Spend just a few minutes scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook (or any social media platform) and within a matter of seconds you’ll find yourself inundated with 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 two hours
You see friends enjoying a date night with their spouse, friends on the vacation of a lifetime, friends who just landed that dream job they’ve been praying about, friends enjoying a girls’ weekend at a spiffy resort, your competitor receiving another speaking engagement request.
While seeing all of these stories, you can’t help but think:
- The last date night I had with my husband was when we were dating.
- I wish I had money for a vacation.
- I hate my job and if I could quit today, I would—but I have too much debt.
- Girls weekend getaway? I wish I had the time, the money, and the friends!
- I’ve been working my business for three years and I’m lucky if I can make $5,000 in six months.
The list goes on. After awhile, you walk away from the Internet feeling sad, depressed, overwhelmed, and anxious.
Once you’ve read all the good news, your mindset has taken a turn for the worse. 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 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 mindset and 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.
Where does it end? Is it possible to enjoy social media without allowing our thoughts to lead us astray?
Yes! But we have to reach a point in our lives where we are grateful for all that God has done. We have to see and realize the unique skills and talents that He has given us.
How can you break away from this mindset trap? How can you continue moving forward even when you see all of these things taking place on social media? 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 MSG
- 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 take time to study yourself. Stop studying your competitor and instead, study who God made you to be.
- 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 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 path 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. 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. 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.
Social media can be a great tool if we want to impact the lives of others in a positive way. We just have to decide how we will use it, and realize our uniqueness and the unique story that God wants to share through us.