In Comparison of Others

Photo credit Peter Daveney

I admit it.  Sometimes I compare myself to others.  I wish I managed my blog and connected with new people as well as Lindsey does.  To have the effortless grace Tami does would be wonderful.  And how I’d love to wake up every day knowing exactly what I was made for, the way Britt does.

But I am not these fabulous women.  I’m me.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being me.  I know I have my own unique gifts and talents–it’s just that sometimes I wish I possessed the unique talents other people already have.  Wouldn’t that be fun-a sort of “widget”  list of great attributes we could add to ourselves?

We all struggle with “Keeping up with the Joneses”.  There’s a need to be seen as having it all together, staying on track with our career goals, having the perfect marriage, and being the perfect parents.  As I’ve gotten older, there are a few lessons beginning to take shape:

  1. Titles don’t make the person-Early in my career, I set some serious “over achiever” goals for myself.  And I worked way too hard to get them. A few years’ back, I realized I didn’t care about the ladder anymore.  I cared more about being passionate about what I do.
  2. Being passionate is a must-The business cards, the paycheck, being part of a leadership team…none of that can ever add up to “enough” when you are alone with your thoughts if you don’t love what you do. Same goes for who we love, who we’re friends with, and what hobbies we spend time doing.  We’re just burning hours without passion.
  3. Being happy is worth the risk-If you aren’t in a career, relationship, or church you love and are fed by, make room for a different possibility.  Be willing to be uncomfortable for a little while in order to be happy in the end.
  4. There are no perfect people– We all have strengths–and weakenessess–that make us who we are.  And while I may see characteristics in others I’m motivated to add to my own list, I know that God created each of us for a specific purpose and without those inherent traits, we would be unable to fulfill our purpose.

” Why compare yourself to others?  No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”-author unknown

Do you struggle with this too?


9 thoughts on “In Comparison of Others

  1. In the game of comparisons, we all come up losers. Losers.

    Jennifer, in case you didn’t know….you are the go-to idea generator, you are the single-super-hero- mom who has raised an EXCEPTIONAL child and flourished in her career, you are the supreme encourager who says just what others need to hear, you are a rock star in my book.

    Thankful you are on my team, in work and in life.

    1. Jason,

      So true. But the fun challenge is in asking God if this is a trait He wants us to have and submitting to that training to learn something new. You’re doing great!

  2. Is it possible to not compare? In some way? I want to dream and believe it’s possible. I love Paul’s words to the Corinthians. “If you compare yourselves to others you’re stupid.” (Rachel translation.)

    I’m stupid a lot.

    Lately though, I’ve flipped it to not compare and size up or wring my hands over “why them and not me” but think, “Look what is possible. Look what I might be able to achieve!”

    Yet more and more it’s not about me but it’s about Jesus and partnering with Him for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. It’s hard to walk the balance of “living life” and “abandoning it all” for Jesus. It’s a both/and that scours the heart.

    I agree with Lindsey… from what I’ve seen you’re a fabulous, devoted mom with a sincere heart. And a darn good marketing director.


    1. Rach,

      You’re right–that balance between living life and abandoning it all for Jesus is so very hard. But it’s the journey that makes it fun, right? Thankful for the teaching and encouragement you pour into us.

  3. Ah yes, the comparison trap. In every area of life, temptations abound…from the way others are raising their kids to the difficult roads we may have to travel that others don’t. And of course, in this business of writing, what others are doing is ever before us. Who’s on the bestseller list? Who’s featured on the blog? Who’s popular and gets all their posts retweeted? 🙂 All of this always gets me off-center….then God has to yank me back to the main thing. Him.

    If I know I’m operating in that passion you spoke of, a passion that God’s given me, and I know I’m in His will, I can rest that wherever I am is where I’m supposed to be. That also helps me to rejoice with others who might be where I’d LIKE to be.

    Jennifer, you’re where a lot of people would like to be, doing what they’d love to be doing. But more importantly, you’re where God has put you, and it’s obvious you’re shining there. 🙂

    This post is much needed. It’s always good to be reminded that our eyes shouldn’t be on others, but focused above.


  4. Kim,

    Aren’t you so glad God still yanks us back to the center of His will? Knowing I will continue to mess up every day, I’m jsut thankful that still happens.

    You are Definitely in your sweet spot…and we all get to benefit from it 🙂

  5. This morning I heard a quote, “Quit being a David in Saul’s armor. Be yourself–with what you’ve got.” I love that. Great post, Jen. (Though I’ve always disliked the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses…” ha. Though it’s not as bad as a friend of mine who hates the phrase “crack of dawn.” Her name is Dawn.)

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