I’m going to get super honest and vulnerable with this long post and I hope others feel me on it. I may get judged because I run a “positive, inspirational site,” but the name has always been Imperfectly B. And, honestly and imperfectly, here’s one of several problems I have: I struggle with comparison and jealousy. It stems from my own insecurities about my skills and where I am in life. From the outside looking in, it may seem like I have it all together but man….
Hotels.com coined the word “hate-like” in their latest ad campaign for people who suffer from travel envy with their friends. When I first heard it, I sat in my living room like, “Dang, that’s me.” In fact, every time I see the commercials, it makes me squirm a little bit. How many times have I “hate-liked” someone’s post on Instagram or Facebook of him or her on vacation or at an event or making some other achievement? And why was I acting like that? Am I the only one who goes through this?
In the past few years, I’ve seen friends and classmates of mine soar and have worked to curb my jealousy which popped up because I didn’t seem to be where they were. I didn’t have the title or the big paycheck or the house and I felt inadequate. I could think of one time a while back where I had a pretty big win for my writing career but felt discouraged after seeing one of my friends share an IG post on an achievement I thought was “bigger” than what I was doing. In an effort to be supportive, I sure did like that post and even dropped a congratulatory message in the comments. But my heart wasn’t 100% in the right place.
I really had to sit down and reflect on why I was internally acting like this. It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy for my friend. He had worked hard and deserved to move forward. I guess I just felt like “When will things open up for me? I mean REALLY open up. Because I’m struggling.” Or so I thought. I merely figured I was lagging based on what I saw other people posting. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. We each have our own paths to travel and that means different levels of success and failure, different timings, different EVERYTHING. No one path is exactly the same. After I really learned this and got my heart right, I could sincerely and genuinely congratulate and support others. God is still working on me, but I’m grateful for the growth.
So here are the lessons that I’ve learned from dealing with these ugly demon siblings jealousy and comparison and why they’re really messed up. Hopefully, it helps someone else struggling with this too.
- Number one, it’s a flat out sign of ingratitude. Yup, I said it. I had my own big wins and I STILL didn’t think it was enough. I saw other people “winning” and figured I was still lagging behind, simply because what I had wasn’t seemingly on their level. That’s what comparison does. It makes you look away from your own blessings and focus on someone else’s. Honestly, God should’ve snatched my blessings away acting like that. So, one big thing I did was write out of a list of all of the material and intangible blessings I have (and it’s A LOT). Anytime I start acting ungrateful, I pull out that list at my desk and just thank God. Because I don’t deserve it.
- You honestly don’t know what someone had to deal with or is going through with what they have. People work hard and deal with a lot that you don’t know about to achieve what they have. I know that for myself, so how could I ever think that other people weren’t out here grinding for more just like I was? And, just because someone is seemingly on top, doesn’t mean that they are happy there or are able to sleep at night. Focus on YOU.
- One of the biggest lessons that I learned was to stop dragging my feet. The nerve of me to get upset because people were simply walking in their purposes. I hadn’t done so yet and I was miserable, even though I knew where God was calling me to be. I learned that I had to go do what I was created to do, even though I was scared. God will never call you somewhere that He won’t give you the capacity and capability to handle.
- Another lesson? No matter how good you are (or think you are), there will always be someone better than you. AND THAT’S OKAY. There’s no need to be jealous. It’s actually a good thing because you are able to learn and grow from the people around you. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to find a new room.
- Speaking of room, there’s room out here for EVERYONE. I didn’t realize just how much until I started working on this particular site. Why? Because everyone has their own style and flair that they bring to the table, especially with bloggers, vloggers, and other influencers. There’s always going to be people who gravitate to you and people willing to work with you because of your individuality.
- Lastly, your time WILL come. Cliché but true. Maybe not when and how you expected it to, though. I never imagined 10 years ago (!!!) when I started blogging that I would be where I am. That I would have gone through all that I have. But now God has blessed me to walk through more doors with more preparation, skill, and boldness.
Now and then, jealousy tries to rear its ugly head. I have to remind myself of all of these things and keep praying that God keeps working on my heart. However, I’m in a much better place than I was. Hoping that this post helps y’all too.
Do any of you struggle with jealousy and comparison? How do you personally combat it? Let me know in the comments!