I found myself quickly approaching 30. Each time I logged onto Facebook, one of my old classmates was announcing a new accomplishment, a new baby, a new engagement, a new job, etc.
I always thought that by the time I turned 30 years old, I would have it all together. I would be successful and living my perfect life. I’d have a house with a big yard filled with the sweet sounds of small children playing. I’d have a dream job and a fancy car. Our family would take 1-2 vacations each year. Everything would be on track with the goals created by my 18-year-old self.
Boy, was I wrong!
If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.
At 28 I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. LOL
After a while, it really started to depress me. I had a great marriage, but that was it! I didn’t have any great successes to date, and it felt like there was an internal clock that was slowly but surely ticking down.
Everyone else seemed to have it all together whereas I was still trying to pick up the pieces. Life had taken sooo many unexpected twists and turns. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the best decisions earlier on, and it really changed the trajectory of my life.
At this point, I can honestly say I’m glad some things happened the way that they did because I learned so many valuable lessons that have shaped me into the person I am now, but I still found myself upset that I was not where I assumed I should be in life.
Through general conversation with co-workers and old classmates, I figured out that other people my age felt the same way I did. It gave me a lot of hope knowing that I was not alone.
I spent a lot of time doing some soul searching and realized that I was holding myself back by doing one simple thing. It was something that I did both knowingly and unknowingly.
Every single day I found myself doing it, and it had begun to shape the way I viewed myself. Even worse, I started limiting what I believed I could accomplish because of this one thing.
Wanna know what it is?!
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
By being in constant comparison to others, you are preventing yourself from moving forward towards your goals. Comparison can literally start to paralyze your life.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific age that you should have it all together. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to keep up with others. Just because an old classmate is married with children, it does not mean that you are behind if you aren’t there yet. Everyone’s path is different with its own set of obstacles and roadblocks.
Here are some key points that I had to come to terms with…
Focus on yourself
My mom used to say, “You won’t catch any fish watching my line.” As a child, I thought that was just a funny saying, but as an adult, it makes more sense. If I only sit and watch you fish without ever casting my reel, I will never catch any fish.
Focus on yourself and what it is you actually want to accomplish. Take the time to do some goal-setting so that your decisions are in line with what really matters in your life.
You cannot allow where someone else is on their journey to dictate how you feel about where you are on your journey. We all have our own set of issues that we must work through. Even though my struggle may look different than yours, it does not negate the fact that I have struggles, too.
Spend more time focusing on what makes you happy and worry less about whether the grass is greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it, so take some time to water and tend to yourself.
You already have everything you need
Sometimes we think if only we had a certain skill or talent that someone else has, we would be more successful. I truly believe that God has already given us everything we need to succeed.
Focus on what you have rather than what you want. Then you will be able to use what it is you have to get whatever you want.
Stop worrying about what you can’t do, and turn your attention to things that you can do really well. Your talents. Your gifts. You already have what you need to achieve your vision for your life.
What can be done with what you have? That’s your starting point!
Believe in yourself and believe in your skills. I’m not saying it will be easy. Most things in life aren’t, but I am saying that it is possible.
Find happiness where you are
This is the most important of the three. Insecurity and unhappiness within yourself are the fuels that keep the fire of comparison burning strong.
Your self-worth cannot and should not ever be determined based on comparison to someone else.
You can never allow your happiness to be anchored to anyone or anything outside of yourself. If you can’t make you happy, no one else will be able to either.
I encourage you to seek out happiness wherever you are on life’s path. Know that pain, struggle, disappointment, and heartache are necessary but also TEMPORARY.
Don’t choose to stay in that negativity. Learn the lesson and keep moving. Trust God through the storm, and let that faith fuel your inner happiness.
Life is a journey, not a marathon. It’s not about who gets to the finish line first. It’s about taking a journey that will shape you into the ultimate version of yourself.
Comparison almost always leaves us feeling inadequate and unworthy. Take that attention off others and use that energy to manifest the life you want.
Celebrate your successes! As you achieve smaller goals, you will restore your self-confidence. Also, celebrate the success of others, too. You do not have to dull anyone else’s light bulb to make yours shine brighter.
Only compare yourself to yourself. Take time to reflect on where you were versus where you are. Expand upon things that worked, and rethink things that didn’t.
Let your growth and self-improvement motivate you to keep pushing forward rather than allowing comparison paralysis keep you stagnate and doubtful.
Lastly, create a way to track your accomplishments and things that make you happy for days that you may feel unmotivated or down.
Personally, I keep an answered prayer journal. Each time I achieve a goal or a prayer gets answered, I write it down with the date. Anytime I need a reminder of all the positive things I have to be grateful for, I turn to my answered prayer journal.
If journals aren’t your thing, try a jar. Every time something good happens or you reach a new goal, jot it down and watch your jar fill up.
What talent or skill are you going to start focusing on? Leave me a comment below!
Get out of your own way! Today is the day you take control back! Download the Life Audit Worksheets to get started moving in the right direction!
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