Spend just a few minutes scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook (or any social media platform for that matter) and within a matter of seconds you’ll find yourself inundated with a variety of stories. Stories like:
- the birth and celebration of a new baby
- the engagement of two souls
- the business success of an entrepreneurial friend
- friends purchasing a new home or new car
- your competitor making $5000 in less than 2-hours
You know how it goes. You see friends who are enjoying a date night out with their spouse, friends on the vacation of a lifetime, friends who just landed that new dream job they’ve been praying about, friends enjoying a girls weekend at a spiffy resort, your competitor receiving another speaking engagement request, etc., etc., etc.
While seeing all of these stories, you can’t help but to think:
- The last date night I had with my husband was when we were dating
- I wish I had money for a vacation, it would be nice to get away
- I hate my job and honestly, if I could quit today, I would but I have too much debt to pay off
- Girls weekend getaway? I wish I had the time, the money and close friends to get away with
- I’ve been working my business for over three years now and I’m lucky if I can make $5,000 in 6-months.
The list goes on and on. After awhile, you will walk away from your computer and/or mobile device feeling sad, depressed, overwhelmed, and/or anxious.
Once you have read all of the good news, comparisons are inevitable. How can you possibly measure up? The friend who just threw an extravagant birthday party for her child, complete with homemade, superhero decorated cupcakes and crafts. You hate cooking, baking and there is not one crafty bone in you. Or, you see all the elf-on-the-shelf pictures and while you were determined to not give in, your child is now wondering why “Santa” didn’t bring them an elf and before you know it, you’re out buying one because you want to be a good mommy too; like the mommy’s you see on Facebook. Or, you see your competitor having great success with a recent product launch and you start going crazy with ideas of how you too can make the same exact product so that you can experience success and cash flow.
How do I know all of this? Because I too have struggled with comparisons. I’ve walked away from the computer feeling like my life doesn’t measure up. I’ve walked away wondering if I’m a good mommy. I’ve walked away feeling like something was wrong with me because I wasn’t experiencing the success my competitor was having. And, I’ve walked away wondering why my life couldn’t look different.
Eventually, you start wondering why your life isn’t filled with all of these glamorous moments. You may even wonder why your elf on the shelf seems exhausted compared to your good friend’s incredibly active elf. And all of a sudden, you realize, “this isn’t the life I signed-up for and quite honestly, it’s boring.”
Where does it end? Is it possible to enjoy social media without allowing our thoughts to lead us astray?
Yes you can! But here’s the deal, we have to reach a point in our lives where we are grateful for all that God has done. We have to reach a point in our lives where we see and realize the unique skills and talents that He has given us.
When I first started out in social media, I got caught-up in this comparison trap. I consistently looked at the platforms of my competitors. I constantly looked at what they were doing, who was following them, and what they were posting. The more I watched them the more I became dissatisfied in what I was doing, offering and promoting. The more time I spent looking at their platforms, the more I felt as though I couldn’t succeed, I couldn’t be used by God. And, even though I hate to admit this, the more I watched their platforms, the angrier I became. I just couldn’t understand why they were experiencing so much success as my platforms were sputtering. It didn’t seem fair.
Needless to say, I found myself regularly in a slump. I found myself questioning what God was doing in my life and in my business. I was spending so much time comparing, that I failed to see the story that God wanted to share through me. I failed to see the unique voice, skills and talents that He gifted me with. I failed to see how God would use my uniqueness to reach an audience that He would bring to me. Truthfully, I had allowed the sin of envy to enter into my life.
In the long run, comparison will kill your dreams. Envy will keep you from following the calling of God on your life. The time you spend comparing and envying what someone else has and the success that they are experiencing, will only hold you back.
So, how can you break away from this trap? How can you continue moving forward even when you see all of these things taking place on social media? How can you #BeDifferent and #BeWorthFollowing? I believe Galatians 6 has the answer for us:
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 with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. ~Galatians 6:4-5
- Make a careful exploration of who you are: Do you know who you are? Do you know how God has uniquely created you? Do you know the gifts, skills and talents that He has given you? One of the ways to avoid the comparison trap is to know who you are. Take time to study yourself. Stop studying your competitor and instead, study who you are.
- The work you have been given: What season of life are you in right now? What work has God given you right now to complete? How can you use your gifts, skills and talents with the work that He has given you right now? Make a careful exploration of your work.
- Sink yourself into that: Once you know who you are and the work that God has given you during this season of life, sink yourself into that. Stop wishing for better days. Stop wishing your life and/or business looked like that of your competitor. Instead, focus on the here and now and where God has you.
- Don’t be impressed with yourself: Once you start sinking yourself into your work and using the gifts, skills and talents that God has given you, doors will open. You will see God move. But don’t get too impressed with yourself. Remember, God brought you here. Your main purpose is to love others, serve others and bring Glory to God. It’s all because of Him.
- Don’t compare yourself with others: Let God do what He wants to do in the lives of others, and let Him do what He wants to do in your life. He has a different assignment and calling for you! Stop trying to be like someone else. Follow the unique and different path that He has given you!
- Take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life: No victim mentality around here! No saying that if you were like such and such, your life would look different. No! Take responsibility for your life. Do the creative best that you can do. Utilize what God has given you and see Him move.
You can #BeDifferent and you can #BeWorthFollowing. God wants to use you in a unique way, but as long as you are comparing yourself to everyone else on social media, you will miss out on His unique calling on your life.
So today, I challenge you to look at your online platforms in a new way. Choose to create your “social media strategy” based off of Galatians 6:4-5. Forget what everyone else is doing. Forget the “strategy” that everyone else is following. If you truly want to stand out, #BeDifferent and #BeWorthFollowing, start with Galatians 6:4-5.