01 Aug 2012

Comparisons will kick you in the teeth and hijack your dreams every time

My name is Lisa-Jo and I struggle with comparing myself to others.

It feels like such an embarrassing admission – the rabbit hole of comparing yourself to other people.

It feels like something better whispered in the ear of a good friend than admitted out loud. But today I think I need to sit at this desk in the corner of a {not-so-messy-as-usual} playroom and pull you aside and ask you, “How can we be in this together instead of competing at this?”

Because I don’t ever want you to visit here and leave feeling less-than.

Comparison will rob you blind, smash in your self-image, trash your house and tar and feather your kids.

It takes what is beautiful and tears it up into tiny bits like so many shredded pieces of a painting my four-year-old tore up two nights ago.

He loves to paint. He loves the textures, the water, the color, choosing the sheet of paper. He spends time and pours his imagination into all that wet collage of color. But show him what someone else is doing; add a long day and a quick temper into the mix, and he bursts into a fiery, four-year-old iconoclast.

Everything broken now.

And once he’d torn the paper in half he collapsed into a small version of himself and cupped dimpled hands around his short, tender hair and cried like he’d lost his best friend.

Comparison will eat at the heart of everything you love the most.

Love to write? Comparison will whisper it’s pointless when nobody reads your blog anyway.

Love to make art? Comparison will tell you that without a degree, a gallery, a show, an esty shop you’re a fake.

Love to cook? Comparison will tell you that your pots and pans would shame Julia Childs and desecrate her recipes.

Love to grow a business, build a brand, market your mojo? Comparison will tell you that you should have done it differently, done it like her, done it years ago to be any success at all.

Comparison drives up to take that dream we love, that calling we’re following, that friendship we cherish and wrenches it away from us and grinds it up into so much dirt and speckled gravel under irreverent tires.

Victims of comparison drive-bys litter the Internet.

There are virtual warehouses of new ways we can find to covet our neighbor’s house, family and life these days.

Nothing is as terrifying as thinking you don’t matter because you can’t do it like her.

But if we were to look down, look away from what we wish we had. If we would glance back at where we are, we might see in order to have rubbernecked so hard and so far we’ve been standing with high heels ground down on top of the hand painted, one-of-a-kind life art crafted for us.

For you.

For me.

We are each of us uniques.

A fingerprint swirl of utterly and totally incomparable. You are.

I’m writing this because I need to remember. Because when I forget and compare, parts of me wilt and fear takes bites out of my dreams.

I need to remember who I am. Just me.

There’s a Starbucks Frappuccino – the kind you can buy in a bottle at the grocery store – next to me as I type this. A pair of earphone buds because I love watching movies on my laptop late at night. And there’s a collection of left over toys behind me because my daughter plays alongside me as I work. My hair is having an in between kind of day and I’m wearing my favorite blue and black print shirt – the one with longish sleeves that flatter the parts of my arms I’m most self conscious about. My toenails are bright red and chipping.

Zoe is asleep and my mother-in-law is down the hall loving on my laundry room.

Two boys are off at summer camp and there’s a good man who will come home to all of us tonight. I’m working on a presentation for the MOPS Convention that I have still barely started and I’ll be giving it in less than a week. I have a book floating in the back of my head and a dream of bringing thousands of women together again in real life.

There’s also an equal mix of temper tantrums, worry, bills and a new stain on our just-cleaned-carpet. There’s the dog that insists on sitting on me and the dishwasher that comes off the rails. There’s messy days and beautiful days and homesick-for-South Africa days and days that I can barely remember.

This is my art.

This is my life.

This is my fingerprint.

I can never capture all of it on this blog. I can only show you glimpses. Don’t waste even a moment of your own beautiful life comparing it to mine. And I’ll promise to return the favor.


Let’s choose to rejoice with one another.

Let’s not trample what we’ve been given in order to get to what we wish we’d got.

No girls, let’s dance. Right where we’re at.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Yeah–I am not alone! I do believe God made each and everyone of us for a purpose! Be blessed :)

  2. 2

    Just talking about this in my small group last week. We can’t talk about this enough!! I confess to struggling with this myself, and it’s kept me from doing what I love. I’m trying not to anymore, but it can be sooooo hard. I don’t want anything to put distance between me and my friends, or potential friends:))

  3. 3

    The beauty of you is that you find a way to make all of us feel affirmed and built up and like we can be our best, without feeling like you have to tear yourself down to do it. That is a gift. You are a gift.

    And sister, if you ever write that book you’ve got floating around, I will pre-order it the second I’m able. :-)

  4. 4

    Oh, why do we all struggle so much with this? I try not to compare, and yet… {sigh} I also worry about sharing things that others might then compare themselves with… Let me assure you, I may have 8 children, and I may manage to feed, clothe, and homeschool them somehow, but when I post beautiful pictures of a successful field trip, it does not represent our average day… I am not Super Mom, and though I may sometimes wish I were (because I feel behind and feel like I need some superstrength…), when I have mothers comment about how incredible I am, how wonderful my children are, etc… it eats me up. If only they knew…
    The comparison game, that we know we shouldn’t play but we get sucked into more often than not, cuts both ways. I compare myself to someone I think is doing it all so much better, and I realize that there are some women doing the same thing to me, thinking I’m that someone doing it all better…
    I should want to do more, want to be better- a better Christian, a better wife, a better mother, sister, daughter, friend… and I do! I should want to strive for excellence in everything, but I should be doing it for Him, not for others, and not even for myself…

    Loved this post. You go, girl!

  5. 5

    I don’t think I have ever loved a blog entry more. I was laying here crying about my current circumstances and this popped up on my news feed. Amen.

  6. 6

    I love you.
    Trying to get words out to you.
    But I am handing you these three right now because they are pounding hard out of my heart.

  7. 7

    Lisa-Jo, your words are hope and courage. What a beautiful mark to leave on this world.
    Thank you so much for what you do.

  8. 8

    “I feel as though i’m only as good as the number of people that read my blog” were my exact words to my mom today. I went for a walk and prayed hard over those feelings because writing to encourage others is what I love! I love the sweet relationships that form from these communities. There are many trusted friends that walk with me in life that I’m able to pour out to in a small corner of the internet. satan is right there in stride with the exact thoughts you wrote..and comparing really does steal the joy from writing. I love that your words came on this day and that it was sent straight to my email :) Thank you for being honest!

  9. 9

    Once again, such a timely word! I recently spoke at a mom’s group about the dangers of comparison. No one wins when we compare ourselves with others — no one. It’s a message that can’t get out enough! Thanks for handling it so beautifully here.

  10. 10
    Jennifer says:

    I love this post and I’m choosing to dance right where I’m at. ;)

  11. 11
    Lisa Milman says:

    “Because I don’t ever want you to visit here and leave feeling less-than.” I love that, and feel that I leave here the better for, each time I visit. You are such a positive light for everyone that finds your words here. For those of us that are lucky enough to be able to run into you at the pool, we’re very blessed.

    • 12

      We were there tonight and totally miss you guys. Not the same without Morgan trying to squeeze the life out of Zoe :)

  12. 13

    The thing about comparing ourselves to each other is that we can’t ever see the full picture of anyone else’s life. Who knows what she struggled with this morning? All I can ever do is be the best me that I can…which, on many days, is plenty hard enough. Thank you for always calling it like you see it- it is a true gift, and your words are courage for my heart today.

  13. 14

    Oh this is too good Lisa Jo! Beautifully written as always and….. guuurrl, we all feel it:) i wrote a story last week about my lack of self confidence to even go to the coffee shop!!! Haha! We women on the edge of crazy ” just wanting to be pretty too!” Your heart is beautiful! Believe that! :) erica

  14. 15

    I also meant to say…im gonna put that last line up somewhere in my house! Good stuff!

  15. 16

    Hmph . . . see there’s this nice thing that God does to me where when I start getting way out of wack with something he just helps to make it worse and worse and worse . . . until I can’t do anything other than let it go. I’ve spent the last two weeks practically tearing myself up comparing myself with other people who are cooler and more successful and play the game better than me.

    Online has started to feel like real life – parties and in crowds that I can’t figure out how to get into, cool people who don’t know I’m alive, saying things that bring conversations to a screetching halt, people who get to go on vacation while I can’t even get out of the house. I have found myself struggling not to feel just like Laura says – “I feel as though i’m only as good as the number of people that read my blog”.

    And you know what’s happened? My page hits fallen off. My regular commenters have disappeared. The already meager “Likes” on my posts have completely dried up. I know exactly what’s happening – God’s saying, “I’m not going to let you feed your monster. I’m a jealous God – remember? You can thank me later.”

    I guess it’s going around. Thank you for pushing back. And giving me one more nudge to let it go, let it go, let it go. Blessings!

    • 17

      “I’m a jealous God – remember? You can thank me later.” I think that should be a billboard :)

  16. 18

    You knocked it out of the park, girlfriend. And I don’t mean that a competitive, oh-I-wish-I-would-have-said-it-like-that way, but a Dear-God-thank-you-for-my-friend-Lisa-Jo way. :)

    Yes. Thank you.

  17. 19

    Comparrison kills my joy. It makes me feel less, and most dangerous of all, keeps the focus on me. I don’t want to focus on me, on what I lack. I want to focus on Jesus because He is enough. He has everything I need. Thank you for sharing.

  18. 21

    I really needed this reminder today. Thank you!

  19. 22

    You have wrapped this up, tied it with a pretty bow and given us, each and every one of us, a precious gift. You have a way of doing that. You are very dear.

  20. 23

    {Good Tears} I love you. And I’m so proud of you.

  21. 25


    This was a reminder I needed to read about today.

    You are a blessing~

  22. 26

    Speak it, sister. Truth just jumped off my computer screen and slapped me in the face. Gratzi.

  23. 27

    thanks for this. when I say to myself “i bet lisa-jo could say this better” (yeah i’ve done it before) I’m not allowing God to use my giftedness. yes, you are one gifted momma. but God doesn’t compare, so why should I? He sees me and says “write what I give you to write and stop looking around. look up.” thank you for this reminder. keep cheering us on sister friend!!

    • 28

      “God doesn’t compare, so why should I?” – yes that. So so good – putting it that way. Thank you.

  24. 29

    You always make me feel do okay to be just me with toys scattered all over my floor and a kitchen that isn’t really presentable to the health department right now. Your words are like you so how could mine be anything but like me. The picture with Peter melted my heart!

    • 30

      me too – that picture. I’d forgotten about it and it surprised me in all the best ways this afternoon…

  25. 31

    {Sigh}…Oh. My. After returning from She Speaks, (which was super inspiring) I became aware of so many amazing women who are making such a difference for God. And while it was inspiring to be near them, it bent my heart more than ever to doubt why I even try at all. And I KNEW that thinking was super self-centered instead of God-focused and just as I was fixing to climb out of it, today…words from His heart to mine through both you and Holley on the same day…a ladder for me to climb out. I AM one of a kind. I am the only one with my story, my giftings, and the unique opportunities He sees fit to give to me. Because He chose me. He has given ME a God-sized dream, and He wants ME to bring it to be. To question that, wish for another’s castle, or compare my middle to someone else’s ending, dishonors what God has chosen to give to ME. And I owe everything to Him. Your words, Lisa-Jo are His gift to me. Hard, and lovely, and beautiful, and convicting all at the same time. I really can’t thank you and Holley enough for letting Him use you both today. Thank. You.

    • 32

      Can’t say Amen loud enough, Jacque. You go on and build that God dream with Him – bet He’s so ready to get started with you!

  26. 33
    Marina D-K says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder. You have a wonderful way with words.

  27. 34

    Okay…this is totally weird because I wrote a post about this EXACT same thing yesterday. You have totally read my mind here. Our posts are very near identical. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Here’s a link to my comparison post from yesterday: http://www.angelastrand.com/2012/07/comparison-dont-let-it-steal-your-joy.html

  28. 35

    Thank you. Thank you. This is part of the conversation that I have been having quite a bit over the last few weeks with people in my life. I too suffer from the dreaded comparison trap when it comes to writing. Those moments when I think…really hasn’t someone already said something like this and said it better than I possibly could? I recently came to the conclusion that nobody has lived my story and that is really what He has called me to share. So I take a deep breath and do it a little scared. I am so thankful for your constant encouragement.

  29. 36

    I so often — sadly, so often — still need to hear this. Thank you, Lisa-Jo.

  30. 37

    So, Lisa-Jo, not sure if I am allowed here, as I am not a mother :) …but I thank God that I stumbled upon your words today. I am so tired of struggling with insecurity and I often tell myself that, “at my age I should be over this”…but I see I am not alone. Being a woman is a highly competitive sport, and I am so done with the game! Thanks for the nudge :)

  31. 38

    Thank goodness there’s a community of us out there! And I’m dancing — you can count on it. :)

  32. 39

    Thank you so very much for this. When I turned 40 last month, on my “To Do” list was to banish #FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Some days it’s easier to do than others, but this was like having you cheerleading in my corner!
    You’re a legend – thank you so much for your blog, where you talk straight to my heart, every time!

  33. 40

    I believe we miss so much of God’s grace and goodness in our lives when we constantly long for greener pastures on the other side of the fence. I have done this far too much. Thanks for reminding me again. I appreciate you so much!

  34. 41

    Thank you for such gracious words. Your wee boy reminds me of how I feel so often:

    “And once he’d torn the paper in half he collapsed into a small version of himself and cupped dimpled hands around his short, tender hair and cried like he’d lost his best friend.”

    Putting so much into what I am eager to create only to compare it to what others have done and tear it up because it seems no good in comparison. Then I feel worthless because not only did I spend all that effort creating but then destroyed it with my own hands in an act of self-sabotage. The work is wasted, the time is wasted, and there is nothing to show for it.

  35. 42

    This: “Let’s not trample what we’ve been given in order to get to what we wish we’d got”…I LOVE. What a perfect reminder. I have done just that in the past…trampled the gift I had in order to get what I wish I’d got…and in the end, I almost ended up with nothing. Almost. Instead, I am blessed with a life I know I am so lucky to have, full of gifts that I can actually notice when I’m not busy comparing myself to someone else.

    I so appreciate you and the gifts you give us. Thank you.

  36. 43

    I think it’s fair to say I love every one of your posts, and I’ve started a little collection of the punch-me-in-my-gut ones to read and re-read. This is one of those. Your beautiful words and graceful honesty said exactly what I need to hear, if I’m honest too, most days. Thank you for letting God fill you to the brim with His truth so it spills over into our lives also!

  37. 44

    Loved reading your post. I have been thinking about these very things. You have captured the essence of what it means to be who we are created to be. To stop trying to apply for someone else’s life and step up to the life that we have been given. Tomorrow a fresh page to write my story.

  38. 45

    Beautiful words this morning, Lisa-Jo.

  39. 46

    What a blessing! Thank you for this! It’s so true… and I think that many of us struggle with this. I know that I do. I loved hearing the pieces of your beautiful life and art as they are today. Makes me feel better about the messy work of my life today… :)

  40. 47

    I’m so guilty of comparing myself to others my whole life. It has been one of the most detrimental things to my self esteem and something I want to try to teach my own kids not to do. I actually do it much less now that I have kids, but it’s still there, trying to steal my joy if I let it. Thank you for yet another fabulous post. I didn’t realize I was in such good company (and that kids so young compare themselves to others, too).

  41. 48

    Thank you for this post! I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy and my house is a mess and when people come to visit I’m uncomfortable about the mess even though the doctor told me not to do chores. This has given me permission to say, “I’m doing the best I can.”

  42. 49
    maddalena70 says:

    I really love this post! It is so true. . . . . I do not know why sometime we tend to compare with others…. for us usually moms……
    When I understand that I am doing it again I start to repeat myself “not compare….. not compare” like a mantra……
    We are truly unique…. We just have to remember it to ourself and our little ones….



  43. 50

    Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

  44. 51

    I want to fist bump you and I don’t even do that.

    lots of truth here.
    crazy love from me to you girl.

  45. 52

    I felt my soul sigh. Thank you!

    God bless!

  46. 53

    Wow, thank you Lisa-Jo! I needed to hear that…I feel that SO often when I read your blog.
    Thanks for being such an encourager! The Lord bless you,

  47. 54

    Great post. Just tweeted it. So so many amens, friend.

  48. 55

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Thanks for the liberating, transparent inspiration again this morning.

  49. 56

    My name is Amanda and I struggle with comparing myself to others.

    And it had never occurred to me that trying to make myself feel favorable is, in essence, trying to make the other person feel less – if only in my mind. But what if it’s in theirs? And is that even remotely how Jesus taught me to live?

    Thank you.

    (For your son who wants his art to be perfect – Jackson, right? – have you read http://www.amazon.com/Ish-Peter-H-Reynolds/dp/076362344X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343913190&sr=8-1&keywords= ?)

  50. 57

    Thank you Lisa Jo for being a leader in declaring what we all struggle with daily. It’s not reserved to the Internet or blogging. It’s a real life challenge in our homes and churches and schools. The more we encounter other women and moms, the more we compare and it has to stop or we’ll stunt the growth that God desires in our lives. Such an inspiring reminder for me this morning. Thanks again!

    • 58

      Thank you Jessica – thank you all you remarkable women – for not leaving me standing out here in my awkwardness all alone. Truly. With thanks, Lisa-Jo

  51. 59

    Confession? I needed this. More than I ever knew.
    When I read your last line “No girls, let’s dance. Right where we’re at.” my first thought was “But I can’t dance!! I’ll look like Phoebe on Friends when she runs!”
    ::SIGH:: Yes. I needed this. More than I ever knew.

  52. 60

    I thought I didn’t need to read this. I did.

  53. 61

    Beautiful. This is the daily struggle..to be thankful for what is given instead of focusing on what we don’t have. I am still learning this and attempting to teach this to my sons.

  54. 62

    ~smiling at the pictures you painted in my mind ~ your cute unveiling~ Your art / life is beautiful! Look at how God has used you and your art to bring women, writers, believers together to sow prayer, ideas, hope, faith….

    How wonderful life is with all its little imperfections that make the perfect and near perfect all the more beautiful. How sad the little one who tears his painting; what joy to know he had a beautiful vision that he could not accomplish —yet!

    Does the eagle’s lair make the sparrow’s look too small? Does the rose stay intact, and leave the pansy untouched by the wandering insect?

    The opposite of compare is cherish, I think; the opposite of critique, admiration.

    I came across an interesting quote last week: “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”– ~Claude Monet

    A new admirer

    • 63

      Oh my, I want to put all those wonderful quotes in a frame up on my wall!

      This “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

      Oh my, yes. I perhaps owe having become a writer to my children, and a blogger to this community of women. Thank you, thank you.

  55. 64

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for words I needed to hear today.

  56. 65

    Great post! It’s something we all need to hear every once in a while! :)

  57. 66

    Lisa, reading your blog is like coming home after a long day in the cold, hard world. It’s such a comforting, cozy place to be, even if I am at my desk at work. It’s safe & reminds me, ” I am good enough.”

  58. 67

    You are not alone, that’s for sure!! I hate admitting it myself but I also struggle with comparison. It’s such a silly thing though. We all have something great to bring to the table as we are all so different and individual. May we all let that truly sink in deep down.

  59. 68

    i am so jealous that you get to go to mops convention! if you see andrea peterson there, give her a hug for me.

  60. 69

    You write straight to my heart and put tears in my eyes. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. I needed this today.
    In Christ,

  61. 70
    Gretchen says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for the reminder. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made! :)

  62. 71

    Thank you SO much Lisa-Jo. Your honesty (my toenails need cut, pedicures are few and far between for me) helps me to feel less “needing” to be “perfect” to write. To “journal” where I am at. I know that there are so many of us struggling with the journey trying to get to the end – when we are SUPPOSED to be enjoying the journey. This is a good, BLESS-ED reminder that I am where I am SUPPOSED to be – and rejoicing in it. THANK YOU for the TIMELY words!!!

  63. 72

    This was a refreshing reminder for me today b/c I struggle so very, very much with this. Thank you.

  64. 73

    Well written Lisa-Jo! A great reminder for those when we drift back into our insecurities and make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others.

  65. 74
    ckcpurple says:

    You are not alone. I struggle too. Thank you for the reminder!!!

  66. 75

    Thank you for writing this today. The line about comparison stealing our dreams away brought tears to my eyes. I struggle with this every. single. day. It’s exhausting and soul-sucking and while I’m glad to know I’m not alone, I’m happier to read the reminder not to do it. Thank you thank you thank you.

  67. 76

    My dishwasher comes off the rails too.

    Glad to know we are in it together! Just saying it out loud breaks the curse of comparisons.

  68. 77

    So true, yet so hard to let go!! Some how our perpetual need to compare feeds our flesh by boosting it up or shaming it into performing better…either way it is still pride. Letting go of pride and resting in contentment means stopping the feedings…even the good ones…cuz the moment we feed off of others praise or failures is the moment we fall. Every time I am at your site I am tempted to compare… I love it that this time I read this post!!! Blessings to You and Yours!

  69. 78

    I love reading your posts… they really encourage me, and are refreshing. Thanks for being so transparent and vulnerable.

  70. 79

    Preach it, sister! We need this…to think on what is good and wholesome (Philippians), to count the faithful (Elijah in I Kings), to rejoice with each other (the verse you shared above). Couldn’t read this without sighing after. :)

  71. 80

    Lisa-Jo – Love this. I compare myself to others every day. Those of us who start out with low self-confidence and low self-esteem really struggle with it. One thing you said in an earlier post sticks with me: Why do we let the voices in the back of our minds whisper mean things to us? I’ve tried to remember that the last couple of weeks. We wouldn’t let other people do that to us. We try to stay away from those kinds of people. Thanks for the encouragement!

  72. 81

    Right on time with this post. Thank u

    God bless you

  73. 82

    “comparison drive-bys” NICELY put. These moments may be quick…but they are often not fleeting. They stick around like something stuck on your shoe :0(. Guilty as charged. The saddest thing is I didn’t even see I was “as bad” as I was-pardon the comparison pun-until I started hearing self criticism from my children. How sad it made me to hear my tiny framed daughter express her distaste for her size “0” frame :0(. Sigh…I still fall into the same trap. I will walk away with this thought: Let’s not trample what we’ve been given in order to get to what we wish we’d got.” Amen Sista!

  74. 83

    Wow, I have bits of water splashing on my glasses as I read this. Many thanks to Amy Lynn Andrews for sharing your blog post on her FB wall, otherwise I might have missed it.

  75. 84

    This is great. Thanks for the reminder.

  76. 85

    Amen, sister. Yea, and amen. Thanks for this wisdom, this challenge to honoring our own selves as God has made us. Yes!

  77. 86

    You have much this resonates with me and this season of my life. After a mjor life relocation and my first baby, I had left my dreams (God’s dreams for me) fall by the way side. Lately the Lord has been tugging at my heart to start creating again (I’m a writer, a crafter and an artist) and the comparisons had been biting at these dreams. This email reminds me to just keep doing what God created me in this world to be. Thank you so much for writing this.

  78. 87

    Great post!

    Our God does love us, warts and all.

    Sometimes we just aren’t all that lovable. But we are His kids, and He loves us dearly and forgives us. If you ever doubt that…just look at the cross.


  79. 88

    Beautiful, beautiful post. I’m sure a great reminder to you (I write like that, too. Telling others not to worry, not to be afraid when it’s really me who needs and wants to hear that advice.) Hearing it from you, all I can say is “thank you”.

  80. 89

    Wow! Love your site – and this post!
    Keep it up my blogging sister!

  81. 90

    Thanks once again for your honesty Lisa-Jo – this is just what I needed to read today ;)

  82. 91

    Thanks Lisa-Jo. This was a great encouragement to me, as this is a topic I struggle with in many arenas. The internet is notorious for this sort of thing! God bless you. Ruth :)

  83. 92

    “No girls, let’s dance. Right where we’re at.” My two year old daughter loves to dance. In the living room, in the parking lot, at the grocery store, at the park. She always finds a moment to take my hands and say, “Let’s dance Mama!” And I do. Because instead of looking around and wondering what other people will think if I’m dancing in the middle of a grocery store aisle, I think of that scene in the movie Courageous when a daughter wants to dance in a park by the road and her dad doesn’t take the time, and later he realizes he’ll never have the chance again. We lose so much life when we are stuck in comparison and my Anna reminds me of that so often. What a gift.

  84. 93

    Oh wow, I loved this and needed this. It’s so crazy how I look at you and your success and think, wow she’s really got it going on. What do I think I’m doing? At the same time, you’re looking at someone else and thinking, wow she’s really got it going on…and on and on the crazy cycle continues, when really, we all have it going on in our own special way. As Joy the Baker says, we just need to “Own it.” Own our unique voice and platform and all that God has destined us to be, (which unfortunately isn’t someone else).

  85. 94
    Valerie B. says:

    Thank you for this great post!

  86. 95

    Comparative mind is such a toxin. Maybe there’s a kernel of usefulness in it: motivating us to do what we’re really called to do. But certainly we all over-exercise it. It’s like a cell gone cancerous. And when you see your kids comparing themselves to others and coming up short, that is when I want to do better with my own affliction of comparing mind.
    Thank you.

  87. 96

    What a great article. I learned a long time ago not to compare myself to others. One woman I wanted to be like attempted suicide right before her husband left her and moved in with a woman the same age as their children. Another woman I was envious of (she was wealthy, beautiful, popular, etc. etc.) succeeded in killing herself, leaving behind her beloved dog, who witnessed her suicide, and bewildered and grieving parents and a boyfriend.
    I have a girlfriend whom I go out with to clubs and concerts. I probably outweigh her by a good 70 lbs (and at least 5 inches). I have to stuff the fat/skinny comparisons down deep inside of me because she has health problems which cause her to be small and I wouldn’t trade my body for her health issues, not in a million years.
    I guess I am lucky, all I feel that I have “failed” at is being 40 lbs overweight, not being financially comfortable and having a consistently clean house and beautiful yard. I have already realized all of my big childhood dreams and many of my grown-up ones. With the exception of being skinny and rich, lol!
    I had heard a few weeks ago that when we compare ourselves to others, we are counting their own blessings when we should be focusing on our own. I thought that was genius and your post is a great reminder to do just that.

  88. 97

    Thanks so much for your beautiful insight. It was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. Thanks for being faithful and obedient to write it.

  89. 98

    Hi Lisa-Jo
    Someone pointed me to this blog post and it’s a joy to read your honest, encouraging article and I look forward to reading more of your posts, both past and present! I’m writing here to tell you and your readers that I’ve actually just written a whole (pretty short!) book on what I’ve labelled ‘Compulsive Comparison Syndrome’! It’s called, Compared to Her…How to experience true contentment, and other than exposing the syndrome (symptoms, effects, cause), it looks at how the gospel treats compulsive comparison and what ‘healthy living’ looks like in this area. Check it out at http://www.thegoodbook.com/christian-living/christmas/gifts-for-adults/compared-to-her if you want (also available in UK, Australia and South Africa)! Praise God that He is a Creator who delights in diversity as it reflects Him as three-persons-in-one, His glorious, multi-faceted character, and His manifold wisdom.

  90. 99

    You have a beautiful heart and beautiful perspective on the world. Thanks so much for sharing this refreshing dose of goodness, motivation, love, and inspiration. Write on, friend!


  1. […] Comparisons will kick you in the teeth and hijack your dreams every time We women can be an awfully insecure, competitive bunch. I mean, men are known for being competitive, but I don’t know that they let it seep into everything the way that women do. Lisa Jo Baker aka The Gypsy Mom shares this post encouraging us to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but it was quite timely for me. […]

Hide me
Free eBook for Blog Subscribers!
Just enter your email & you'll receive a welcome email with a link to download the eBook. Easy Peasy!
Show me