Comparison eats up energy, peace and creativity—all things that exist within joy.
It’s a fear-based response that distracts us from our gifts. The jealousy we feel when we compare our lives to another person’s fuels the doubts and insecurities we have about ourselves.
Theodore Roosevelt warned us that comparison is the thief of all joy. It builds up in you until you are completely unsatisfied with your life and engulfed in jealousy for others.
You might be excited about your job, only to log onto Facebook and see that your college roommate accepted a job in a new city and you begin to think that her career trajectory is progressing better than your own. The satisfaction of working at your current job dissipates as soon as you think someone else is doing something better.
Chicago Tribune journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Schmich said, “Don’t waste time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.”
It’s especially easy to think that others that have the life we want. We look at our life and see how messy it is and buy into the belief that we don’t measure up. We forget about life circumstances, age difference, and outside things that make our story different from others. We get jealous of the end results and forget we missed the process that it took to get there.
You will never find your worth in examining how you measure up to your peers. You will never find peace or joy in who you are as a person and the incredible gifts God has given you. It’s devastating to lose this perspective, but also painfully easy.
A few really good questions to ask yourself when you notice you’re feeling jealous are: why are you are comparing yourself to that person in the first place? Do you actually have any genuine concerns about the path you’re on? What is the underlying fear behind the jealousy you are feeling?
Ask introspective questions like these, and it will help you get to the heart of your jealousy, and stop the vicious cycle of comparison.