Recently I was at a family member’s house and I found myself having a hard time not being jealous and comparing what I have to her family. Their house is bigger, their yard is bigger (and maintained!), she is able to stay home part time with the kids, and they paid off their student debt. Actually, to be honest, I was only jealous of their house at the time, but now that I’m writing this there’s a lot that I could find to be jealous of. 😉
Anyway, as I was walking through the house, stuck in my own head about how their house is so much bigger than ours, she apologized for her laundry hampers being out and mentioned to me that she recently stopped by our house to drop something else and “Your house was spotless. There wasn’t any laundry out. How do you keep your laundry under control?”
WHAT? And while I’m still convinced that she may have accidentally went into the wrong house, she claims that she is sure that it was my house she was at, and my kids she played with. And that’s when I realized, I’m not the only one that’s getting stuck in the comparison trap.
I am beyond blessed by my life and grateful beyond measure. Even though every night I peak at my sleeping kids and thank God for the life we have, I still can find myself wishing my life away.
When we compare ourselves to others, we close the door to happiness and being content. When you find yourself stuck in the trap of comparing to others, here are a few things that you might find helpful:
- Acknowledge that you’re feeling jealous
I like to think of myself above jealousy, and when I do things in a vacuum and don’t admit it, it leaves room to continue. Actually admitting this to myself helps me to check myself so that I can stop myself before I go too far down a slippery road that will lead me to being discontent and jealous.
- Think of the flip side
This is one thing I always do when I make a judgement about something and them am jealous. Like, if I am driving to a meeting at work and see a mom pushing her kids in a stroller and I wish I was home with my kids, I try to remember that I don’t actually know the story, and maybe she had to take off work because the car broke down, or maybe she works weekends, or maybe she stays at home but her husband often travels more than she would like. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
- List the things you have that others might be jealous of
What are things that people might be jealous of about you? This might seem weird, but often we get so caught up in what we don’t have, we might not realize not only what we do have, but also things that others might stand on the other side finding themselves comparing to. I don’t do this to be full of myself, but again it’s a reminder that things aren’t always as they look on the outside in addition to the fact that I have things to be grateful for. ,
- Write down what your goals are and what you’re able to control to work towards it
Okay, I’m big on goals. But seriously, stopping and looking at your goals can really help to put things in perspective. It can also take out the “whoa is me” mentality, and instead help you to start finding a solution and figuring out how you can get yourself to where you want to be. The other interesting thing that has happened for me is that I have realized that I often get jealous of things that aren’t even in line with what I’m working towards and that can take me off the path that I’m heading if I’m trying to just keep up with someone else.
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What about you? Have you tried any of these, how do they work for you? What else do you do to help you to be content with your life? I’d love to hear below!