Do you always find yourself comparing your life to others? If you do, then you are doing yourself a terrible harm. This is because, you cannot unleash your fullest potentials until you have quit it.
You engage in negative social comparison when the comparison makes you feel envious and jealous. For example, when you compare yourself to a friend who has just bought a new car or something you want and you’re jealous. This is just one instance. Read this article to see other instances of negative social comparison.
Never you compare your life (relationship/marriage, talents, ministry, business, finance, etc) to others’ if your basis of comparison is not to learn, draw motivation or grow better. You can read that again.
Now, consider the following statements that speak volume of negative social comparison.
- Mary’s husband is caring but mine seems to be the opposite.
- Just after her wedding, she started to have children. But I have been married for years now without even a single baby.
- I graduated the same year with Paul, John and Juliet from the University. Today, they are gainfully employed but here I am, doing little job that earns me peanuts.
- Jennifer is not even as beautiful as I am; yet, she is happily married to a nice handsome man. But look at me; no good man is coming my way except only those who want to sleep with me and then dump me.
- Pastor Jude is performing miracles and his church is booming. We both started ministry almost at the same time; now he has thousands of members and a big church building, but I have just a few members and no church building yet.
- Juliet and I started this trade/business together. Now, she is blosoming; she has streams of customers/clients. But for me, the story is different.
- I work more than Sandra in the company but she is the only one the director is promoting. His salary is higher than mine inspite of all my sacrifices and hardwork in the company.
Dear HBY reader, I can go on and on with the above sort of comments victims of negative social comparison make, but let’s leave it there so I can quicky tell you why you don’t need to comapare your life with others.
As I have mentioned in other articles on this subject, one very important reason why you should not engage in the dirty and destructive habit of negative comparison is that; beyond the fact that you will never win the game, you will continue to lose in it. What I mean by this is that, the more you use other people’s standard to measure your own life and this makes you feel inferior to them, the more you lose. What do you lose? Briefly I will tell you 5 things among others you stand to lose when you refuse to quit the habit comparing your precious life to others’.
The number one thing you lose when you compare your life to others is your sense of happiness. “I generally find that comparison is the fastest track to unhappiness,” said Jack Canfield. Accordingly, Mark Twain, the great American writer asserted, “Comparison is the death of joy.”
A man who is depressed finds it hard to work or pursue his goals for lack of passion or motivation.
The next thing you lose as a result of making constant negative comparison with others is your sense of self-worth and confidence. When you believe that you’re below a person’s standard, your level of self-esteem begins to drop. You no longer see yourself as one who is as important as others.
- Your faith and trust in God
Satan is constantly watching you. When he sees that your eyes and mind are on those who seem to be doing better than you and you are unhappy, he will come to you just as he did to Even, and say, “God is unfair to you. He is blessing others and he left you behind despite all your dedication and faithfulness to his service. If he is blessing those who are not even as faithful as you are, what is the need to remain faithful? There is no need. Go and look for help in other places.” Maybe you are a lady who has refused to engage in sex until marriage, and because of this, many men who have come your way left just because you refused to give them your body. Satan may come and say, “What is the need to keep your promise when God has failed to give you a husband? No need. Go and do what needs to be done so that you can get what you want.” And if you are not wise enough, before you know it, you have lost your faith in God.
- Your life
Finally, you may lose your life if you keep playing the game of unnecessary comparison. Now you ask, “My life?” Yes, it is as serious as that. “How?” Read on.
There is something called suicide ideation. You may be hearing this for the first time.
According to Taylor & Lobel 1989 pp. 569-575), “Suicide ideation can be defined as the constant thoughts about suicide and suicide attempts. Suicide is the taking of one’s own life.”
When you continue to compare your life with others such as the examples I mentioned early on, and you don’t put a check to it, the devil may take advantage of your depressed state of mind and make evil suggestions to you such as, “If things continue to work like this, there is no reason to continue living. Just end your life so that your soul will be at rest.”
As a matter of fact, I can’t really discuss the subject of comparison in full here. So I have extensively dealt on this subject in a series. Take your time to read each of the parts in the series here.
Social Comparison And Its Effects On You – Part 1: Understanding Comparison And Its Different Forms
Social Comparison And Its Effects On You – Part 2: Positive vs Negative Social Comparison
Social Comparison And Its Effects On You – Part 3: 10 Reasons You Should Stop Comparing Your Life With Others
Social Comparison And Its Effects On You – Part 4: 15 Effective Steps To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Just before I leave you, consider what you have just read; the things that negative comparison can take away from you – your happiness, passion/motivation, self esteem or confidence, your faith, and most painfully, your life.
Considering all these, you can see that you don’t have to measure your life with others. I therefore encourage you to quit the fruitless game of comparison and focus your mind and thoughts on those things that are noble, just, godly, and the like. If you think your life is not going the way you want it, then take your time to figure out what could be wrong. Ask yourself questions as to why you are still where you are.
It is possible that there are things you should be doing that you are yet to focus on. Find out and if any, start doing the right things. But if you are sure you are doing your best, then leave everything with God whose time is the best. Remember, you’re unique and different from others. God’s time and plan for others may not be the same for you. Just hold on and let God have his way in your life, and believe me, you won’t regret holding on to God to the end.
I hope you got some value from what I just shared with you. Please, I would love to know how you enjoyed this if actually you did.