If you’re like most women, you often feel stuck in the trap of comparison. But my friend and writing client, Julie Pearson, is a firm believer that “comparison is a trap that kills our confidence.”
Julie just released her first book, Better than Espresso: 30 Motivations to Boost Your Faith and Confidence. In her delightful, easy-to-read book, she offers biblical and practical wisdom she has learned through the years as a woman who struggles with many of the same issues you and I struggle with.
Read on about how you can steer clear of comparison and appreciate the unique way God made you and when you leave a comment at the end of the blog, you will be entered to win one of two giveaway copies of Better Than Espresso. (Contest runs through July 26, 2020)
Here’s Julie with how comparison kills our confidence:
While vacationing with my husband and kids I was fascinated to discover how many iguanas live in South Florida. On a relaxing day by the pool, just ten minutes into my tanning, my kids scurried over to our lounge chairs excited to share all the iguanas they just scouted. Suddenly, a huge, thorny, green iguana passed by my lounge chair. We then realized we were surroundedby these friendly creatures, hiding in the lush green bushes.
I grabbed my camera, not wanting to miss out on this perfect picture moment. As I walked around the pool area with my son, we looked intently into the bushes and saw more iguanas, camouflaged on bright green tree branches. They looked so peaceful, and relaxed, just taking it easy. As we looked closer, I realized the beauty of these creatures. From a distance, they all appeared the same, blending in with their natural habitat. But, as we gazed closer, they were each quite different. Each one had its unique spots, texture, and colors.
Iguanas use their camouflage trait to blend inwith their environment. That is their defense mechanism against their predators. They are afraid to stand out, as this poses a threat to their safety.
I realized I can be just like an iguana. It’s easier and safer to blend in. Blending in though often causes me to compare myself to those around me. I want the gifts, talents, and abilities other women have. I don’t want to be different because what I have doesn’t seem to be as valuable as what they have. I am often too afraid to showcase my true colors – afraid my colors aren’t as beautiful when compared to other women.
Can you relate? Do you ever feel like you are stuck in comparison mode, not knowing how to become free? Often, I feel like I am alone, trapped by my need to compare myself to others, yet not realizing I am imprisoned by this feeling.
Comparison Relates to Confidence
The problem with comparison is it eventually kills our confidence at some point or another. It blinds us to our own beautiful and colorful spots like the iguanas, keeping us stuck and not living up to our fullest potential. When comparison dominates me, it’s because I am lacking confidence. Naturally, I place more pressure to look good, be accepted by others, and yearn for the “likes,” “emojis,” and the “hands of applause.” A lesson I continue to learn as I am “adulting” (lingo from my college-age daughter) is when I’m stuck in comparison, it tells me I am not satisfied or at ease with my God-given colorful spots. The secret to a satisfied life is embracing my authentic, colorful spots, not being consumed by the temptation to compare them.
Lack of confidence is one reason we get stuck in comparison. I think the areas we compare most are the areas in which we feel lacking (looks, intelligence, friendliness, personality, marriage, home, career, and so on). As Galatians 6:4-5 instructs, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”
That’s good advice – test our own actions. Perhaps we need to look inside ourselves and ask, Why am I comparing? Is there a void that is causing you and me to compare ourselves to others? That’s why I need God active in my life, to settle and secure that void.
If you lack confidence, it’s not too late to ask God for more of it. Remember, He is the One who created your colorful spots. Ask God to reveal your unique spots. Then accept, affirm, and take pride in them. When you do, you’ll become a woman with renewed confidence.
Once your God-confidence (not puffed-up self) begins to rumble, comparison begins to crumble.
When you can celebrate your own uniqueness, you will have more capacity to sit with a woman and hear the struggle in her story, instead of judging your impressions of her outer story. That is what we are all called to do – make a difference in someone’s life, not compare and contrast them with our lives. Celebrating — yourself and others — instead of comparing is Better Than Espresso.
What unique colorful “spots” has God given you? Let Julie and me know in the comment section below (or tell us why you would like the book), and you’ll be eligible to win one of two free copies she is giving away. (U.S. residents or those with an A.P.O. box only please.) Winners will be announced in this comment thread on July 27.
Julie Pearson is the founder of Revival 4 Women, a nonprofit ministry that refreshes, renews, and restores women through conferences, podcasts, and retreats. Julie speaks and writes to encourage and inspire women in all seasons of life. She is pursuing Christian Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. Find out more about her and her ministry at www.juliepearson.org.
This book sounds like it was written for me. My mother compared me to anyone else, mostly pretty, smart and other, including how wonderful my brothers were. It seemed to me that I would never be good enough for her. She is 97 (I’m 63) and still I am not good enough, not pretty enough and not smart enough (females are not intelligent and can’t be anything but elementary school teachers, nurses and a wife and mother – my mother’s words, not mine). Since I have grown up with this thought (and her telling me) constantly that I’m not good enough, I still feel that way and can hear her voice telling me this is so. I have a hard time with realizing that things I have done ARE indeed good enough. I can’t get the book right now, so I hope I can find a way to be able to read it soon.
Thank you, Linda, for your heartfelt response. That mother-daughter wound can be intense when a daughter constantly doesn’t feel she measures up. Yes, Julie’s book addresses many insecurities and past baggage that we deal with and gives biblical and practical wisdom for keeping your focus on what God says about you, not anyone else.If you are living in the U.S., you will be entered in the drawing for her book. Thanks again for your comment.
Hi Linda I’m so sorry about the damaging words of your mother. Words hurt, I know that to be true as well. Yes this book was written for you and many of us women. We all have had damaging parts in our life and that’s why we need to live and grace from our Heavenly Father. I pray God continues to heal your heart and He restores your identity to a woman who has been created with so much good, talent, and strengths. Thank you for sharing!
Cindi. I love your blogs which came on my network when I was reading self help to
overcome verbal dysfunctions in “man speak”. I have become easier on myself as a result of saying my truth (not to everyone) and letting others stand for where I have
fallen,by confessing. One can read such discussion in “HOW TO BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND” by Bernard Berkowitz. I digress so much that I would give my right to stop
comparing ,to the same person who has a fixed place for me! Compared to a best friend who compares one’s limits, I am what I am !
Hi Ann: Thanks for taking the time to read and leave your comment. Julie’s book, Better Than Espresso, addresses that “man speak” as you call it and points out in such practical ways how we can keep our thoughts aligned with who God says we are and what we can do through Him, and not cater to everyone else’s opinion or judgments. Hope you’ll get a chance to read “Better Than Espresso” and thanks again for your comment.
Ann thank you for your response. I am so glad to hear you have become easier on yourself. Loving God and ourselves helps us to love others better. Keep up the great work!!
I grew up with a negative self-image…
I was always on the thick side, fuzzy hair, wearing bottle coke eye glasses, wearing hand knitted thick sweaters my mom would make me… feeling self-conscious of my big girl size. What would I see around me, beauty in all the other girl classmates except myself. Now that I am a Christian, I cried my eyes out one day… seeing myself as an adult hugging that little girl of me and telling her she was beautiful… that she wasn’t “dumb” nor “fat” nor “ugly”… that she was beautiful in God’s eyes and image. That she was so strong (overcoming all the domestic violence going in on at home) and smart (because she was an avid reader since elementary). Now at 40, I still struggle with finding my beauty and celebrating my strengths. I do know love for others is what I can give freely… having experienced poverty, domestic abuse, divorce, miscarriages, health problems… yet seeing God’s divine intervention in ALL of my situations, I can attest of his character and love for me through it all!! Maybe I am still on a journey of self-love and acceptance… and in my times of struggle, I shout out to God to help me see myself as He does! What parent doesn’t see their child precious with gifts and talents?
Ana~ Wow thank you for sharing. I love how you have been able to see God’s love for you despite all the messes you have grown up with. Our God sees us and ALL our situations and its a beautiful place when we know without a doubt how much we are loved by him. Keep going my friend!!
Thank you for the excerpt from your book It was an easy read and it was thought provoking. My job is a place that has younger people in my department and I compare my intelligence to them alot. When I’m around people my age I feel confident, smart, relevant, but at work sometimes not so much. I never thought of it as a spot of mine that I like to cover it’s really my age that I’m feeling uneasy about and sometimes I feel that I will get passed up for the promotion because of my age. My family life is wonderful been married for 24 years growing in faith and have 3 wonderful children have a lovely house and job. I guess I do have a lot to be thankful for and I need to embrace my age and what God has in store for me and rely on his goodness and provision not what the world says about my age. Thank you for helping me realize this important revelation and for your beautiful writing.
Christine~ Thank you so much for your comments. I can definately relate to the age thing. I too compare myself to the younger generation and think I don’t have as much value to give. The enemy loves to use our age as a weapon to stop us from being a difference maker. Our colorful spots as we get older is our life experiences and wisdom for the younger generation. They are hungry for women like us to help mentor and guide them. Together let’s embrace this colorful spot you and I have together! Blessings to you!!
I would like for my daughter to read this book she has low self esteem and no self confidence it would help her
HI Mary~ Yes this would be a perfect book for your daughter. It addresses many of the insecurities of women and I share personal stories to help women feel they are not alone in the struggle. I would love for you to take advantage of the promo. If you order on Amazon and email me a copy of the receipt (Julie@juliepearson.org) you can qualify for the FREE mirror decal. You can order here.
Thank you for your comments.
It seems like my harshest critic is myself. I like to compare myself to others until I find someone who is prettier, smarter, thinner, more successful, etc., and of course there is always someone out there who meets those criteria. But God sees me as He created me, and compares me to no one, for I am his unique creation, who he designed for a special purpose and good works that he prepared ahead of time for me to do. So I remind myself of that truth, whenever my inner critic rears her ugly voice (could it be the accuser of the brethren, who is constantly trying to tell me that I am unworthy, unusable, and not good enough?)
Connie~ YES it is the accuser who is trying to get you off track. I am so glad to hear your spirit of realizing God has created you with wonderful “colorful spots”. If we believe and live this perspective, it takes the weight off of comparison and we can enjoy and be who we are supposed to be. Thank you for your feedback.
Remember if you choose to purchase the book off amazon, please email me a copy of your receipt and you will be sent a FREE mirror decal. Julie@juliepearson.org.
This was a very inspiring article. I’ve been in comparison mode, lacking confidence! Thank you for this! Divorced at 61 years of age I now think I have finally realized that I no longer have to compare and as a result my confidence will be increased. Thank you for your ministry! God bless you!!!
Michele~ Thank you for your feedback. I am so glad you were inspired by this article. YES it’s amazing how our confidence increases when we give God our temptation to compare. He is the burden lifter and the confidence builder. AMEN!! Thank you for sharing.
Well, hello! I’m very excited to hear of your new book! I am 67 and healthy, PTL. As I age I find out that I’m not as confident or self-assured as I used to be. In high school, college and my younger adult years, I was active, outgoing, and confident. But, as the years pass I am becoming quiet, uncertain of myself in so many ways. I’m praying your book will be an encouraging word.
Hi Jackie~ Thank you for sharing and being so transparent. I agree with you, I think as we age we start evaluating our life and wonder if we have measured up to what we expected. Also, its easy to look at the younger generation and compare to their young spirits, vivacious personalities, and fresh ideas. Now that I am middle age myself, I find my youthfulness gets compromised because I get stuck in comparison. But one thing we should be confident in as we age, is the younger generation is yearning for mentorship and we can be a great influence. Blessings to you!!
Congratulations on your new book, so exciting! Thank you for this post and thanks also to you Cindi for having her on your guest blog. How wonderful you speak at Women’s retreats and events! That has a special place in my heart because I was attending one when I met Cindi as the speaker.
I love your experience with the iguanas in South Florida. It is so true, the closer I look the more wonderful qualities I see, I learned that one the hard way. I was a disappointment right out of the gate… my parents were hoping for a boy. You notice how I know that?! I was never good enough, always compared to my older sister. Interestingly enough I found out later in life she always felt “not good enough” either. It has been a very long row to hoe. I/we (my husband and I, as he grew up not good enough either as an unwanted child), have worked very hard to teach our children they are precious miracles from God and they each have very special gifts and talents to give. So, yes, color me growing up and into adulthood, the iguana. To answer your question, yes, at times (even as a senior) I feel stuck in comparison mode. At which times I turn to God to get my head back on straight.
One of my colorful spots…God blessed me with a passion for special needs children and I am privileged to work in an Early Intervention Preschool Program in the public school system. Every day I am blessed with teaching and helping these children have a better chance in life. I believe your book would help me be a better me when I go out to give my God-given gifts and talents! I start my day in quiet time with God, Cindi’s devotional “God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart” and I would love to add your book!
Chery~you are so sweet!! I can hear your sweetness in your words. I feel like I know you already and we are sitting down having coffee together. YOu are a woman with great wisdom and years of experience to learn from. I love how you have learned after so many years, to see the wonderful colors in you. And you have been able to transfer this spirit into your children. The biggest gift we can give our children is they know they were uniquely created by our heavenly father. It’s amazing how many women have so much in common… “not feeling good enough”. I sometimes thought I was the only one but as I encounter more women, I realize its our greatest struggle. I love how God is using you with special needs children. You are a testimony to how God continues to use our colorful spots throughout seasons of our life. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for your kind words:-) Yes, it was of the utmost importance to my husband and I to instill in our children! To watch the Lord teach us who they were, and then for them to continue to seek who they are in the Lord! So far so good…I wear my gray hair proudly, lol! This is so wisely spoken, so true unfortunately, “I sometimes thought I was the only one but as I encounter more women, I realize its our greatest struggle.” Thank you, I am humbled by how God uses me with his precious children of all needs, they continuously teach me so much! I am grateful<3
I’m just so glad you thought about this awful thing we, especially as women, but probably everyone does: compare! I have gotten so obsessed with someones talent, or beauty or home, and jealousy hits me like a hurricane! I have struggled with feelings of “less than” for most of my life. I work with God through prayer, meditation, 12 step programs and church to combat these feelings. I would love to read your book, as this issue of comparisons has always been something I have gotten into!
Vicky~ Yes I know comparison is such an evil trap. We all as women struggle with someone more beautiful, smarter, creative, and the magnolia looking home. I truly believe as we learn to love God with all our heart, we learn to love ourselves more. Thus comparison and jealousy begins to diminish. I am seeing this in my own life and its taken alot of prayer and surrender as you mentioned. Keep going God is so faithful!!
Congratulations to Chery Wirch and Ana Torres for winning the giveaway copies of Julie’s book, Better Than Espresso. Thank you to every one else who took the time to read Julie’s blog and leave a comment. She will be following up with you shortly to provide a special offer for her book. Thanks for reading and commenting. My readers are THE BEST!