Almost from birth, I think little girls are prone to competing and comparing with one another; they battle to be the prettiest, the smartest, the sweetest, the fastest. Not much changes over time. Women still feel the need to constantly look sideways and compare themselves to the girl-next-door. This time it’s bodies, babies, husbands & pay checks. The list may have changed but it’s all the same.
We want to be the girl on the magazine cover. (Aka Taylor Swift #megababe #itgirl). With her perfect hair and perfect lips. We think to ourselves, “how much better would my life be if I were her”.
But seriously there’s only one Tay Tay (It’s ok to call her that right #letspretendwearefriends)? It’s time we stop wanting to be somebody else. It robs the world of all YOU can offer and it keeps you from walking in your destiny.
The bible is clear about that. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30. Ewww rotten bones. Who wants that? Not me! Envy shipwrecks friendships, it erodes relationships and undermines sisterhood (something the devil knows can turn this world upside down!).
Jealousy squeezes its slimy tentacles around our hearts when we witness the success, beauty and brilliance of others. It is obsessed with other’s seemingly unfair blessings and becomes spiteful towards them. It turns hearts to stone, breeding malice, quarrels, gossip & slander (See James 3:14-4:2).
It can strike at anytime.
Your best friend gets engaged and she’s only been dating her boyfriend for 3 months and you’re still waiting for your man to pop the question after three years!….Squeeze.
Your friend’s son receives several academic accolades while your son struggles to pass…. Squeeze.
The skinny girl in your Zumba class looks exceptionally trim today even though all she eats is KFC and you have to count every calorie…. Squeeze.
Your co-worker’s husband sends in another bunch of flowers and yours doesn’t even remember your anniversary…. Squeeze.
You’ve been trying for a baby for years and you just hear that your younger sister is pregnant with twins…. Squeeze.
Jealousy is the age-old monster that stirred Cain to murder his brother Abel, provoked king Saul to hurl spears at his once beloved David and motivated the wicked Queen to poison her step-daughter, Snow White.
Envy is ugly. It must be stopped.
So the question remains, “How do you stop wanting to be her”?
1. Embrace the skin you’re in.
The only way you’ll ever deal with jealousy is if you accept WHO YOU ARE! And realise you are more than enough. You are not an accident. You are not inadequate. You are not unloved. We need to see ourselves the way God sees us – beloved, bodacious, talented, delightful and one of a kind! When we become secure and confident in who God has uniquely made us – in our giftings, our bodies, our families, our future – we suffocate the desire to compare. Big people make other people feel big. Small people pull others down to make themselves feel better.
2. Just stop looking
If I am honest with you, I often find myself disappointed in all that I am and all that I do because I just keep looking at other people! Mostly on Instagram & Facebook! Ha. I can find myself riddled with self-doubt because instead of being present in my world and all the beautiful people and things God has blessed me with, I fixate on the “perfect” lives of others.
But the problem is, SOCIAL MEDIA is not real life. It’s the filtered version!
So hit unfollow, stop scrolling her Facebook, stop looking at those boobs! Haha (I think that picture is the greatest, don’t you?).
Even supermodels have flaws. If they didn’t, why do they photoshop nearly every picture that goes to print?
I love the way Steven Furtick puts it.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Now I am not saying it is someone else’s responsibility to make us feel good about ourselves, it is ours. But we can STOP putting their “flawless” lives before our eyes. If you struggle with loving your body, stop following fitness freaks with six packs and stick pins. If you think you’re a lousy mum, get off Pinterest! If you start to think the church down the road is so much better than yours by the photos you see online, stop looking! Get back in the real world. Love where you are and make it shine brighter!
3. Take every thought captive.
Don’t just let any thought float around in your little brain. If a negative thought creeps in – kick it out. You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul. No one can change your thoughts but you!
Take a step back and realise that envy distorts your perspective! A lie is as powerful as the truth if you believe it! Shift your perspective. Adjust your perception. Destroy the “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome.
4. If you can’t say anything nice, shut up.
I’m serious. The Bible says life & death is in the tongue. You either build up or tear down. Don’t just let anything out! Be deliberate in your speech. Season it with grace. If you find yourself talking badly about a friend, shut it. Close your mouth. Fire doesn’t burn without oxygen. Envy thrives on gossip.
5. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
In order to overcome jealousy, you gotta check your heart! Ask yourself, are there situations where I feel envious? Are there specific people that bring out this emotion in me?
If you find anything, admit it, acknowledge it (don’t worry you don’t need to status!). It’s about you becoming aware of how you are feeling and identifying the triggers and the root cause.
We all feel “jealous” at times. It’s about recognising WHY.
Because often times it has very little to do with the person or thing, and much more to do with us. We can live out of past pain, hurt & insecurity. We can believe LIES about ourselves or others that can totally warp our perception.
Keeping a journal can really help with the process.
6. Focus on what you’ve got, not what you don’t.
Lastly, pretty girl, focus on all that you have & all that God has given to you, and all that He has made you. I posted a blog called I am Thankful a while back. It might help put some things into perspective, because it’s impossible to be grateful and unhappy.
“Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another.”
Sabrina Peters is a Christian writer, an avid Sex & Relationships blogger and part of the team at Kingdomcity. She is married to Ben and mother to Liberty & Lincoln. www.sabrinapeters.com.