Avoiding the Comparison Trap

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Each one should test their own actions.
Then they can take pride in themselves alone,
without comparing themselves to someone else.  Galatians 6:4

Nothing stops the flow of creativity more than comparing myself to others.  Usually I’m comparing my insides to their outsides. My rough draft to their finished book. My internal  mess to their polished perfection.

Comparing makes me insecure. I look at the work of others and all my doubts surface. In my mind, questions arise about my abilities. Inspiration is lost and work stops.

 “Don’t always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.  Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable. ” Brenda Ueland

God has created me and He knows me. He has given me the ability to write. I want to be confident in my work.

Comparing makes me ungrateful.  I can be pleased and thankful for my work – then I walk into a bookstore and begin to compare.  I no longer appreciate the unique words that God has given just to me. I am no longer content with what I have.

 “Comparison is the death of joy.”  Mark Twain

God has blessed me with the gift of writing.  I want to rejoice in that.

Comparing makes me judgmental. I can find myself looking for the weaknesses of others to bolster my own pride. I need to watch out for any thought that starts with, “Well, at least I didn’t . . .”  Each of us has a unique calling to write. We should always examine ourselves, not others.

 “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” Marcus Aurelius

God has given me colleagues in writing. I want to rejoice with them.

Comparing pulls me off course.  I can lose heart and focus when I am concerned about what others are doing instead of the work that God gave me to do.  When I am too busy watching others, I am not working.

 “Peter must have thought, “Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness (John)?” But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: “Follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)” Charles Swindoll

God has called me to write. I want to be productive in my work.

How can we avoid the comparison trap?  I must keep the focus on God and what He has for me to do today. Then I can appreciate my work, be grateful, celebrate the work of others, and stay on track.  Simple! Or is it?

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12: 1-2

How about you? Do you compare?

Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers
WritingSisters.com