Have you considered the reasons why we compare ourselves to others?

I thought I’d be done with making comparisons by this stage of my life. Sadly, I still fall into this trap. 

I’ve lived most of my life comparing myself to others. When I was a child, it was all about if I was wearing cute clothes or if I could play kickball as well as the boys and be picked for their team. 

In college, comparison became about who I hung out with. 

Was I good enough to be with that crowd? Would I be hired for a job right after college? (Answer? No, it took me three years to get a teaching position). 

As friends started meeting their spouses, I wondered what was so wrong with me that I couldn’t find my perfect match. And this thought pattern carried over into becoming a mother. Why did God give babies to my friends but not to me? What was wrong with me?

Why we compare ourselves to others

Comparison is a normal part of human thought. It can be helpful in some situations. Or comparison can decimate our self-worth.

Why We Compare Ourselves to Others—Comparison is a normal part of human thought. It can be helpful in some situations. Or comparison can decimate our self-worth #tellhisstory #comparison Click To Tweet

Ways comparison can help

Using comparison to evaluate where we are now and how we were at another stage of our lives can be helpful. We see our growth, 

in our relationships with God and others, 

in how we respond in situations, 

in how we’ve matured. 

According to Thriving Center, “When you take stock of what’s around you and how you can improve yourself, it can be a powerful motivator.”

Another way comparison aids us is when we’re uncertain about how to do something. We can watch how others do it and succeed and then redirect our paths. We may gain insight by talking with others who are further along their journey than we are. The comparison comes when we realize they have something to offer us. 

Unhealthy comparisons

But social comparisons can slice our sense of self-worth. Social media heightens this, especially when comparing our worst with others’ perceived best. This always leaves us feeling our lack. 

Or, we observe someone we consider “below us” and puff ourselves up. This mindset highlights our own insecurity. When we allow the way we see others and the way we view ourselves to define us, we’re moving in a dangerous direction. 

What is the root cause of comparison?

According to Rachel Cruz at Ramsey Solutions, there’s a biological component. “Our brains use comparisons to figure out how we measure up to other people.”

In its essence, comparison informs how we begin to understand ourselves and our strengths and weaknesses. When comparison moves the wrong way on this continuum, insecurity and the sense of not belonging take up residence in our thoughts. Which makes connection with others more difficult.

Image of orange and red flowers, some in bloom and some wilted...the contrast reflecting why we compare ourselves to others
Why We Compare Ourselves to Others 3

Why I’m prone to compare

Here’s the sad insight my counselor opened my eyes to. I compare myself to others to prove to myself that I am not as good as or as “enough as” others. 

What?

I didn’t realize I used this form of self-sabotage. Because, really, that’s what it is. 

Here’s the truth: God places high value on each of His creations. When we understand our value comes from Him, not from how we measure up to others, our thought-life will be transformed.  

Why We Compare Ourselves to Others—When we understand our value comes from God, not from how we measure up to others, our thought-life will be transformed #tellhisstory #comparison Click To Tweet

We’ve all heard this: we will always be “better” than some people and “worse” than others in any given area. We’re not meant to be “the best” at everything. Because we don’t all have the same God-gifted calling in life. 

So why do we compare ourselves to others?

God never intended for comparison to be used as a way to destroy ourselves. The biological component was designed to help us make sense of our world.

Conclusion

As I began to understand why we compare ourselves to others—why I used comparison as a weapon—my perspective shifted. 

It’s taken me years to unpack the truth that I am valued by my Father. And the fact that He loves me is enough. Whether I measure up in others’ eyes no longer holds the same pull it once did. 

I still compare myself to people I admire and respect, but with one thought change at a time, God reminds me how much He loves me. 

Here’s something we each need to understand: God loves us. Our strengths. Our weaknesses. Our giftings. Our struggles. None of these changes how He views us. 

What about you? What are your thoughts about why we compare ourselves to others? How do you battle comparison in your thoughts?

Next week, we’ll link up at Donna’s at Serenity and Suffering. Be sure to bookmark this so you can find it easily. 😊

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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