Humans are weird. Especially girls (sorry ladies!! it’s true) when it comes to competing and comparing. We all compete with each other about the most random and insignificant things. Most of it doesn’t matter AT ALL. We want to be the best of the best. We want to have it all together and be noticed. And when we don’t feel like anyone sees what we are doing, how hard we are trying, we get mean. Hateful. Rude. Ugly.
I might be better than you at… oh, I don’t know, calligraphy. BUT you are probably better than me about eating healthy, cooking, keeping your house clean, going to the gym consistently, have better fashion sense, know more about makeup, are a better dancer… Do you see what I am getting at? And these are only surface level things. We also compare our bodies, our beauty. I blame social media for making it feel like everyone else is having the time of their lives while I am sitting at home on a Friday night with my cats. But it gets so much deeper than that. We compare how important we are. How loved we are. And how valuable we are.
Have you ever been having a conversation with someone about your job or your marriage and they say “oh that’s nothing, let me tell you about what happened to ME the other day…” No matter what, they are going to think that what they are doing is harder, more stressful, or more important. It is no fun talking to someone who is constantly trying to one up you in life. Because they just took a conversation to a competition. And this sounds ridiculous but if we are being honest, it is true!!
Competing means comparing. Life is hard enough without the added stress of feeling like you have something to prove. Comparing yourself is bad in every aspect except that it might drive you to be better. But even then, are you wanting to better yourself for you, or just to be better than someone else? We can’t be the best at everything, and in reality, we probably aren’t the absolute best at anything. Let that sink in to make you feel really good about yourself. When I compare myself to someone else, whether it’s about nursing or photography or friendships or material things… it makes me sad. First it makes me feel cheated by life in a way. Why was it so easy for them? Makes me feel less than. I will never be able to do that. Then I think about it too much. Maybe I should just give up. THEN I feel ridiculous.
1 Corinthians 12 talks about this because some people are meant to be teachers, healers, preachers, etc. We all make up the body of Christ and the body has many different parts. We can’t all be the eyes, because then we wouldn’t be able to hear. We have different gifts that we have been given to bring glory to God. If you haven’t read it, you should, because it explains it so much better than I can. But the thing is, be thankful that you aren’t responsible for being the best at everything. We wouldn’t need each other at all. We couldn’t appreciate each other for what each person can offer.
I saw this on Instagram the other day and I would totally give credit if I could remember who posted it… but it really hit me hard. He made us, for a purpose. Not the same purpose as everyone else though. I heard a story at church about Billy Graham. When he was young, he went to a revival and it was really crowded, so he turned around to leave. A man walked up to him and encouraged him to take a seat. He got saved at that revival and we all know what great things came from his life. But the man who stepped up and encouraged him to stay… wow. I feel like that man is most of us. Only a select few get to be the Billy Grahams in this story. The one who makes the big impact that is recognized and noticed. But it’s the small acts of kindness from all the “normal” people that pave the way for things bigger than ourselves to happen. It gives me chills thinking that maybe instead of competing and comparing myself to be the best, that I can encourage someone and help them do great things.
I can be scrolling through Instagram and see a photographer post a picture that I don’t think is that great and they have 400+ likes. It makes me hot on the inside. I think it is a little bit of jealousy and a lot of frustration because how are they getting that kind of response and I’m not. How did they ever get 4,257 followers in the first place?! The more I care about something, the better I want to be at it. And then I get upset when people are better. With all the honesty in the world, I don’t know how to change that.
To my NICU girls… All I am going to say here is Charge, Admit, Intensive side, Special Care, PCU. We are making a difference no matter what. We all feel the same. I have talked to enough of you to know. We are doing our job and we are doing it well. Hang in there.
It can be as small as what order you are standing in as a bridesmaid in a wedding to make you feel inferior to the girls standing closer to the bride. Or talking about what you got from your significant other for Christmas to make it obvious which couple must love each other the most (I say that with SO much sarcasm). The things I talk about apply to my life. I hope everyone can relate to some part of this.
I think it all comes down to wanting to be noticed and wanting to be appreciated. These things are completely appropriate and normal and healthy in my opinion. I just think it is the way we go about feeling these things that is most important. When we tear other people down to feel better, honestly, it might make you feel better at the time. Because in that moment, you won. But possibly seconds, or days later, it sucks. Because not only are you still in the same situation, but you have hurt someone that probably didn’t deserve it.
Almost every aspect of life is ranked in some way. Your credit score, your weight, your job title, your relationship status. Just be good at what you are good at. You do you boo!! Let other people help you with your makeup. Go shopping with your friend that has all the cute clothes. Laugh at yourself when you look ridiculous dancing. Be proud of yourself for the things you have to offer, no matter how big or small they seem. Just be you, that is more than enough.
**My pets are cuter than yours though, there is no competition there.**