Movie trailers and sports highlight reels entice us to buy a ticket to the show or game. That’s their whole purpose.
Have you ever watched a movie trailer and then bought the ticket without doing any additional research? You get to the theater in plenty of time to grab the popcorn, and other yummy snacks, settle into a comfortable seat in the perfect spot, eager for the movie to start. However, not five minutes into the film you realize it isn’t what you expected. Oh, that trailer was terrific, but it was the best part of the movie. Trailers or highlight reels only show the best, whether that is in a movie or your life.
The danger is that we interpret our highlight reel as everyday life. It’s anything but.
When I was a young mom, my best friend appeared to have everything together. She’d just had her second child, worked full-time, maintained a spotless house, had a happy marriage with everything humming along smoothly. All. The. Time.
Not me. New mom, small apartment, used furniture, living payday to payday with clothes that didn’t fit. When I compared my highlight reel with hers, I failed miserably.
What I observed was my friend’s highlight reel, not her reality. Comparison bites.
Can you relate?
Because her husband loved a clean house, she kept everything tidy and taught her children to do the same. She wouldn’t go to bed at night if the house wasn’t clean.Comparison looks at the best in another’s life against the worst in yours.
Not an honest comparison.
“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it's even more than that—Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody—or your soul.” Ann Voskamp
Why do we waste time in comparison? 1. Poor self-image. When we believe we are NOT worth having a good life, our self-image needs assistance. God says he created you and me perfectly —with amazing eye color, hair color, body type, likes,interests, and talents to bring Him glory. Hear me: God created you exactly right. Perfectly created, though our actions and choices are imperfect. 2. Jealousy. The green-eyed monster is normal as a human. When jealousy, a steady companion to comparison, is left unchecked, it destroys relationships.Jealous feelings are the symptomatic response but not the root of the issue. Overcome with jealousy? Look for the underlying cause.
Susan Heitler, Ph.D. encourages us to ask a simple question with our eyes closed, “… what is the jealousy intended to accomplish?” When we close our eyes, we eliminate distractions and focus inward.
What triggered the jealousy? What’s the root? The answer has more to do with our fears, choices, and insecurities, than the other person.
3. FOMO—Fear of Missing Out. Comparison points out all the things someone else gets to do or have that we don’t or believe we can’t. When we compare ourselves to others we lose. Remember, the
comparison is never on equal footing. You and I don’t know the other person’s circumstances only what is visible at the moment. In our social media culture, we see the snapshots of others’ lives, not the realistic play-by-play. FOMO forgets that.
4. Discontentment. It’s easy to look through the window of another’s life and believe if you could live THAT life, you would be content. But that’s a lie. Contentment doesn’t result from everything going right or being exactly like someone else. Instead, it is a learned discipline rooted in gratefulness. Don’t skip over this part! Training your mind to look for the beauty in each day builds contentment. Therefore, if you find the root of comparison is discontentment, look around, grab paper or an electronic device, and force yourself to list everything that is RIGHT in your world. Build contentment and break comparison. Now that’s smart.
You were uniquely created for a specific purpose.
Comparison is a thief. It robs you and me of our joy and steals unconditional love from our relationships. Lock your door and password protect your mind. Don’t let comparison steal any more moments than it already has.
If we don’t guard our hearts and live our life to the fullest, our family, friends, and the world miss out on the uniqueness we contribute. Be the best you possible! Your imperfect life is precious. The world needs your highlight reel.
Will you accept the challenge to stop comparing and start living your life to the full? Start by identifying which one of the four points trips you up the most. Think on it. Pray about it. Untangle its prominence in your mind. Then embrace your REAL LIFE over your “highlight reel life” and start perfecting your end zone dance.
Kirsten Samuel is an active blogger, author, coach, and speaker. Her book, Choosing a Way Out, was a recent Top Ten Finalist for the Author Academy Awards. Married for 37 years, she and her husband David love experiencing other cultures, cheering on their adult children, and grand-parenting. Kirsten believes each day is a gift to be fully lived. As an overcomer and survivor, Kirsten’s deepest joy is helping other women make difficult choices to claim their worth, define healthy boundaries, and seize God’s best for their life.