Feel Good Friday: Never Compare Your Beginning

Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle.

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle.If I had to guess, I’d say that the comparison game is as old as time. A prehistoric woman probably worried that her neighbor’s cave was tidier or her sister’s son was better with a club.

These days, however, comparing ourselves to others is easier than ever before. In a five-minute span I can scan my college roommate’s Facebook post about buying a new house, read a tweet from my old colleague about her huge promotion, and salivate over my neighbor’s Instagram pic of the amazing dinner she cooked last night.

Then I can look around at my own cluttered home, my barely-off-the-ground freelance business, and the PB&J I assembled for dinner and think, whoa, I am so not measuring up.

There are, however, two major problems with this line of thinking.

First, no one’s life is as perfect as it appears on social media. We are all projecting an image, and more often than not we’re putting our best foot forward—and glossing over the hairy parts.

Second—and this is really important!—we are all at different points in the journey. Sure, that mom of three appears to have all the answers, that blogger is already working on her second book, and that woman is finding the time to complete two half-marathons a year.

But none of them started out that way.  

That mom experienced her fair share of uncertainty as a first-timer, that blogger stressed over her initial measly page views, and at one point that runner trained for her first 5K.

As author Jon Acuff said, “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” Tweet this quote!

There will always be someone ahead of you and someone behind you. All you have to do is keep moving forward.

Do you struggle with the comparison game? Do you tend to compare the beginning of your journey to the middle of someone else’s?

image via denelan

14 responses to “Feel Good Friday: Never Compare Your Beginning”

  1. Katie – so true! I work really hard to not compare my journey to other people’s. It’s not so much that I don’t compare, it’s that I catch myself and try to reframe the thoughts. This quote is one of my favorite ways to reframe.

  2. I find myself reflecting more on my journey or our journey than comparing myself to anyone.

    Maybe it’s because we live in a gorgeous area with with not a lot around or because I’ve matured. Maybe it’s because I kiss our daughter and tell her she’s beautiful often each day.

    I simply feel more at peace in accepting who I am, my journey, and our lives together.

  3. Well said, Katie. I have fallen into the comparison trap numerous times, and it never does anything but cause me grief. That’s a great quote, and so important for us to remember. We are each running our own race and are made with a unique purpose.

  4. So incredibly wise.
    It’s true.
    I used to play this game, before I figured out what I wanted to do in life. I used to see people my own age rising up the corporate ladders. I’d be so jealous.
    and then one day I realized that if I wanted that life, which I never have and never will, surely I would have made it happen, right?
    So I’m a little more broke than most of them, but no regrets.

  5. I think I struggle sometimes with comparing my middle to someone else’s middle, without taking into account that everyone has their own journey, and our beginnings were (most likely) different.

    It is also so much easier to look at where we fall short compared to where we do well easily or have been incredibly fortunate. Gratitude is the most effective way to beat out this inner demon, for me.

  6. Matt and I were married at 23 and had our first child at 26. I remember going to playgroups at other mom’s houses, and comparing their homes to ours. They were “grown up” homes, and I felt like ours was just a starter home, with hand me down furniture and lots of DIY. Then I realized that these couples were five or more years older than us – we were at the beginning and they were not. I remind myself of that sometimes when I start to compare in my head. So true, Katie!

  7. Oh I confess I do this and it’s bad. Because I never feel good about the comparison! And it really isn’t a fair comparison ever. You really never know what’s going on behind closed doors.

    I’d like to teach this to my kids in a concrete way. I think it’s just as important as “Not everyone’s going to like you.”

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