You used to be happy with your life and satisfied with your progress until you saw your friend’s (or maybe follower’s) achievements. Thoughts like: ‘what am I even doing with my life, ‘this is not where I am supposed to be’, begin to creep in gently till they occupied your mind to the point where you start producing the fruits _ Fruits like Jealousy, envy, depression, to mention a few.

I guess We’ve all been there.

For some people, the journey of constant comparison with others can be traced to childhood.

The subtle reminders from their parents/ the people they were surrounded with,  to be like some other kids who seem to do better or behave well than they did.

‘Don’t you see the way xxx behaves’, they’d exclaim.

For some, competition started in the formative years.

The category you fall into shouldn’t be our focus, Right? Our Focus _or maybe the question _ is should it continue this way?

My advice: It shouldn’t (As adults, we have a lot of things dreams, relationships, careers, or even adulting to deal with and comparison is an insignificant load.)

Most of the time, comparison stems from a wrong perception of difference in talents/potentials, time and season of success, the lack of identification of who you are, or self-confidence.

“How about people who recognize their potentials and have a strong sense of identity but still compare? ”

Well… it shows that they are still human but these people, unlike the other category of people mentioned earlier the don’t stay long on it. They almost immediately snap out Of it immediately and in some cases, try to trace the reason they felt that way.

***

Our reflex response, as humans, to people who seem to be making waves _especially in seasons when it looks like nothing is happening _ is to compare. But being human doesn’t mean that you should allow our reflex actions to dominate our logic. Can we say because our body naturally loves the comfort zone and because of this, never take risks or take challenges?

One thing I’ve noticed about people who compare is that they never get to see and/or appreciate their uniqueness, gifts and talents and because they don’t appreciate them, they never get to GROW, APPRECIATE and SHARE them! Plus, their self-worth, self-esteem, and productivity would abate because they are trying to be who they weren’t made to be!!

Comparison leads to unhealthy competition; It hurts to see people compete with those they should be building with or learning from.

Comparison subtly cozens people into setting others as their yardstick: I’m successful because I’ve made so so so progress which Is equal to that of Mr(s). X or I’m a failure because Mr. xxx got more than I. Making them forget that : success isn’t what you do but what you do compared to your potential.

Do you know the shocking truth? Some people are oblivious that they are measuring their progress against and evaluating their lives with other people’s lives. They feel a certain way or their level of confidence/ happiness drops when someone achieves something.

On the other hand, some people know that they are but can’t _ or aren’t willing to _help it. This set of people find comfort in their misery because of other people’s misery forgetting that success isn’t what you do but what you do compared to your potential!

Comparison makes you oblivious of your process and progress and may get you doing what you don’t want to do.

Can I say something? Some of the people you compare your lives with don’t show the full story. And for those that do? They’ve probably have gone through a process before they could achieve what they have that makes you envious. If you went through the same, will you have survived?

Whether you would have or not, the point remains that they might have probably paid the price you haven’t paid. Not because you are lazy or anything. It could just be the timing or uniqueness of purpose !!

It’s funny how to know that the persons we are comparing our lives with are desirous of the kind of life that we have.

Wunmi, how about healthy competitions?

In this case, you are provoked to good works (see Hebrews 10:24, NLT) and are inspired to do more as you study (please, not copying) certain patterns in the lives of these people. On the flip side, comparison is when you start measuring your gifts, achievement, the definition of success to that of others.

Sometimes, it’s a way a person does things that’d push you to do more. The truth is, we don’t have to have similar interests or do the same things before you push me to do more.

Oh yeah! I’m aware that healthy competition pushes people to think outside the box as it promotes innovation and creativity. Healthy “competition” is great but remember to always keep yourself in check _There’s a fine line between what is great and what appears to be.

You see, your perception determines your emotion.

Feeling envious of a person could be a pointer to /reminder of the things that you are capable of doing But if you get carried away or get yourself into some pity party, you’ll miss the point.

We are adults , right? And our life is our responsibility not even our parents ,background or Government!

If you constantly find yourself in this, trace it to the root cause and deal with it. Please ( na beg I dey beg ) don’t make the mistake of using activities or notching achievements to mask it.

What do I do if people get envious of me?

If salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it. ( See Mathew 5:13)

In other words, Shine your LIGHT without feeling bad. And as you do this, Pray for wisdom to know how to manage these people or relate with them , pray for them that they might see what they are made of, Support them when you can and… Don’t throw things at their faces!! You don’t have to tell them all your achievements or latest gigs. If you need to alienate yourself from them , do so with wisdom.

Here are ways you can curb comparison:

1. Invest the time in harnessing your potential as you “discover” your purpose: When you get busy with your life’s business, you’ll discover that there’s more to discover and bless the world with and as a result, barely have time and energy for comparison. Here are two things to consider about purpose, (culled from ON PURPOSE by Leke Alder):

  • WE MUST PUT OUR BEST INTO WHATEVER WE’RE HANDLING NOW. IT MAY JUST BE THE DOOR TO THE REALISATION OF PURPOSE.
  • PURPOSE IS A JOURNEY. THE JOURNEY IS OUR MANUFACTURING PROCESS.
Culled from : ON PURPOSE by Leke Alder.

Like I stated earlier, being tempted to compare yourself with someone could be a pointer to what you can do or a reminder of what you failed at and can do better.

2. Practice Gratitude: Take a look at how far you’ve come and thank God for it. Thank Him for the gifts you have and the things you’ve discovered about yourself. As you do this, your eyes will start realizing other things about yourself that you’ve probably never thought of.

3. Hone (own)your skills and harness your potential:

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded"

Instead of investing your time and energy in unnecessary, yet draining, comparisons, why don’t you channel them towards harnessing your skills and gaining new ones?

Your skills can be honed through service. 
 Help people ( including those you compare yourselves to) with your skills. Do with an open mind, of course. Don’t post an epistle celebrating a person and end up having wrong things about them or getting unhappy about what you posted or get into their inner circle to discover their “secret” to go “against them” _ you don’t need it.


4. Get Spiritual: Pray to God about it. Tell Him exactly how you feel and that He should help you not only get out of this mess but also open the eyes of your understanding about who He is and who He has called you to be! Pray for your heart and that, every form of envy should be removed.

Have confessions of faith, from God’s word. And be saturated in His promises for you and what He has said concerning your life.

Knowing and recognizing that God is limitless will save you from a lot of stress and headaches! This is what helps me!!! Ephesians 1:20 (we are God’s masterpiece) and How wondrous are your thoughts l.
Tell Him to open your eyes to see your abilities and capabilities so you can operate from a high point of view.

On a final note, I’d love you to know that you might still find yourself comparing. It shows that you are human and As you grow and focus more on your path, your tendency to be in comparison with others will gradually abate.

Here’s a video, I think you should take time to watch

Comparison is a distraction, don’t get distracted!

See you soon!

Your Favourite Buddy, Wunmi. ❤

5 Replies to “Why people COMPARE: How to deal with the root-cause of COMPARISON.”

  1. Like you said it’s difficult not to compare ourselves with others but it should be a healthy one.
    I just think comparison is intrinsic to human beings because in all walks of life we would always find someone who is better or perfect in their dealings to what happen to them.
    Some people family background made them better, exposure made some people better and in such way there is no way we try to be like them we might not and that can lead to hatred which is the negative side of comparison

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