Unhealthy comparison is evident in everyone’s lives at some point. Whether we are talking about young siblings competing for mum and dads’ attention, or adult sisters bickering over who raises their children the ‘right way’.
Competitiveness is human nature.
Comparing yourself to others, however, signifies a sense of inadequacy. And I’m here to remind you that nothing COMPARES to you. You are NOT inadequate in any sense. You are unique. So incredibly unique and created for a purpose – that NO-ONE else can fill. This is what we should model to our children.
Sure we have strengths and weaknesses, but overall, we are great in our own unique way. There’s no need to try and be the best at everything – because that would measure as perfection and NOBODY is perfect.
We have two kids, and I sometimes struggle not to compare them and assess their behaviour against the other- or even against other peoples kids! but I realise –this is not a competition. These little people don’t need the pressure of being like someone else or meeting another standard.
A certain level of competitiveness is good. You need it. When children enter a spelling contest they study harder and learn more because they’re going to compete. They know their academic prowess is about to be challenged and they get ready for it because we like to win.
But when your competitiveness makes you feel ‘less than’, or ‘better than’ another person, it’s gone too far.
Our Ego comes into play and this alone can destroy you. How do we explain to children that they are uniquely and wonderfully made for a specific reason and it doesn’t compare to anyone they know? We are to love them unconditionally and emphasise their strengths. We are to let them know that “nothing COMPARES to you!”
I believe that to evaluate your overall success accurately you must first understand your God-given purpose.
What are you in this world for?
When you play on a team your position determines your purpose. Attackers and defenders have different skills, but to win, the team needs both. The defender who keeps the opposing team from scoring is just as valuable as the attacker who scores. One may get more applause than the other, but victory belongs to them all.
When you keep comparing yourself with others you’re denied a sense of accomplishment, because you’ve made the benchmark to be like somebody else.
No, they are playing a different position. They have a different purpose. They have a different skill set designed to fulfil the role given to them. God gives you everything you need for the position you play and the purpose you have in this game of life. What a liberating truth! And our creator, who gave others the ability to excel at what they do, will do the same for you when you learn to focus on Him, not them.
If you’re focusing your energy on the achievements of others you risk manifesting jealousy and quarrelling. When you understand your God-given purpose you are freed from the need to measure yourself by the runner in the next lane, or someone playing a different position on the team. Your sense of inadequacy will be healed and you’ll be able to enjoy and complement others.
You’ll also be able to help liberate your children from sibling rivalry and show them that success is not about being like somebody else, but about being the best you can be, and God made you to be.
Remember, nothing COMPARES to you. So just concentrate on being YOU!