Do you ever find it difficult to evaluate how successful of a life you’re living? Do you compare yourself to others in a similar place in life? Or maybe you have an internal barometer that you try to measure up to.
Too often, I find that I compare myself to others in a similar walk of life. Doesn’t matter if they’re single or married, work in a cubicle or are a CEO, have never left the state or have traveled the world, I just check to see if I measure up to how successful they appear to be.
Am I as financially stable as they look? Do I appear to be more stressed out than they do? Are they giving back more of their time to the community?
My checklist doesn’t end there. Depending on how well I know that person, I’m consciously or subconsciously determining their level of success. Too often I find myself comparing myself superficially to others based on their Facebook posts, attractive Instagram images, etc…. I combine all that I see and draw a conclusion.
This seems pretty silly, but that’s the life that I live and I’m not alone. Can I get a witness?
It’s easy for me to counsel others on setting their sights upon God and allowing him to determine what success looks like. However, I find that very very very hard to do myself.
I find that I don’t take my own advice. I either doubt it or feel as though I’m above adhering to it. Whoa. Both are dangerous. One is a lack of trust and the other is pride. Whereas, in my heart, I know that God’s Word is the best and should always be followed. It reminds me of the how not matter how far we try and run from God, we always wind up right at the feet of Jesus?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the news, a blog post, a TV show, or other media platforms are not a complete view of what a person’s heart looks like. It is only a snapshot of what the person wants us to see. Stray hairs have been put into place, clothes have pulled and tugged into submission, and teeth have been checked.
The person that they are when no one is looking is the person that they truly are.
So, when I spend time checking to see if I measure up to the woman next to me, I am doing so without the full picture. Instead, God wants for us to measure up against the standard that He has set. He has given us the complete picture without reservation.
My original question was: do you find it difficult to evaluate how successful of a life you’re living? If your answer is yes, then let’s do something to change that.
Success Step 1: Pray Without Ceasing
I do not look at my life and see it the way that you see it. I compare myself to others instead of you.
Remove my fears and insecurities and fix my eyes upon you.
Give me the integrity to live a truly successful life.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Success Step 2: Fix Your Eyes Somewhere Positive
I have learned a lot from having positive role models in my life. Whether it’s someone I know personally or in name only, I have learned from their successes and failures.
If I want to improve my cooking skills, then staring at mouthwatering images on Instagram of dishes prepared by the best isn’t going to help my skills. Instead, if I read books with tips from the masters, watch YouTube tutorials, and practice what I am learning, then my cooking skills will improve.
If I want to improve my communication with my coworkers, then watching TV programs where the characters are quick to argue and quarrel is counterproductive (especially after a stressful day at work). Instead, I can pick up a book with practical suggestions, list the areas in which I fall short in a journal, and talk to a trusted friend willing to keep me accountable. In time, I’ll improve my communication skills.
Success Step 3: Accepting God’s Plan
The journey that I am on and the one that you’re on is not the same. There may be similarities, but they are unique unto their own.
God has specially crafted a plan for every one of His children. This plan is ideal in the exact definition of the word. Full of opportunities, challenges, blessings, and ways that will help us to prosper us—not to harm us. If I am fixated on your plan, how will I be able to get to know my own plan?
The more time I spend studying your plan the less time I spend prospering at my plan. How can I expect to thrive living vicariously through your life?
Success Step 4: Surround Yourself with Likeminded Individuals
We’ve heard it before, but are we applying it?
Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. Oprah Winfrey
Honestly, if we want to embrace contentment with what God has given us, then the whiners and complainers have got to go. “If I can’t have it, neither can you.”
Have you ever heard that quote before? Maybe you’ve seen it in action or someone has even had the audacity to speak it to you. If you try to better your life or environment, those individuals who are where you’ve outgrown try to pull you back down.
They might not physically pull you down to the ground, but they may try to break your spirit—pop your dream bubble. The crab mentality. Check out this short video on the crab mentality.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Surround yourself with people that see a better and brighter future for you than you see for yourself. People that challenge you to put God’s plan first even when you’re not in the mood to do so. That type of support is priceless.
Success Step 5: Work Hard
You have a job to do, friend. Your job is to live the life you’ve been given to bless yourself and those around you. The more time you spend investing in your life, the less you worry about whether or not you’re as good as the person on your left.
Don’t just work hard, but work smart. Manage your time and yourself. Implementing strategies to reduce your daily stress and increase your productivity are critical. Then making time to just love yourself keeps your mind clear and your spirits high.
Work hard. Work smart. Work with others in mind. God’s plan for you is not for you to live a cushy life with no regard for others around you. Instead, he’s blessed you with skills to bless others.
Lend a hand in your community and at your church. If you see a friend struggling in an area you’re knowledgeable in, offer your services. Your support makes a difference. It always makes a difference whether you see it or not.
Evaluating our lives is not easy because we are our own worst critics. Doesn’t mean that we can’t rise above ourselves and see things the way God does. It’s possible!
It is possible to stand in front of the mirror and see a strong person and an overcomer instead of a failure. It is possible to be overwhelmed with joy because of your decisions instead of regret. Also, it’s possible to look to the person next to you and appreciate them for who they are instead of comparing yourself to them. It is possible.
Stick to God’s plan for your life, stay prayerful, surround yourself with the right people, work hard, work smart, and lift others up. He’s given you the tools to start the process. Don’t delay. Start now!
How do you see your life as successful? Do you have any questions on how to begin the paradigm shift in your mind from doubt to confidence? Leave a comment and let me know. I can’t wait to hear from you.
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