I frequently compare myself to others and find myself lacking. I do this with my spiritual life, professional life, personal life, as a mother, and at the gym. About the only area of my life I rarely if ever compare myself to others is as a wife.
It serves no purpose and hurts me every time. It is not because I want to be better than others; rather, I just want to be as good as the people I think are doing really well. It is a struggle to believe that I am as good as others.
My brief time, three weeks, working out at a cross fit type gym has been a huge help for me in this struggle. I went in feeling very unsure of myself and not knowing what I was doing there. Many times I had no idea how I was going to do what the coaches were telling us to do. And I kept looking around and thinking I could never do what the other people were doing. They were younger, were not overweight, had been doing this longer, pretty much an endless list as why they were better than me. But then I stopped and noticed that everyone there was the same sweaty, disgusting mess as me no matter how fit. Why? Because each person there was focused on improving themselves and beating not someone else’s times or reps or weight lifted but trying to beat their own best.
I think of the many times in my life I compared myself with others, found myself lacking and didn’t even try to succeed. Being stuck in comparison mode means you never learn to be the person God is calling you to be. As I near the half century mark I am excited to find out what’s next in my life. I do believe that God is going to help rid me of some habits that are not conducive to growth.
When all is said and done, what God wants from each of us to be ourselves. Constantly comparing ourselves to others serves no purpose and hurts. I think about this quote from Ignatius of Loyola “Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly,” and pray to abandon myself to his grace.
Copyright 2013 Deanna Bartalini
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About the Author
Deanna G. Bartalini, M.Ed.; M.P.A., is a certified spiritual director, writer, speaker and content creator. She is the founder of the LiveNotLukewarm.com online community, a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith through live, interactive faith studies. Her weekly Not Lukewarm Podcast gives you tips and tools to live out your faith in your daily life.