Conquering the Comparison Game

Darling Days

Jul 27


the darling detailthe comparison gamethe darling detail

Before I ever even found the littlest ounce of success, I found myself stuck (and I mean … s-t-u-c-k) in a huge maze of comparison.

A game where what others were doing defined the path that I myself should take. It was a big ole black hole. Whether it was what I should be doing at night, how I should be styling my hair, or what I even desired to accomplish in my life – I found myself justifying my choices based on the efforts, successes, and choices of others.

I think it’s safe to say that we live in the 21st century comparison game. What is it, you ask? Oh you know – it’s that neverrrrrr-ending maze. That one that only leaves us grasping for more, because we constantly find ourselves bumping into a new wall of what *that other person* is up to. Suddenly … I learned that I had lost my own train of thought or ability to be creative on my own.

To all my incredibly hardworking and persevering bloggers out there: there was a point when I found myself losing my voice, my style, what makes me … well me … simply because I had saturated my mind with attaining the success of others. Say … your blog isn’t taking off and you’ve spent years putting time, money and energy into trying to get it to where all the other girls are (you have no idea how many emails I get about this every day) and you’re stuck in a rut. Have you found yourself trying to do what everyone else is doing and simply have just sort of lost why you started your blog in the first place? Been there. Done that. I’m raising my hand, y’all! #guilty. Your style, your voice, and your message is unique to you. Preserve that and cherish it. It’s the only thing that sets you apart from everyone else. How do you do this? Keep reading on…

My 20-something-gals: maybe this is for you. God’s plan for you is different than hers – so let’s let her track go and let’s get back on your own track, because your track will fit more beautifully than hers ever will. Your friend is engaged and you’re not? They’ve got that dream job? They traveled to where this summer? Let me tell you. There’s a reason you’re running your own race and not their race, and that reason may be your career, your family, your studies, or your future. So brace yourself: Get. Ready. The blessing is on its way 🙂

For when comparison turns into competition, I’ve learned it becomes an ugly beast. “Comparison is the death of joy,” said Mark Twain, so it’s time to not let the game win. LBH, we all deal with it, especially when we live in a society where posting what we’re doing on social media is often more important than actually experiencing those precious moments (sigh … don’t even get me started on Instagram likes…). But the 21st century lifestyle probably isn’t going to change, my friends. So here’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to change the way we look at the situation.

So … what happened to Jessi? God whipped her into shape realll fast. When I was freshly new to 22 — there was an a-ha moment in my life. An epiphany – a game changer – that changed all my games to come: Don’t look to the left, don’t look to the right. Focus only on your one-lane track.

 Simply. Stop. Looking.

Here’s what works for me. I practice this on a daily basis, since I feel like this is an issue that can hit you time and time again; and by no means am I an expert. But I can definitely share a thing or two I have learned the hard way:

  1. Set boundaries: When I took my blog full-time, I stopped reading other blogs, I stopped checking my Instagram feed, I stopped attending every event (#FOMO), and even stopped responding to certain blogger’s texts. Get rid of any and all distractions, and understand that you can even be unconsciously soaking up information about what others are doing without even realizing it – which is where the boundaries come into play. These moments (that you may not even realize are happening) only feed the destructive fire. They could be influencing the way you think, make decisions, style, write, produce, talk, understand, visualize your future, etc. It’s time to draw a line!
  2. Cleanse your palette: Spend extra time getting those ideas, desires, infatuations out. You have to let the new in — but trust me when I say this: there isn’t room for both. We need a clean slate here. What can you do to get those status quo thoughts out of your head? Simply stop looking at what the rest are doing, my social media gal-pals.
  3. Hit refresh: Is what they have what you want, anyways? Oftentimes it never is. Take a day or 2 or 7 to yourself to think about what you truly want for yourself. If time and money weren’t an issue, what would you truly l-o-v-e doing? What is your true passion? What would make you the happiest girl in the world? I’m not asking you what makes you money; I’m asking what makes you happy!?! Success follows passion, and people are hungry for it. It’s inspiring and it’s addicting. You are 3 steps closer to your answer.
  4. Trial and Error: I often live my life based on doors. Are they open, are they slammed-in-your-face-shut-so-tight, or are they left with a small crack open? Feel it out. What is God saying to you? When you pursue a new opportunity, be honest with yourself about how well it’s fitting. Now you’re basing your success on what’s working for you, rather than what’s working for everyone else.
  5. Give yourself a big pat-on-the-back. Congratulations, you made it thus far! This shows that you love yourself enough to fight the game hard enough to get past the pressure of the status quo. Be patient and give yourself a little hug. “Beautiful girl, you were made to do big things so believe in yourself.”

The comparison game is one of my fav-or-ite topics of all. time. since I still struggle with it day-in and day-out. By no means have I got it all figured out. But I have learned that running my own race is so much more fun and exhilarating! I’d love to hear about your thoughts and struggles with this too. XOX

all images via pinterest; image 1 / image 2 / image 3

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  1. Polly

    Is this day and age, it seems like everything is a competition. It’s important to stay focused and true to who you are and everything else will fall into place!

    Polly
    http://gemsandjoy.com

  2. Maria

    I sooooo needed to hear this now. Thank you for this post! I will take some time to cleanse my focus and start running my race without comparing myself to how others are doing theirs, even though it is harder when some of those other folks are actually trying to get you to feel like they’re “beating” you at the game. I have to find ways to stay strong regardless!

    1. Cleansing is so so essential! And So is running your own race! Love that! XOXO

  3. Tess Felber

    I LOVE this blog and your honesty- thank you for opening up about this. Being pretty new to blogging I have had these feelings and have found getting off Instagram half as much time (as much as I love it) really frees up so much time to be creative and stop playing the comparison game. I’ve been loving all your real life situation posts lately, keep it up!
    xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    1. I’m so glad you love them! And YES it does free up so much time! I forgot to include that — it gives us time to be even more creative for ourselves! Thanks girl! XOXO

  4. Tracy

    I absolutely needed to hear this today. I have been teetering on the edge of cutting back on social media so many times, but I keep justifying my decision to keep up with everyone else’s lives. Meanwhile, I am losing my sense of myself and spending less time even WANTING to engage my life and struggles. It just becomes so distant…finally unsubscribing and setting measurable boundaries today. God bless you for your faithfulness to Him and His word. We all need to examine ourselves daily and get back on the path when we have lost our way or stumbled.

    1. This makes my day! Setting boundaries is so hard and sometimes just stepping back and realizing that that’s all that needs to be done is all we need! Aww I appreciate the blessing — so glad you loved it! XOXO

  5. This is such a beautiful and heartfelt post! I am definitely saving it for those moments when I question every decision that I’ve ever made in life. I remember when I decided to quit my stable job and pursue writing and blogging full-time. All of my friends thought I was nuts. It certainly hasn’t worked out for me as planned, but does anything? I still have no regrets about the decision because it is my passion. There are days that I feel frustrated not knowing which direction to go in terms of my career, but I take solace in knowing that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment. Tomorrow will bring something else.

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    1. It is so true! Nothing goes as is planned but usually turns out way better in a different way in hindsight! Appreciate you, Vanessa! XO

  6. BOnnie

    Well said Jessi! And as a senior I have to say your words are timeless and relevant for all ages or even all the ages!! This is a wonderful way to love and honor yourself, your own path and your own God given gifts. Love you!

  7. Lynn

    Great post! Especially the setting boundaries part. Thank you!

  8. Brittany

    This totally hit right at home for me. I struggle with this almost everyday and I do my best not to pay attention to other bloggers and just be happy for their success and try to remember that I am on my own path. Sometimes, it is so hard when others are growing like crazy? It makes you think, what am I doing wrong? or maybe I should be doing what she is doing. I really needed to hear everything you said today and you are so right. We are all on our path and need to focus on our own voices and listen to God’s plan! Thanks for the post Jessi, truly inspiring.

    xo,

    Brittany || The Everyday B.

    1. Ah yes it’s so hard to turn on the blinders, I know exactly what you mean! Simply understanding you’re doing is step #1! Congrats! Aw I’m so glad you love it! Good luck with everything and I hope this was helpful! XOXO

  9. hashtagfablife

    The comparison game is too real! I especially relate to everything you said about not realizing how or when others are influencing you! It can be difficult to stay true to your own voice!

    HashtagFabLife

    1. Oh yes it is real! And yes to using your own voice, it’s the only thing that makes you — you! XOXO

  10. Courtney shields

    And THIS is one of the many reasons why you’re my best friend. So so well written, perfectly said and totally true! When I set these boundaries is really when I found my own success! God really does open the right doors and close the wrong ones and when we listen, the magic starts to happen ;). So perfect, my friend.

    xx Court

    http://www.byobeauty.com

  11. Bonnie

    Great post Jessi! Being a senior I would have to say this is a good word for your age, all ages, and the ages. Personal Peace is a good indicator that we are on the right track. Thank you for you honesty., vulnerability and willingness to share your life! Love you!

    1. Yes to personal peace and to getting out the popcorn 🙂 Love you so much!

  12. Hailey Hart Lamb

    I LOVE this message. This came to me at such a perfect time because I am struggling with the SAME issues. Starting out is so hard already, but adding comparison on top of that makes it almost impossible to be successful. I admire your work and thank you so much for bringing this issue up! We all (even us newbies!) have to support each other, not compare ourselves to each other. I will definitely be taking some time to think about what I can do to re-focus! You go girl!

    xoxo
    Hailey
    theprettypriority.com

    1. Awww I’m so glad that this will help you from here on out! Starting is the hardest part, congratulations on biting the bullet and just simply getting started! And yes, revisiting why is always important too! XOXO

  13. Emily

    This post. This post. I feel like I should start each day by reading it. Needed this, needed to ask myself what makes me truly, deeply happy. I also need to ask myself what the Lord wants, or perhaps ask him that, and let that take control over what I want. Really great post, girl!
    Emily
    http://darlingdearestblog.com

    1. Sooooo glad to hear it! And you know what – sometimes I need this message in the morning too — great idea! We can’t quit reminding ourselves that we’re not on the same path as everyone else. And YES to asking God, He can shut and open those doors for us! Thanks love! XOX

  14. Alia

    Love this message.. Thank you for sharing..

  15. Meredith

    Jessi, I must say you are quite wise for the young age of 23. I am 35 and it took me all of my 20’s and then some to not only understand this, but really believe it and live by it. I am getting married in less than a month. All of my friends have been married for years now with multiple children. I am so thankful that I learned to stop comparing myself to my peers and just be me. I could not be happier in my life right now. It is a difficult thing to accomplish…. But such a wonderful place to be when you finally get there. Your blog is such a unique and distinct voice…. Keep on doing what you do:)

    1. Meredith! Aw I appreciate it! Ahhh yes it’s so hard because everyone’s timeline is so unique and different, which is where the comparison game can become so vicious ! I love love love that – so glad to hear it! Thank you so much! XOXO

  16. Marissa // Style cusp

    Don’t even need to tell you that I LOVE this && LOVE you. So on point and it’s amazing to see what doors God can open when you reduce the static and clutter of ‘everything!’ I’ll forever be grateful for our little Austin chats & the extra little push from you and Court. xox

    1. I love you so so much! Loved our chats too – so grounding! Come back whenever 🙂 XOX

  17. Cynthia Rojas

    Truly inspirational! Loved every bit of this post.

    Cynthia
    Mintysynthblog.com

  18. Madeleine

    I loved this post, I definitely felt like it resonated with me. I’m just starting out blogging but I often feel stressed that I’m not doing enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not growing fast enough, etc. you reminded me of why I blog- because I love it! Those feelings just come about when I compare myself to others-dangerous thing to do. Thank you for this inspiring post!

    Bless. Xx Madeleine

    http://www.lilyandblush.com

  19. Vanessa

    LUV this post ! Thank you for your inspo. Truly admire a #girlboss who understands the principles of GOD !
    All the best from MIAMI!

  20. SOnia Carrillo

    This was so refreshing, insightful, and inspirational!! Putting God first is essential to our lives???? Love your blog!

  21. Jelena

    Beautiful article!! Number 1 was a wake-up call for me!! Thank you gorgeous!!<3

  22. Kritsida

    Such a great post! Definitely something I still struggle with everyday as well as caring too much about what people who don’t matter thinks. It’s still a work-in-process, but I’m glad you’re writing about it and how you deal with it!
    x. kritsida
    http://aperfectcanvas.net/

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