We can’t talk about goals without talking about the dreaded “C” word. I’m convinced it sidelines us and prevents us from reaching our goal more than any other valid excuse we might have.
Comparison. It’s a doozy.
Comparison shifts our focus from our lane to someone else’s. It tells us our goal is too big or small. It reminds us of how out of shape we are, incapable we are, and tells us we will never be the disciplined person we desire to be. Comparison robs us of what God wants to do in us and for us. It leaves us discontent with what He has given us and bitter toward others.
If we can’t cheer for others whose goals are seemingly bigger or smaller than ours, we should check our heart. When we measure our life by someone else’s, we will never reach the life God has for us.
Chances are you saw friends, family, and random people you follow on social media post their goals, resolutions, or “one word” for 2018. How did you respond in your heart when you saw their posts? Were you happy for them, or did you compare their goals to your own? Did you make adjustments based on what you saw them striving to do?
My goal of running ten miles a week last year was challenging for me, but for a seasoned runner, ten miles isn’t much. I often had to remind myself to stay focused on my lane and not look over to theirs. It wasn’t always easy.
When runners sprinted by me on the course, I had to stay focused. When I passed runners, I had to stay focused. If I had compared myself with someone else’s progress, I would have felt discouraged and given up, or become prideful and likely injured myself (I’ve learned both the hard way a time or two).
I don’t have to be a ten at everything, and sometimes that’s hard to swallow. Many of us want to be a ten at whatever we’re trying to do, and if we can’t, we quit altogether- there’s no middle ground. But then we miss out on the sheer enjoyment of life simply because we’re trying so hard to prove ourselves and be the best at everything.
When I finally accepted that I don’t have to run the farthest or fastest, I started enjoying running for what it does for me, not how it made me look to others. When your goal lines up with something you enjoy, not something you have to prove, you are much more likely to stick with it.
How are you being tempted to compare yourself to others? How do you want to respond? Think about how you can respond when you’re faced with that temptation. Write down Scripture verses and truths that will help you through those discouraging or prideful moments.
Fight comparison and you will be on your way to reaching your goal.