How many times especially as women do we get caught in the huge trap of comparing ourselves to others? We were taught to compare items in school, to see the difference and what makes something unique, but somewhere along the road it’s become a negative thing? We see the differences in others, their successes and we feel jealous and sometimes threatened. That’s how it was for me and recently it almost destroyed me and I walked away from something and almost lost something that was very dear to me.
Growing up I was never the popular kid, it wasn’t good at sports, believe me I tried. I really didn’t fit in. I compared myself to my peers and knew I didn’t measure up to them. I was always compared to others, getting told if you acted this way or did this, then maybe we would like you. So hence the “people” pleasing part of me was born, I was all things to all people. But in the end, it caused more heartbreak than anything. I had compared myself to others so much that somewhere along the way, I lost who I really was. I didn’t like who I was, in fact I HATED myself. I look back at pictures and see a girl with a smile on her face but was hiding the jealously and hurt. Now don’t get me wrong I had friends and life wasn’t all bad.
So fast forward to adulthood, where I’ve carried all these feelings and insecurities around. I’ve compared myself to my fellow teachers, have thought how horrible of a teacher I was because my classroom wasn’t as “perfect” as theirs. I was a children’s pastor at one of my church’s campuses, we were the smallest one. I was constantly comparing myself to the other children’s pastors at the different campuses, jealous of what they were doing and how they were growing and our church wasn’t.
Honestly when they shut our campus down a few years ago, I felt like the hugest failure, thinking what could I have done differently. I almost walked away from church. I was angry, hurt and jealous, but I knew that God wasn’t through with me there. So I went back to the main campus and was eventually asked to teach one of our Sunday morning kids church services. If I had let bitterness and jealously win, I would have missed out on an incredible opportunity.
Then I was introduced last June to an AMAZING group of women, I joined a weight-loss group called SBL, Savvy Biggest Loser. I’ve never met a group of women more loving & encouraging than this group. I finally found a place where I “fit in”, where they unconditional loved me for me. They taught me how to love me for me, I found a new confidence that I had never had before and I was trying things that I would have never done without them. I found my best friends in this group. These ladies were on the same journey as I was, they understood the struggles I faced.
But a few months ago, those same voices of comparison and jealousy started back up. I had gotten in a funk and was fighting hard to keep my head above water. Inwardly I was depressed, but like always I kept that smile on my face and acted like everything was fine. But the truth was I had mentally quit, I was only doing what I had to do. I had gotten overwhelmed in the busyness of life and was getting burnt out. I started comparing myself to everyone around me, they’re running better, more people coming to their classes, and the list goes on. My biggest (in my eyes) failure, was how I couldn’t stick with Whole30.
And let me tell you, I’m glad I did. I’m so thankful that I didn’t let my comparisons and jealously run my life. I would have missed out on the amazing friendships and the things going on. This last weekend just cemented the fact how amazing this group and ladies are. There were about 30 of us that went to Mobile & ran the Biggest Loser half marathon. Many of them it was their 1st half. I was able to run my race and then went back out to encourage my friends to finish their races. It was a day of laughing, tears and cheering on some of the most important people in my life.
That day I realized what I had almost given up. These ladies better my life, we support each other and help each other through the tough times. We are all DIFFERENT and that is ok. Our strengths and weakness makes us unique. So much of my life and time has been wasted comparing myself to others, wishing I could be different. But now I can say for probably the first time in my life I LOVE me for me. I want to encourage and inspire the women around me. To say YOU CAN DO IT, no matter what your shape, ability, and size.
The world needs more encouragers in this world. We all need that one person in our lives that looks at you and says, “I see the potential in you, you can do it. I believe in you.” So today find someone and encourage them to dream big and follow those dreams.