Why do we compare our worsts with peoples bests?
Following all the panic of me taking a gap year, I finally had a plan for the year and had what was, in fact, an amazing job opportunity. Until, September 1st, after months of fasting and prayer, I hit rock bottom when I got an email saying the job was no longer available. I was very disappointed, not just in the fact that I didn’t get the job but in the fact that it seemed as though God had ‘forsaken me’. As you may have heard many people quote Hebrews 13:5, The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you and I will later learn that to be true as I discover the purpose of each ‘disappointment’ in my life and how the Lord works out everything for the good of those who love him.
During this period, I, however, went into what was basically a phase of mourning. I turned 18 three days later and barely even got myself out of bed to celebrate the day. I would stay in my room all day crying and questioning God on why he would let me go through this period of so much uncertainty. This depression was made worse when I’d log into my snapchat and see my friends going out and getting ready for university while I was stuck in Lagos with absolutely no sense of direction.
But the Lord arrested my thought process. I had gone for Hillsong Conference earlier that year and heard a man who I personally believe is one of the worlds greatest preachers at the moment, speak. His name is Steven Furtrick. During this period, I randomly stumbled across his sermons on Youtube and this begun to change me from the inside out. It was a particular sermon that struck me and has since helped shape my perspective and change the way I saw myself and my progress( I will put all links below).
Where comparison begins contentment ends. You see, through all of this, I had spent my time “comparing my behind the scenes to everyone’s highlight reals”. Through the year, I’ve had so many people come up to me saying oh my gosh, “I wish I took a gap year, you’re literally having the best time” and each time I hear this, I laugh to myself because I know how I feel when I see those same people doing what they are doing. And this just reveals that there is no win in comparison. You can either sit down comparing your grades, university, university course, career path, relationship status, clothes e.t.c to others or you can run your own race and focus on your own path fixing your eyes on Jesus. The plain fact is that there is always someone that is going to have something more or be better but there is no one that is going to be better at being you than you. So, be you, focus on your own lane and drop the comparison because it ultimately leads to competition. And who is worth competing with when the race has only one winner?
This is something that is so cliche and everyone talks about it but something being cliche doesn’t mean it’s not the truth. We live in a World and at a time where before we get out of bed, we are comparing ourselves to others. We scroll on Instagram and see that everyone is on Holiday whilst we have spent the last few weeks in bed watching Netflix, we see that girl who got an amazing internship in a top firm while we are working an Ascot job or that person got a A*’s whilst you’re managing your C’s. The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it with something else.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe striving to be better is a great thing, but striving to be better should never arise from a place of wanting to be better than someone else because that, dear reader, is only feeding your insecurities. You are fighting to be superior to someone which almost indefinitely leads to pride. I believe the benchmark of striving to be better should be your own self, strive to be better than you were yesterday, today and better than you are today, tomorrow. This way, you are focusing on yourself and not trying to be in competition with others.
God has equipped YOU with everything you need for your OWN race to fulfil YOUR own purpose. Until I got this into my head, it was virtually impossible for me to see anything good happening to me because I’d compare it to everyone else’s success. My advice for you dear reader is “don’t let comparison be the death of you”. It does more harm than good, building up anger, hatred and resentment in your heart. It makes you feel like you’d never be good enough ( which you already are by the way, because God made you just so), it discourages you most of the time because as I said you can’t compete in a race that is not yours to win. So, strive to be a better person in everything that you do who you are and God will reward you accordingly.