On the Inside Looking Out

I don’t know about you, but the temptation to compare myself to others is pretty much constant, so much so that it’s almost automatic.

When I’m at boot camp I find myself comparing my fitness and athletic ability to my fellow campers (and usually falling short).

When I walk into a crowded room or store I start sizing up the women around me, comparing body size, dress, hair, and overall appearance and often wishing I looked [thinner][taller][more put together][other].

When I’m on Facebook and read about someone’s seemingly wonderful life with their adoring husband and 2.5 beautiful children I find the old green eyed monster of envy start to rise up within me as I long for a family of my own.

I’m not sure if the comparison trap is one that women are more prone to than men, or if we’re universally tempted to compare. Regardless, I think it’s human nature to compare ourselves to other people and to base our mood on whether or not we feel like we measure up. It’s no wonder that insecurity is such a common struggle.

I recently read this quote that I absolutely love:

I think that it sums up so perfectly the problem with comparison. We don’t know what other people are struggling with; things are not always as they seem. The people who seemingly (and that’s the key word here) have their act together may be a mess inside. The perfect family may be struggling. The beautifully dressed woman may be living with an unseeable disease. The people who can run faster and farther than I ever will may be running from a mountain of debt or family issues. We never know what someone else is going through, and it is so unfair to us as well as to them to compare our inner selves with someone’s outward self. This is a quote that I need to memorize and recall over and over whenever I’m tempted to start making comparisons.

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4 thoughts on “On the Inside Looking Out

  1. This is SO funny to me because you're one of the people who have it made (or so I think)

    You're right – none of us tells the whole story… even when we think we do.

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  2. Terri, believe me–I am far from having it made! (At least in my mind.) But I guess that proves the point that it is so easy to get caught up in looking at other people and wishing that I had their life rather than appreciating the life that God's given me.

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  3. My friend has this “disclaimer” on her blog after noting how everyone's facebook page looks like their life is one big, beautiful beach photo:

    “My blog is a snapshot of the best of a regular ol' day – so don't hate me for my freshly baked muffins, OK? I think you're smart enough to know that you can't take a beach photo without getting sand in your underpants.”

    We all tend to put forth our best for the public eye. Most photos we pick out to frame are the perfect ones, just like the stories we tell make us look like we have it all together.

    I have always thought I was fairly transparent, but then I go read my blog and realize how much I don't post. Not knowingly, but just because you don't hang all the bad stuff out there for everyone to see.

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  4. This is so true Lisa. People comment about me being put together a lot and so patient with the boys, but they do not see me at home on a regular basis. I really do yell believe it or not 🙂 Miss you. I have more of a flexible schedule now with Lucas so we really need to get together.

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