There is a difference between jealousy and comparison.
Jealousy: “She looks like she is having a lot of fun because of her picture on Instagram. I wish that my day was going better and that I could have that much fun.”
Comparison: “She looks like she is having a lot of fun because of her picture on Instagram. I must not be very fun to be around because I am not having a good time with my friends.”
As from these somewhat elementary examples, it is clear to see that jealousy and comparison are not synonyms.
Jealousy is wanting something that someone else has, and maybe holding a grudge or some anger against the person who has the desired thing. Comparison results in feelings of inadequacy in one’s character, ability and/or appearance. It could also result in someone thinking of themselves as being above another person.
Either way, jealousy and comparison are toxic.
However, they are everywhere and seem to be inescapable. To be honest, this past week has been hard, as I have compared myself to other people in my life, whether it be because of how they look, how they can relate to others, or how successful, in their own unique way, they are.
Don’t get me wrong, comparison is and has always been an issue in my life, but this week it has been harder. Is it just because I am around more successful, beautiful, intelligent and wonderful people? Or is it because I am not feeling confident in who I am or what I am doing?
I didn’t start this blog post to come to a conclusion on how to erase any sense of comparison or jealousy in my or anyone else’s life. I don’t think it happens that easily. However, I know a few things to believe and tell myself in order to combat these feelings of inadequacy:
- I am unique from everyone in the world. Even if I tried to be someone else, I could not do it. If someone tried to be me, they could not do it, because we are all different. (Isn’t that so freeing?)
- Other people’s successes do not lessen my own.
- Even those who I compare myself to, compare themselves to another. I am not alone in feeling inadequate at times.
- I have a unique set of skills and experiences that no one else can exactly reciprocate.
- I can rejoice in the fact that other people are awesome and do awesome things, because that is how I am able to have opportunities and be inspired and grow as a person doing my own awesome stuff.
- I am constantly growing, adapting, changing, failing and succeeding in things I am doing and in who I am. However, I am and will always be God’s chosen daughter, whom He loves and is pleased with.
- He has created me to be different from the rest, so who am I to suggest that I am not good enough?
I am never going to be perfect, but neither is the person I am comparing myself to. But, thank the Lord that I do not have to be. He tells me it is okay that I am the way I am, because he made me that way. He tells me that I am as worthy, adored and valuable as the next person. He tells me that I will fall into thoughts of comparison, but to not lose heart, for when I am weak and worn out from trying to be someone I am not, He is strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”