Have you ever had one of those days where you were in a funk and didn't know why? Where it seems like everyone has their life put together around you and you can't figure out why yours isn't? Maybe it's when you are at the gym and all you can think about is how much better that person running next to you is on the treadmill. The majority of you are most likely saying yes to all of these questions, and, chances are a large majority of you probably had one of these days within the past week or even few days.
I am fashion and fitness blogger; therefore, most of my day consists of being on social media. 99% of my Instagram feed reflects fashion and lifestyle bloggers who are giving their “best” and looking their best, so for me, it's so easy to compare my life to someone else's highlight reel. I find myself regularly comparing my looks, my business success, my workout routine, and even go as far as comparing what I ate for breakfast.
Over this past year, I have learned that these thoughts will never 100% go away, BUT what I have also realized is how to react and respond to these thoughts when they come. That being said, I want to share with you some practice steps I take when comparison thoughts creep into my mind. The below tips that I am about to share with you have brought me a freedom and joy that has changed my life.
- Pray to God to fill your mind with uplifting and wholesome thoughts. Praying to Jesus with our troubles can be one of the most underestimated steps we as Christians have access to. It sounds simple, but doing this offers up our toxic mentality and renews it with who He says we are. Jesus wants us to make our worries and anxious thoughts be known to him. He doesn't want us to hide them away, but instead open them up to Him so that He can help with the fight. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV)
- Write down 1-3 areas in your life that God has helped you grow or improve in your own life recently. These areas can be anything from your faith, career, physical, relational etc. These area do not have to be major life events either. They can be small successes and victories. The most important part is to THANK GOD for these successes and read them over and over again as a reminder.
- Tell yourself: I AM ENOUGH. Say it outloud, over and over. Christ died for you because he loves you. He wants a personal relationship with you and he loves you for who you are. He gave each of us a gift, and although our gifts may come in different forms they still matter and are needed to further His kingdom! For some of you, it may be your speech, writing, athletic abilities, creativity, hospitality, service, etc. God gave each of us specific gifts, and we cannot fully embrace our gifts if we are trying to grab someone else's. In 1 Corinthians 12, it explains the various types of spiritual gifts and then compares the body of Christ to ours. Our body consists of different parts that all serve a purpose. If our feet try to be like our arms, our bodies will not be perform to their fullest potential. The same can be applied to our spiritual gifts – if Jenny is a great listener and Sarah is a great speaker, but Jenny wants to be Sarah and dismisses her gift to listen to others, Jenny is not living in the fullness of her potential; and, the Kingdom doesn't expand when we are trying to play someone else's role. God gave you that gift for a purpose: to glorify Him and fulfill the Great Commission.
When it comes down to it, none of us are perfect. We will continually fall into mind traps of telling ourselves that we are not good enough…not athletic enough, not smart enough, not enough. And the truth is, we cannot rescue ourselves from these toxic thoughts, but God can. God is that bridge that leads us from those thoughts to the other side, one of purpose, identity and peace. When you feel those thoughts starting to invade your mind, lean on Him because you are His beloved and you are enough.
Today, as I scroll through my social media feed, I no longer feel to be a victim of comparison attacks. Instead I am a soldier ready to protect my heart from the negative thoughts creeping into my mind. I am able to move on with my day instead of getting stuck. Taking these steps have helped me understand the gifts God has given me. They have even made given me stronger friendships! My security isn't in the way I look, the things I have accomplished, or even what I ate for dinner. My security lies solely on what Jesus did on the cross and the promises He has made to us.
Written By: Ashley Bell