Confessions of Faith: How I Fell Into (And Got Out Of) The Comparison Trap

The other day, I came across this post by one of my writer friends on Instagram.

Screenshot_2016-04-05-19-04-34

And then, last week, I came across this AMAZING blog on identity by my good friend Simone. Seriously, click the link. You’ll thank me later.

They both spoke to me and reminded me of a time not too long ago when I fell into the horrible habit of comparing myself to others. I thought I had kicked that nasty pesky inclination in high school. But there it was again, rearing its ugly head in my 30’s.

And this time, it wasn’t about anything superficial like my looks or fashion sense. This was intense and deeply personal. This time I was comparing my God-given talent for writing to other authors. This time, the whole situation was personal.

I’m the type of person who is genuinely happy when good things happen to other people. I don’t have a hateful bone in my body. The way I see it, if God did it for them, He will certainly do it for me. So don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t mad at them for succeeding. I was mad at myself for not doing all that I thought I was supposed to be doing.

You see, I kept thinking that having one full length novel published wasn’t good enough. My author buddies were putting out books left and right, and I was still struggling through the first draft of my sophomoric effort. I kept thinking ‘what’s wrong with me?’

When comparison takes root, despondency is not far behind it. I went from wondering how other authors were able to do so much, to beating myself up for not doing enough, to wondering if I’m really cut out for this author thing after all.

That’s when God’s counsel stepped in and told me in no uncertain terms to pump my breaks. Who did I think I was questioning His plan and His pace? How dare I even consider neglecting my gift simply because things weren’t progressing the way I thought they should?

God’s conviction is so much lighter than our conscience’s condemnation. Because His conviction comes with clear instruction and hope for the future.

God's conviction is so much lighter than our conscience's condemnation. Because His conviction comes with clear instruction and

I stopped comparing myself to other writers and started reminding myself of who God says that I am and what He promised me for my future. Long before I ever had the courage to pursue this writing dream, I stood on the promises of God for years. He said that my gift would make room for me and bring me before great men.

He’s been faithful to that, so it’s only right that I remain faithful to Him.

My point is this: don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. You don’t know what it cost them to get where they are and you don’t know how hard it may be for them to keep going. Focus on you and what you were purposed here to do, and then do it with all your might.

I promise that the payoff will far exceed your wildest dreams.

XoXo,

Faith

A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16 

Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go. Ecclesiastes 9:10

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18 thoughts on “Confessions of Faith: How I Fell Into (And Got Out Of) The Comparison Trap

  1. I love this post on so many levels, Faith! And thank you for linking. I’m glad the Lord has been speaking to you on this front too. Like C Denise said…this message applies to so many of us. You gave a good practical step : I should only compare myself to my growth. And, praise the Lord, there’s been some! I can look back and see how rejection and/or a no affected me last year. But now, I’m actually looking for the message or what God is trying to do.

    That’s nothing but Grace.

    Btw, I love this verse–>> a man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16 To me, it just speaks of what God has individually crafted each of us to do.

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    • Your post on identity is what reminded me of that season of comparison, so that you! What you said about growth is so true. When we trust Him, a rejection doesn’t have as much sting, because we know that what He has for us is for us, and no man can stop it. Proverbs 18:16 is one of my all time fave scriptures.:)

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  2. Faith, I just love this. I think that every person pursing something in life should read it and be reminded to just bloom right where they are planted. I often feel like I should be further ahead than I am, but what is “further ahead?” Sometimes when we’re pursing something in one area we forget about everything we’ve already accomplished in other areas. And we need to celebrate all of our successes, not just the ones we like the most.

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    • Thanks Quanie! Your response it right on the money and just goes to show how skewed our thinking can become when we don’t have balance. Life is for LIVING, not just WAITING. Thankfully, the way humanity is set up, we can do both! 😉 And
      I think you’re doing great. It’s a pleasure for me to watch how you’re refining your brand and finding your niche.We got this!

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  3. As a good friend reminds me frequently, “You don’t know my whole story. You only see my glory.” We all fall in that comparison trap. The key is backing out of it which you’ve done. Good for you. Good for us. Keep writing. Love your stories. Love your word. Your dreams will come to pass.

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    • Awww, I needed to hear this Ann! I’m starting to get that this whole thing is a learning process, and people learn at different paces in different ways. One thing I’m committing to is treating myself with more compassion.

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