“The reason we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else's highlight reel.” -Steven Furtick
In early recovery (truthfully-anyone at any time) it can be easy to get caught in the trap of comparison. If you think about it, someone coming out of addiction can’t possibly know their personal and unique identity.
It is hard for the mind saturated in substance abuse to truly know who they are and what their purpose in life is. Coming out of the dark spiritual and mental cloud of addiction and stepping into the Light of recovery is an adventurous process, here are some tips and insights to steer clear of the depressing trap of comparison.
The Automobile Analogy
In the same way that there are no two people on the entire planet with the exact same fingerprint, there are no two people on the planet that are created to look the same, be the same, and act the exact same.
Try looking at it this way. Say you drive a Ford Mustang, that’s a great car. Now say you’re driving down the street and you see a diesel truck carrying a huge load. So you think to yourself, “I want to be able to carry that much stuff around on my vehicle.”
You then load your car with a massive load packed in the trunk and on top and fill the inside, of course, it ruins your interior and overall structural integrity of your car.
Comparing yourself to someone else is no different. Your purpose and life (your vehicle) have not been created to do what someone else’s has. Yes, we can draw experience, strength, and hope from someone else. And we can learn from how they did things. But are you learning from them, or trying to be them? Get to know your vehicle, and how to drive it.
The trap of social media can be a deadly one. If we have undealt with jealous and envy issues, social media can and will be a pitt of emotional quicksand that can suck you into depression and confusion quickly.
We sit at home after work and browse social media only to see someone out to eat with friends, on vacation, or out having fun and start to think, “Why didn’t they invite me? I wish I had enough money to do that...Why don’t my friends call me to do something fun?”
And the wind of jealousy turns a nice, enjoyable, relaxing evening at home into an internal whirlwind of insecurity. When we can’t celebrate others success, or joy, we block ourselves from recognizing and enjoying our own.
You don’t know what is going on in the people’s lives you see how social media, you just see what they want you to see. Maybe they have a long list of struggles going on and are hiding behind a smile. Or maybe their life really is going great and we should simply be happy for them. Regardless, comparing our behind the scenes to the selective pictures that others choose to show is a recipe for issues of insecurity.
Personally, I love to learn from others. Ninety percent of the books I read, and I read 2-3 books a month on average, are history or true stories. I love learning from patterns in history and from inspiring true stories of people overcoming great odds. But I learned years ago that it is smart to learn from others successes, pitfalls, and mindsets, but it is rather foolish to try to be someone else or copy their life.
The more I learn from and implement other strengths and successes into how I was uniquely created, the more freedom I have the ability to show others how to do the same.
On the other hand, if I get caught in the trap of jealousy or wishing I had someone else’s life, my vehicle gets strained and things start to malfunction.
God has created me to be me and enjoy my unique and individual make up. As I grow in the reality of being me and pursuing my destiny, I have the privileged position of cheering others on in their success. I can learn from them and they can learn from me, but I will be me and encourage them to be who they are created to be.
Here is a quick video to get you thinking about your destiny?
Here is a short podcast filled with some practical insights to help you better live in your identity.