
PS. If you know someone else who is struggling with comparison, would you please share this post with them? You never know how it could help to bring freedom to their hearts and minds, and propel them into living out their God-given purpose and calling!
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