A photo of three yellow ducks facing one way and one blue duck facing the other way, illustrating the post title of Be Different.

Spend a few minutes scrolling through the newsfeed on social-media and within a matter of seconds you’ll find yourself inundated with stories.

Stories like:

  • The birth and celebration of a new baby
  • The engagement of two souls
  • The business success of an entrepreneurial friend
  • Friends purchasing a new home or new car
  • Your competitor making $5000 in less than two hours

You see friends enjoying a date night with their spouse, friends on the vacation of a lifetime, friends who just landed that dream job they’ve been praying about, friends enjoying a girls’ weekend at a spiffy resort, your competitor receiving another speaking engagement request.

While seeing all of these stories, you can’t help but think:

  • The last date night I had with my husband was when we were dating.
  • I wish I had money for a vacation.
  • I hate my job and if I could quit today, I would—but I have too much debt.
  • Girls’ weekend getaway? I wish I had the time, the money, and the friends!
  • I’ve been working my business for three years, and I’m lucky if I can make $5,000 in six months.

Sounds familiar, right? After a while, you walk away from your computer feeling sad, depressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. Eventually, you start wondering why your life isn’t filled with all of these glamorous moments. All of a sudden, you realize, This isn’t the life I signed up for and (worse!) it’s boring.

Comparison and Envy

I too have struggled with comparisons and beating myself up over all the ways I haven’t seemed to cut it—even when it’s my own misperceptions. I’ve walked away from the computer feeling like my life doesn’t measure up. And, I’ve walked away wondering why my life couldn’t look different.

You see, comparison and envy will diminish our reach and influence on social media.

Break Free - #BeDifferent

How can you break away from this trap? How can you continue moving forward on your unique path, even when you see all of these things taking place on social media? I believe Galatians 6 has the answer for us:

1. Make a careful exploration of who you are: Do you know who you are? Do you know how God has uniquely created you? Do you know the gifts, skills and talents that He has given you? One of the ways to avoid the comparison trap is to take time to study yourself. Don’t spend your time studying everyone else online, instead, study who God made you to be.

2. Commit to the work you have been given: What season of life are you in right now? What work has God given you right now to complete? How can you use your gifts, skills and talents with the work that He has given you right now? Make a careful exploration of your work.

3. Sink yourself into that: Once you know who you are and the work that God has given you during this season of life, sink yourself into that. Don’t wish your life looked like someone else’s. Instead, focus on the here and now and where God has you.

4. Don’t be impressed with yourself: Once you start sinking yourself into your work and using the gifts, skills and talents that God has given you, doors will open. You will see God move. But don’t get too impressed with yourself. Remember, God brought you here. Your main purpose is to love others, serve others and bring glory to God. It’s all because of Him.

5. Don’t compare yourself with others: Let God do what He wants to do in the lives of others and let Him do what He wants to do in your life. He has a different assignment and calling for you! Don’t try to be like someone else. Follow the unique path He has given you.

6. Embrace gratitude: One of the best ways to overcome the tendency to compare our lives with those online is to keep a gratitude journal, and there are multiple ways to do this online. Make a commitment to add a few things that you are grateful for each day (not just during the month of November). You can create a document on Facebook, you can create a board on Pinterest, you can upload a picture each day on Instagram, you can even tweet your gratitude. Kick comparison, envy, jealousy, and discontent to the curb by focusing on what’s going well.