“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Who this quote is attributed to is debated, but you’ve heard it said, I’m sure. I’m also sure you’ve heard a lot about it, so if that’s the case you can feel free to ignore this entire post if you’d like, because I’m pretty sure this is mostly a reminder for me. Do you wanna know the real reason why I haven’t been blogging? I felt like I couldn’t do it justice. Mostly because I want it to look GOOD. I want to get my camera out and take pictures along the way of each project I do and upload them. I want to go into photoshop and put my blog name on each photo. I want to be Pinterest-worthy. But getting my nice camera out? So. Much. Work. Taking pictures, uploading them, editing them, uploading them again… are you kidding? And then they probably wouldn’t even be that great. And I probably wouldn’t have any readers. And all hopes of becoming a Pinterest and blogging sensation overnight and quitting my job to be a full time blogger? Why even mention it?! So there you have it. The rabbit trail of fear and comparison have led me away from what I want to do and left me… bored.
Don’t mind me, about I’m about to bring up The Nester again. As I was reading her book, The Nesting Place, which I mentioned in my last post, I realized something: I’m what she calls an overthinker. The person who is so worried about how things not turning out the right way, they keep putting it off and putting it off until they can get it perfect… and then it never happens. Anyone else out there? Because that is SO me. This happens with my blog, with crafting, with decorating & unpacking my apartment, with my career, my behavior… agh! Come to think of it, I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I don’t know how many hobbies or musical instruments I would begin and then give up because I wasn’t instantly a pro. But it’s time to let go of that way of thinking!
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. –1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV
I have spent far too long waiting for perfection, comparing myself to others, comparing myself to where I think I should be. But in trying to find perfection, I’ve been missing out in the joy and beauty that can be found in contentment. Being happy where I’m at right now. So no more comparing or waiting for the perfect thing. It’s time to find joy.
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. This means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original….Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. –Galatians 5:25-26 & 6:4-5 MSG [emphasis added]
Five ways to find joy by kicking comparison and fear to the curb:
- Realize that if you’re starting something new, you’re not going to be perfect right away. Remember the first time behind the wheel? NASCAR recruiters probably weren’t pounding on your door.
- Find something that you’re doing right, and love it. Use it as your inspiration. When I do a really good crafting project, and I love the way it turned out, I suddenly want to make 5 more projects. This isn’t about ego, it’s about motivation.
- Something. For heaven’s sake, quit waiting for skills that you’ll never develop by sitting on the couch. Stop waiting for somebody to drop a million dollars at your doorstep. Just do it! Have confidence in yourself. Starting small is fine, and in fact might be just the boost you need. But do something.
- Be crazy. You don’t have to do things the same way everybody else has. You can do things your A new way. Like that deep, autumn red curtain I have in my ocean blue-green bathroom. You may not like it. That’s okay, because I’m starting to think that actually, I do. It doesn’t mean not to take advice. But if it’s decorating, blogging, or many other hobbies and projects, there are really only a few voices that matter most of the time.
- Let go of the end result, and give yourself permission to make mistakes. Realize that God gave us skills and desires for a reason, and He wants us to use them! If you use them to His glory, you’re not going to go wrong. You’ll still make mistakes, and things might not turn out how you’ve planned, but that’s OKAY. Let it go, give it over, let Him handle it.
What are some ways that you keep comparison and fear from getting in the way of your joy?
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Enjoy this post? It’s part of the series “31 Days of Finding Joy,” and the rest of the series may be found here.