RECOVERY

THE THIEF OF JOY

In this world of influence and social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison. Teddy Roosevelt told us a long time ago that “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and I believe that reality speaks for itself when you look at the increasing number of teen suicides since the invention of certain social apps that are being used as bullying tools. Here are a few truths to fight back against that old stealer of joy:

  • God created YOU to be YOU! He gave each of us a unique set of gifts and talents to be used for HIS glory. You are the only person who was designed to be exactly like you—so be that! And be that BEST YOU that you can be!
  • What you see on SOCIAL MEDIA isn’t real. Faces are airbrushed. Backgrounds are blurred. Vacations are faked. Waists are slimmed. Lots of things are made to appear one way when they are just the opposite! Isn’t it better to be authentic than to wear a mask for the rest of the world to see?
  • We ALL fall short of what we could be! It would be great if we all lived up to our potential, but clearly, we don’t. If someone is pointing out what they perceive to be YOUR shortcomings, it’s probably just to take attention off their own.
  • You may not really want what you think you want. Think about what it would REALLY mean for your life if you had the things THEY seem to have! What if you had that dream job? How much time would you have to spend away from your precious family? What if you had all their money? Would you really know who your friends were at the end of the day? How about that car? Okay, maybe it WOULD be cool if you had that CAR! Okay then! Quit wishing and start figuring out what it would take to earn the money to buy it!
Photo by Efren Barahona on Unsplash

Since you know that it is self-defeating, here are several things you can do to get out of the comparison trap and start to lead a more productive life:

a.  Work on being a better YOU! We could ALL use improvement, remember? You don’t have to make a huge goal. Just try to be better than you were yesterday! Stretch yourself a little further every day. Take more risks toward a better future!

b.  Tend to your health. Start eating better. Make one healthy food choice at a time. Take the stairs more often. Walk across the parking lot instead of parking as close to the door as possible. Drink more water.

c.  Practice humility and gratitude. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes in your life to just take the time to be grateful for all you have.

d.  Give others more of your time, energy, money, and resources. You will be blessed more than they will.

e.  Get rid of things cluttering up your life. Do you really need that porcelain figurine from 1976? Are you ever going to fit in those jeans again? I’m sorry to tell you that the answer to both of those questions is probably NO!

f.  Love more.

g.  Go to church.

h.  Pray and read your Bible (if you don’t have one, go get one).

i.  Journal. Writing your feelings down helps you sort them out and is extremely helpful when trying to work through situational anxiety.

j. Paint, draw, take photos, or do anything artistic! You will be so busy that you won’t have time to compare yourself to ANYBODY. Also, you will have accomplished something wonderful (no matter how it turns out)!

Hope these tips help the next time you’re tempted to compare yourself or your life to someone else! Remember, the most important thing that you can be is YOURSELF!

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