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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Faithful Footprints : Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Today I have a very special treat {or two} for you. A guest post and my very first iPhone wallpaper download.

Today I'm enjoying mimosas in my sweatpants watching my Alma Mater {North Dakota State University} play in the Championship football game for their chance at winning for the 3rd year in a row!!

Here is the iPhone lock screen I'm currently sportin' and have it available for you too if you are a Bison Alum like myself! 

iPhone 4s

Now without further ado I'd like to welcome Brianna to Mrs. Laura Beth!

com.par.i.son noun 
: the act of looking at things to see how they are similar or different
Comparing ourselves to others is common in today's society. Let's face it - our lives are open books for others to see, judge, and criticize, especially with all of the social media sites available today. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many, many others, we plaster our day to day for all the world to see. And for us bloggers, we're really an open book. 
And with our lives posted for all to see comes the thief of joy: comparison. 
Think about it. With so much out there for the world's eyes, we see a lot more into people's lives than ever before. Seriously. Even if you are merely 'acquaintances' in reality {say, a coworker}, if you're friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you see way more into their lives than you would otherwise. You know where they ate dinner and who they ate with. You see pictures of their pets and how they spent their weekend...and in some cases, you get every.single.detail. 
And then...we compare. We compare our weekend with that of your neighbor or best friend from high school. So and so is newly engaged, and all of a sudden you're comparing your ring with hers or her fiance with your husband. He may make tons of money and shower her in gift after gift. Your husband doesn't. But what you don't see are all of the downs that go along with the ups. You don't necessarily see that her fiance is never home in time for dinner or that he very rarely has quality date nights with her. You don't see that she's actually very lonely - I mean, let's face it: gifts aren't exactly the greatest company! 
Don't compare your behind the scenes to someone else's highlight reel. Some people only show what they want others to see {don't we all?}. So comparing yourself to others' greatest moments is only hurting yourself. It's not fair. You are a completely different and unique person with a completely different set of circumstances and life experience. 
You have to stop comparing your life to someone else's so that you give yourself a chance to actually live your life. What really comes of always comparing your days to someone else's? Is it joy? Happiness? Love? I don't think so. It's lonely and hurtful. It brings a sense of unfulfillment and emptiness. It's hard
We're not built to spend the days we're given on this earth comparing ourselves to everyone else. You are here for a reason. We all are. And, surprise, surprise...our purposes are all different. We are meant for different goals and dreams. We are made for different careers and homes and families. How fulfilling would life truly be if everyone were exactly the same? What if we all looked the same, acted the same, reacted to things in the same way, loved the same person, had the same homes, same career? It'd be impossible! You wouldn't have doctors, lawyers, farmers, techs, fast food employees, bosses, etc. The world would not function the same. It's just not meant to be
So, stop it! Stop comparing your life, dreams, goals, aspirations, faithfulness, and being to someone else. YOU are uniquely YOU for a reason. Figure it out and make a choice to stay true to you
Be thankful for what you have instead of longing for what others may have. Love your family. It's the only one you get! Be there for each other and truly live for yourself. No one else is going to make you happy - you've got to do it for yourself! 
And now for the big question: how exactly do you stop comparing yourself to others? I'm not saying it's easy, but it's possible! For starters, find the joy in the little things in your life. Whether it be that you woke up this morning or kissed your husband goodbye for the day. Find gratitude in those small things - not everyone gets them! Realize that every single thing that you get to experience is special and unique. 
Another big step is to minimize your time on social media networks. Don't spend 5 hours a day trolling Facebook. Don't read blog posts wishing for that life. Don't follow every single celebrity and their families on Twitter. They live a different life. It's okay! Just limit your time and involvement in social media and you'll find yourself actually living and enjoying your life! 
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else. -Galatians 6:4 

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  1. This is something I have worked on in the last year. I always compared myself to others (namely bloggers) and would get envious of what they had (be it relationships or material things) and I always wanted those things. Then, I took a step back and looked at my life and what I had and realized that I am extremely blessed. I also realized that everyone's life is different and different things will make you happy. This year I am focusing LESS on material things and MORE on the beauty in every day life. :)

  2. That quote... 'Comparison is the thief of all joy" is a staple for me. I have to remind myself each time I log on Facebook and see all my friends popping out babies in their nice pretty homes that Adam and I simply aren't in that stage YET. I went to law school and that set the time table back. He went to graduate school to get his PhD and that sets the time table back. I know that eventually we'll have a home and kids, but like my post today shows, it is so, so, so easy to long for more... but ESPECIALLY when I start comparing our crappy rent house to other people's new homes! Thank you for the reminder today... I needed it. Sadly, as I do every single day.


    PS: That ad on the foot of your post is BANGING! Who is that sexy couple!? haha

  3. Boy the Bison spanked everyone this season - go NDSU!
    It is so hard to not compare yourself to others, but a great thing to try and remember when you're feeling down. Good words of advice.

  4. YOU are that sexy couple!! ;-)
    That quote speaks so loudly to me most days! I almost think I need a print made of it, for something to look at as my constant reminder that my life is wonderful and our time will come for all exciting life events I'm so envious of!

  5. I know NDSU did awesome … hoping next year we can do well again but with over half the team leaving I think it may be hard!
    I think that constant wanting is in everyone and mostly wanting what you don't have and others do. This was a wonderful guest post by Brianna and a great reminder to myself too!