“Peter asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘What is that to you?’? (John 21:21-22)
I worked with a guy one time who was OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). He was just obsessed about the order and arrangement of things. He drove all of us crazy.
I want you to think differently about OCD. Think “obsessive comparison disorder.” Paul Angone, an organizational consultant, came up with this term a few years back. The term describes our compulsion to compare ourselves with others which produces unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us to depression, consumption, anxiety, and all-around unhappiness and discontent.
Comparison has been with us since the beginning, but today, with the Internet and social media, we have taken comparison to new heights.
I still remember some of my feelings when time came for our 10th and 20th high school reunions. I wondered if I would be worse or better off than my classmates. How would I look compared to them? Would I be less successful than some of them?
But with the invention of online social media you don’t need a 10-year or 20-year reunion. Now you have the opportunity to compare yourself with everyone. Every single day.
You know how it is. You go online and see photos and descriptions of your friends experiencing fabulous trips, eating beautiful food, enjoying material things you don’t have, or you see what others are doing and you wish you were doing that, too. And you begin to compare your life with theirs.
5 Reasons Comparison Is Not Good for You
- Comparison makes you buy things you don’t need or you can’t afford. Comparison really is one of the leading causes of poor money management.
- Comparison makes you feel depressed. As you look through your friends’ “My Life Is Awesome” Facebook posts, you feel depressed because your life looks nothing like you think it should.
- Comparison creates big-time discontent and unhappiness. Truth is, you can’t be content and envious at the same time.
- Comparison blinds you to God’s design for your life. Instead of seeing your unique design and giftedness, you see only the things you don’t have.
- Comparison damages your sense of self-worth. It leads you to devalue yourself.
- Comparison will not help you accomplish your goals. Chewing over how someone is better looking than you, more successful than you, or has more than you decreases your motivation to achieve your goals.
- Comparison is a losing battle. In life there will always be many people who are smarter, better looking, richer, thinner, and more talented than you. So don’t use other people for your benchmark.
- Comparison will deprive you of joy. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Breaking Free From Obsessive Comparison Disorder
- Be truly grateful for what you have. Gratitude has the power to transform your entire outlook on life.
- Be wise when you read social media posts. When I post on Instagram or Facebook I don’t post my worst moments and my worst looks. And neither does anyone else. Someone on your social media account might appear to have an awesome life, but in reality, that individual probably has the same struggles and heartaches that you have.
- Celebrate what you do. What have been some of your accomplishments this past week? In what ways have you helped others? How did God open doors for you this week? Quit trying to be something you aren’t.
- Prayerfully determine God’s plans for your life. What is God uniquely nudging you to do? You can’t focus on your purpose while looking at other people.
- Name your strengths. Write down everything you do well. Make a list of what you are good at doing.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. Don’t do it anymore, period!
- Enjoy the journey. All of us are on a journey of walking by faith, doing the best we can, and being our best self. Some days we mess up. Other days we amaze ourselves. Accept the journey God has for you. This is where your hope is.