It is very easy, in this age of social media and over saturation, to lose sight of the beauty and strength that you possess.
It can happen when you least expect, a harmless scroll of Facebook while you’re in line at the grocery store or waiting for the train….and the next thing you know you’re pondering why it is that your partner doesn’t post status updates about you being the center of the world, or why your former classmate is out shining you in their new career. This often leads to questioning the perceived shortcomings in your life and wondering where it all went wrong.
If this is you, know you’re not alone. You’re wrong, but you’re not alone. Believe me, it’s so simple to compare. But that harmless act of comparison (left unchecked) can quickly snowball into bitterness, jealousy, discontentment, anger, sadness, and frustration… All things you don’t want. So what’s a person to do when this happens?
The following are some tips on how to handle the spirit of comparison and channel that negative energy into positive productivity.
1. Nip it in the bud. The moment you begin to feel bad about your life in comparison to another person you need to unplug. You don’t have to delete all your accounts but you should disengage from the source. This allows you the space to acknowledge your feelings.
2. Connect to your feelings. Figure out what you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself and ask, “am I jealous?”. If so ask yourself why. Are you truly jealous of that person or are you frustrated about a perception of lack in your own life?
3. Identify the source. What about this person’s success is bothering you? For example, I really feel like my career should be further along so I’m jealous because this person is already seemingly successful. (Side note, I said seemingly because social media often paints an incomplete portrait…. Hence why it’s dangerous to compare).
4. Redirect your energy. Address the places of lack in your life. If your frustrations are rooted in your unrealized dreams then redirect the energy you’re spending online to things that can improve yourself and bring you closer to your dreams. If you need help with this you can always contact a career strategist/counselor or life coach to work on ways to move your life in a more positive direction.
5. Appreciate your gifts. It’s so easy to fall victim to the spirit of negativity and comparison but I would urge anyone struggling with this to remember who they are in Christ. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that the very hairs on your head are numbered. God knows who you are and he created you that way on purpose, so make an effort to begin to appreciate yourself and your strengths as a way of honoring your creator.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139: 14