Comparison and Competition: The Game of No Winners

“I am not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it.” – Erica Cook
I recently read that quote and it really resonated with me.  Often times, women get too caught up in being competitive and not supporting one another.  Why are we, as women, so quick to compare ourselves to others?  From our homes to our appearances, from our kids to our careers, we have compared it all.  The thing is y’all, that there is room for all of us to succeed and be happy! 
When we realize that God has already written our story, I think it opens up our heart to be genuinely happy and appreciate each blessing that we have in our life!  I truly believe that God’s timing and God’s plan is better than our own.   Each of us are not only on different paths, but different stages of that journey.  Even if we are in the same career, share the same goals or the same passion, our story is different.  Even if we are all mothers, are the same age or live in the same town, our story is different.  Even if we are sisters, hang out in the same friend circle or our kids are in the same class, our story is different.  So don’t fall into the comparison trap, because our unique circumstances in life will not allow for a fair game.  You win some and you lose some, but neither will leave you feeling happy or fulfilled.  Accepting that someone else’s success will never take away from your own will leave no room for jealousy in your heart.  
When you are genuinely happy with your own life, you will begin to be happy for others.  We feel this when we are proud of our own kids’ accomplishments, but do you honestly feel that for others?  Do you feel the excitement when your coworker gets a promotion or do you think, ‘that should have been me?’  Do you cheer wildly when your son’s teammate hits the winning home run or do you secretly wish that it should have been your kid?  It doesn’t make you a bad person if you wish it was you shining in the spotlight, but it may show that you are struggling with your own happiness or insecurities.  I can honestly say, I have been there, so I know what that feels like.  
For years, I thought the grass was always greener on the other side of the fence.  I struggled with my own happiness and in my marriage.  I recently began to keep a gratitude journal and I have never drawn a blank on things to write about.  From the opportunities presented to me in my life to my family and our home, I am blessed.  There may be goals that I still want to accomplish, things I still want to own or places that I still want to travel to, but the blessings are plenty.  When I started to acknowledge everything that I already had, it made me appreciate my life even more.  Gratitude turns what we have into enough.  That feeling of gratitude really sealed the deal to my own happiness.  When I felt secure in my happiness, I genuinely felt that happiness for others.  It is an incredible feeling too.  What a joy to be able to celebrate the blessings in your life, but in others as well.  My attitude in life changed completely.  You have probably heard that ‘comparison is the thief of joy,’ but it really is the thief of everything good in your life.
We can accomplish so much more together as women when we ban together and support one another.  With that being said, I love to support my girl friends!  I like to hear their her- story! I love to celebrate my friends’ successes.  It actually encourages me that I can reach my goals, too.  I cheer them on when they fall, so that they get back up.  It is inspiring to me to see how an individual pulled it together when everything fell apart.  I like to see young ladies leave their parents’ nest to chase their dreams or women in their 40’s reinvent their career to follow a passion that they have had hidden for years.  It shows me the power that a woman has when she wants something bad enough.  It teaches me about hard work and perseverance.  It doesn’t take away from my hopes and dreams, it inspires me!  It shows me that God is working in all of us.  
Competition does encourage us to try harder, but don’t let it make you lose sight of what is really important.  I no longer worry about the grass in my neighbors yard, because I am too busy thinking about how to cultivate my own.  It isn’t about having the greenest yard anyways, it is about having a yard that you love.  If I do get caught up in the comparison game, I pray, write in my gratitude journal or listen to Steven Furtick’s sermons on repeat.  It reminds me that God is in control of anything that I have going on!