WRITING

Kick Comparison to the Curb

There is a long list of blog posts for me to write at the moment, and tonight, I am going to dive into a little bit more vulnerability. This is with the intention of reaching anyone out there who might know what I’m talking about… who might relate to what I am going through and hopefully be encouraged by how I take myself along this journey.

Something came up today that got me thinking. I saw someone talk. Let me expand on that…

I saw someone talk with a fire and passion I have not seen in a long time. It reminded me of my time at Hillsong College which was an International Leadership College I attended for two years in Sydney, Australia. Everyone was fired up there. It was our life.

The people I knew were passionate. I was passionate. I lived with purpose and loved every second of every day.

Still, there is this type of person that I’ve encountered who seems to have a fire in them that won’t go out. But what makes them stand out so much, is not just that fire, but their energy. They have this electric ability to communicate and get you motivated, speak life into you and make you feel like you can do it. I wouldn’t even call it charisma. Charisma could be the essence of that ability but with a selfish motive. These people are pure.

Inadequate

My whole life, people like this intimidated me in a sense. They were wonderful, but I wanted to be them, and I didn’t feel like I could. Not that I’m not passionate or fired up. Just get me in the right setting and you will find out just how passionate I can be. It’s their energy I wish I had, it’s their energy that so often makes me feel like I can’t. Their energy in comparison to mine makes me feel inadequate.

The reality is, that that is not my originating personality (I am not someone who believes that personality is static, but can stretch and evolve). I am by nature, an internal extrovert. My preferred mode of interaction, is to internalize almost everything and contemplate my surroundings. I still loving being around people and engaging with them, but my energy level is naturally low and it takes an extra effort to engage.

A good example of how I internalize… My husband gets so irritated with me because I can watch a comedy without laughing out loud. He is always glancing over at me, waiting to see if I am  busting a gut. I can feel him looking and always tell him “I’m laughing inside!”

The other reality is, that this is ok. What I have to offer the world is different, and that is ok.

The world needs different.

The world needs me. The world needs you.

Have you experienced this? Tell me that there is someone out there who understands the feeling. It’s not a jealousy, its a genuine desire to be more, do more and feeling inadequate when you see people who you think are doing it better than you or who you think you cannot compare to. At least on first glance. I see it as a very human experience.

Comparison

When you hear the phrase “comparison is the thief of joy,” believe it. It is incredibly true. What I find, is that when you compare, you are focusing on what you lack.

When you start comparing someone else to what you don’t have, you lose sight of what you DO have.

Watching this person talk today, listening to his amazing words and wisdom made me wish I could offer that to people. Still, while I might not be charismatic or full of energy around other people, I also know I have plenty to offer.

Take a moment with me and think about what you are good at, what you might be known for.

Change your focus. Forget about their strengths and think about yours.

Issues with comparison

  1. Sometimes, the skills are not in your wheel house.
    There are times when we compare, that we are comparing apples and oranges. We were simply meant for something else with different skills and different purpose. I’ve learned that embracing what you are good at is incredibly freeing. When you do that, you start to discover that you don’t need to be good at anything else (anyone else picturing Tinker Bell at this point? Sorry, I have kids).
  2. Sometimes, you have more to learn.
    I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “don’t compare your beginning to my middle.” We are all at different parts of our journey. One thing that I thought as I listened to this person speak today, he had so much knowledge and wisdom… but he also had 10+ years on my own age. How fair is it for me to compare what I know to what he knows when he’s had so much more time to learn and gain life experience?
  3. Sometimes, it is just not your time.
    Personally, I am someone who believes in a higher power, someone who orchestrates the lives of those who trust Him to do so. I believe that when you do that, He positions you exactly where you are supposed to be exactly when you’re supposed to be. There are times when it’s simply not our time to have certain impact, platform, or the influence that we might be hoping for. Sometimes, it’s not even a matter of having more to learn. Sometimes it’s genuinely not our time to shine.

    Be patient with where you are at and embrace it. Make your season the best you possibly can. That will help prepare you better for that moment when you are entrusted with another position.

You are enough. I am enough.

When we are looking at our differences, we create our own standard of measurement for what qualities might be better than others. Why do we do this? Why do we let ourselves feel inadequate simply because we are different?

In truth, none of us are perfect. None of us are done growing. None of us are done learning. However, contrary to when we might feel inadequate, we are each, enough. We don’t need to be anyone else or be like anyone else to be enough.

These standards, these honestly, worldly views of success and impact and influence are a farce. Not saying that some of the Instagram Influencers you might be following aren’t making a genuine and honest impact. My hope is that most of them are. I hope that most of them are using their platform and influence for good.

What I am saying is that if you are not one of those influencers, your impact is just as important. What you have, the qualities you can offer the world, whether a steadfastness, or maybe you are a good listener, or maybe you are simply kind. Those are incredible qualities. Those are needed qualities.

I am not a loud person. When I have something I am passionate about, I will raise my voice, but I prefer to be a friend in quiet. In my quiet but consistent friendships, I am enough.

You, you and your strengths that you might occasionally lose sight of, are enough.

There may come a day where more is expected of you and on that day, I hope you rise to it. But in your season, today, you are enough.

You have a job to be yourself

No one else can be you. No one else can offer what you have. You have an experience, a perception, a skill or a passion that is yours.

Losing sight of what you are meant to do with what’s in front of you, focusing instead on what someone else has or what they are doing, will make you lose out in the end. You will miss out on what is meant for you.

You have a job to be yourself. You have a job to notice what you have to offer, and offer it with all your heart. You have a job to know your season and to live it to the fullest.

This is me kicking you off the comparison table, this is me kicking myself off the comparison table. Stay focused on what you’ve been given and make the most of that.

I believe in the power of our collective abilities and when we rise to the fullest of those capabilities. I believe in you and what you are meant to do with your everyday, with the next moment in front of you. I believe in you being your best self and the unprecedented impact it will have, even if you don’t see it.

I’d love for you to share this with a friend who might need some encouragement.

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