The strongest women I know are those who empower and encourage others in their endeavors. I so admire the many women in my life who are truly effortless in lifting other people up and never hesitate to praise the good that they see in them.
In our society, isn’t it completely normal to compare ourselves to other people? When we have a goal to achieve something in our lives, such as pursuing a business or trying to do well as a mom or a wife, it can be difficult to watch other people achieve more at a faster pace or to “do life” better than us.
I can’t count how many women I’ve talked to who battle with the fact that they aren’t engaged when so many of their friends already are. Women who talk about their careers, families or even social media followings not flourishing or growing as quickly as other people in their spheres. Others who struggle with not having the financial means to keep up with the Jones’s. It can be really difficult when you feel left behind.
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When we are envious, we feel inferior because we falsely believe that the other person’s possessions or achievements overshadow ours. It’s never a bad thing to want to do well and to live life to the fullest. But if we get so caught up in ourselves and desiring recognition that our own goals and pursuits are placed at the very top of our list above the more important things in life (God and people), it can become shallow and empty very quickly.
Envy is often based around fear. Fear that we aren’t getting what’s ours. Fear that we’re being left behind in the grand scheme of life. Fear that our work isn’t as important as theirs. But we must put away the “measuring stick” that we use to compare, entrust our lives to God and take action in order to work through our fears.
For me – with my blog, as a wife, and as a mom – I always intend to invest my whole heart and mind into everything I do: to dream big, work hard and pour my heart into every gift that I’ve been given. I think we should live like that. But we have to be careful not to make it all about us; at that point, our pursuits and selfish desires can often leave us endlessly striving for more.
I want to remind you that the things we may least expect are what often bring the most joy. Even when it feels like everyone else is so far ahead of us, we have to remember these important truths: Community brings joy. Love brings joy. Selflessness brings joy. Serving others brings joy. Thinking of ourselves less brings joy. Celebrating other’s accomplishments brings joy.
And the more we do these things, the more we bless others and the more we are blessed ourselves. When we choose to rejoice in other’s accomplishments and celebrate who they are, we get to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and forget the need to compare.
When was the last time you went out of your way to celebrate or praise your best friend’s accomplishments, just because? When was the last time you gave someone a call just to tell them how proud you are of all that they have going on in your lives? It’s never too late to begin living life this way!
It’s so important, even when we’re established and successful, to remember that it’s people who have ultimately helped us get to where we are. We need to remember to be that person for other people; the person who goes out of their way to support and cheer on others around us in their own gifts and callings. This type of community is invaluable and it truly does break the barriers of competition.
Without love and relationships, what is this all for, anyway?
Every single person reading this post has a gift and every single person can be used by a God whose plans and thoughts are far greater than you could ever dream. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in what you see other people doing and lose sight of all that you have.
Now read this: Are you a giver or a taker?
A version of this post originally appeared on Sparrows and Lily and was republished with permission.
Lindsey Maestas is a Christian based out of Albuquerque, NM. She is a wife to a loving husband and a stay-at-home-mom to a sweet little boy with another little one on the way. She received her degree in Journalism and is a writer for the faith-based lifestyle blog, Sparrows and Lily. She loves Jesus, event planning, baking and binge-watching Netflix with her husband. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.