Replace gazing with growing.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 16: Replace gazing with growing.

Day 16 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to write this post on the challenge of comparisons and how to share what I want to say. Of course, by saying "trying to figure out" I obviously mean following an online rabbit trail of distractions. Diving deep into the pit of the source of these comparisons.

I've written about it before, and I'll say it again: Technology can be a joy stealer. It brings out our envious selves and the comparison beast, whether we always realize it or not. We incessantly browse the highlights of other people's lives--the really good stuff. (As it should be. I don't want a newsfeed full of the garbage in everyone's lives!)

But it easily gets out of check, and we end up feeling like everyone else is so much more put-together than we are. I mean, we're merely beginners afterall.

Then, I came across this gem (see, sometimes distractions can be helpful):
The grass is greener where you water it.


There it is. The solution I've been feeling in my gut, but couldn't find the right words for. The only way to get around the comparisons, obviously, is to just stop them. But, how?

Exchange the gazing for growing.

Like this summer, when a couple friends worked on growing literal grass in their literal yards. They both had patches with only dirt and separately went through the steps of aerating, seeding, watering. Their grass grew at different rates, and it would be tempting to compare because they both seeded around the same time.

Instead of focusing on how the other's yard was progressing, they worked on growing their own. And when they did compare baby grass--there was more mutual respect for both of their progress. Because they understood what the other had gone through to nurture those teeny, vibrant blades to life.


The life application here: Let's identify where we lose our time in comparisons. Magazines, Pinterest, Facebook, the mall? Then replace that with activities that invest in our own lives. Girl's night with a friend. Dating the husband. Shopping our own closets. Reading. Journaling. Praying. Taking a class.

All of those little times we spend envying other's lives, we're missing lots of little opportunities to live our own.

We don't necessarily have to quit the potential sources of comparison. You don't end a friendship just because their grass is greener, am I right? I'm simply suggesting we always make sure we're growing our own grass first. At least we'll know we've done our best.

And, after due diligence in our own lives, we're usually in a better place to genuinely encourage and congratulate others in their progress, too.


When you start playing the comparison game, what is one thing you can do to stop gazing at your neighbor's progress and work on your own? 

Have this plan ready, because if you're like me you'll need it often.

Day 16 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner