Stop Comparing. Set the Standard.
That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
When I was in elementary school, there was a popular dance that I was eager to learn, but I just couldn't seem to get the hang of it. However, there was a girl in my class who was a natural at the dance. Every time the music played, she effortlessly performed the dance. I admired her greatly for how she danced, but soon I started comparing myself to her in other areas, such as how I dressed, talked, and behaved. I realized that I took one area of admiration and turned it into a new standard for my life. And if I missed “her mark” I assumed something was wrong with ME. Looking back, the only thing that was truly wrong was that I stopped focusing on what was right about me. Isn’t it funny how such elementary things can follow us into adulthood?
Let's face it: we've all experienced moments of admiration that turned into toxic feelings of comparison. It's easy to let our admiration for someone in one aspect of their life turn them into an unattainable standard of success for all other areas of our own lives. This can happen with anyone - a mentor, pastor, friend, celebrity, or even someone we follow on social media.
A lot of times, feelings of low self-esteem or low self-worth are birthed from relying too heavily on someone else’s blueprint. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy because you don’t measure up to their standards, and you never will because you weren’t suppose to.
According to Webster, a standard is a rule established by authority for measuring extent, value, or quality. This means that when we start to feel intimidated by someone we admire, we are essentially giving their success the authority to set the standard for who we should be. However, this is a dangerous trap to fall into because it distracts us from living our own unique lives. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we should focus on pursuing our own passions and interests. Comparison only holds us back from discovering the interesting things that make us who we are.
Each and every one of us has something amazing and powerful within us. However, if we only focus on what others have and neglect to cultivate our own admirable qualities, we miss out on our true greatness.
Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with you except for what you are using as your measurement tape. Who or what are you measuring yourself against?
To avoid falling into the comparison trap, it's important to define success on your own terms. Think about your goals, dreams, and ambitions, and consider what success would look like for you based on your unique experiences, resources, gifts, and talents. While it's helpful to be inspired by others, it's essential to stay true to your own path and set your own standards. This way, you'll have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how you want to measure your progress.
The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. You set the STANDARD for who you show up as everyday. And each time you choose to be a better woman, wife, mom, and friend you are raising your standard. Each time you choose to settle, compromise, or ignore the calling on your life, you are lowering your standard. Either way, the power is in who you choose to become.
Remember, transformation happens when we become incredibly inspired by the potential of our future selves, while imitation happens when we become obsessively inspired by the reality of someone else.
What is your standard for this month?
A Prayer for You: God help me authentically pursue the path you have for me. God allow me to fall in love with my journey and empower me to passionately leverage all the gifts and talents you have placed within me. God allow my standard to be set by who say I am and not by who I think I should be. I thank you for all of the amazing people You have placed on my path to spark my creativity, sharpen my iron, and motivate me to keep moving forward. God please don’t allow my admiration for those individuals become a distraction from the journey you have carved out for me. God I thank You for showing me the greatness within me. Lord as I continue to grow in You I know my light will also inspire others. However, God please let that light point back to You- the One who forever lights my flame.