“It’s not worth your tyme. Yes, you know what I mean. Ever sit and feel like you are not as good as [fill in the blank]? Ever feel like you ‘should’ do more? Here’s some news: We live in a world of leaders, stop comparing yourself. Each person has their gifts, and their gifts shine in different ways and at different tymes. When you compare yourself to others, you don’t win; you hurt your own brightness and stop focusing on developing your strengths”.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability… For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich. Matthew 25:14-30 NIV
One of the least understood principles of success but one of the most vital is this – your God-given gift will make room for you! We were each born with God-given gifts, talents and abilities. But one noticeable characteristic of successful leaders is that they don’t secretly compare or compete with other leaders in an unhealthy way. That’s not to say that it is not tempting to look at others and think of another leader, “Wow I wish I had the character quality or skill…” But at the end of the day, if that is your pattern, you will be paralyzed by comparison. It will make a way for you in life. It is in exercising this gift that you will find real fulfillment, purpose, and contentment in your work. It is interesting to note that the Bible does not say that a man’s education makes room for him, but that his gift does!
“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” ― Bill Gate
Be yourself personally and organizationally God made us all, but he made us all unique. There is no one else like you. And he wants you to live up to the full potential of who he made you to be. Successful leaders know who they are and avoid the temptation to try to be someone else. Here are a few passages of Scripture that are a reminder that God loves you just the way you are:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. -Psalm 139:1-14 NIV
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. –Song of Solomon 4:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. – 1 Peter 3:3-4
*WHY IT’S UNWISE TO COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS:
1. You have no idea what another person’s journey is all about. You’re on the outside looking in. If you knew their story, you might not be so quick to compare yourself to them.
2. It may not be realistic for you to be where someone else is or have what they have. Different people are at different stages at different times. I had never even met the young lady in my class. For all I know, she could have been another instructor who’s been practicing yoga for years.
3. Although you may think it is, the grass is not always greener on the other side. And, if you would simply water your grass, it could be pretty and green. If I would work a little harder, practice at home outside of class and attend class more regularly, I’m sure I would be comfortable in that yoga position in no time!
4. Comparing yourself to others can lead to bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy and even an unhealthy competition. If I don’t watch myself, I could find myself going to class with the sole purpose of outdoing my yoga classmate.
*HOW TO STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS:
1. Recognize and acknowledge your true value and worth, but at the same time, accept yourself even with all of your faults and imperfections. We all have them. Make positive changes where you can. Do what you can to change the things you can and accept the things you can’t.
2. Find your own gifts and talents and develop them. Don’t covet the gifts and talents of others. Find that thing God wants you to do. Become the person He wants you to be.
3. Learn to appreciate others for who they are. Build relationships with those who live productive lives so you can share with them and learn from them.
4. Celebrate and reward yourself for who you are! Thank God for everything He’s blessed you with; all of your abilities, gifts and talents. Ask him to forgive you for comparing yourself to others.
Remember, focusing on others and on what they are doing will hinder you from seeing what God has in store for you! Don’t look over your Shoulder or you’ll Drop the Ball! When I was in High School I had the privilege of playing Center on our football team at tymes. One tyme when I was to hike the ball to our quarterback, I glanced over at the guy cross from me on the other team who was gunning for me. I was comparing myself to him. Because my eyes were on him, I didn’t focus on the player in front of me waiting for me to slip up! Luckily we where in a pulling play where the Guard & I both pulled left with the quarterback & I was able to catch the first guy off guard when he saw this play coming at him. We ran over him like a Mack truck at full speed riding over an empty soda can in the middle of the road! And we won the game two plays later… Umm…okay, I wish that was the way the game ended. Actually we lost. Lesson learned.
Don’t fall prey to comparing yourself to others. Just be yourself and be a good model for others to follow. The Bible clearly says that:
A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men Proverbs 18:16 NIV.
Essentially, what this scripture is saying is that you’re talented or have some gift or anointing, and then eventually your place will be made for you, and people of great means will get to hear you or partake of your gift.We need to understand that the Hebrew word translated “gift” in our text means a present. And the word “room” means to broaden. So, it could read this way:
“A man’s present will broaden, cause expansion, or create opportunity for him. And, on top of all that, a man’s present will bring him before great men.”
God gives us gifts and talents that will be a blessing to His body and the lost and God is no respecter of persons and he will make room for your gifts, your talents and your ministries just as he has done in the past. There is room for everyone and comparison just drains our creative potential. We should not worry because as long as our focus remains on our talents, we will be able to successfully make them our own. While life may seem like a treadmill where we always want more, just relax and own yourself, and I promise you’ll be a happier and satisfied leader.
*Resources: Ryan Erlenbush, Erica Dhawan & Ashley Denton