Inspiration, Lifestyle

The Biggest Lie You’re Telling Yourself

While I normally like to keep my posts upbeat, today I’m going to talk about something a bit more personal that we desperately need to address more as writers, especially bloggers. I wasn’t planning on publishing this post — it’s been in my drafts almost five months — but I can’t ignore the topic anymore.

So. Here it goes.

I’ve only been blogging for a few months now. It would make sense that I don’t have hundreds of views a day or 500 followers.* But, still, I was in a bit of an emotional slump because of it a little while ago.

I’m an INFJ and don’t like people feeling bad for me, so I didn’t tell anyone and played it off like blogging and writing was easy-peasy. Cool beans. A piece of cake.

But, honestly? I was comparing, and I was slowly losing hope for myself.


*WE WILL GET THERE ONE DAY. WE WILL RULE THE WORLD

dividerflat

my story

I’ve had a history with comparison. Even as a young child I was always thinking so-and-so was better than me. Sadly, this competition in my heart was centered around me and my older brother. To my younger self, he was perfect, the model student who always succeeded easily while I was the creative kid who barely held onto a B in math.

Hold up – there are three problems here already:

  1. my standards were MUCH too high. Did I understand that it took a lot of focus and discipline to study as diligently as my brother? Nope.
  2. my brother and I are polar opposites. I’m a creative writer; he’s a computer programmer. On top of that, he knew how he could benefit best from studying and had learned how to understand his material faster.
  3. math is dumb. That one is self-explanatory.

As a then-nine-year-old, I didn’t understand that. Neither did ten, eleven, or twelve-year-old me.

smalldivideremptyflat

the question

Fast forward a couple years.

Those who know me from YWW might remember a time in early October where I was very discouraged by other people’s achievements. Of course I loved those people. I was cheering on them loud as anyone else! But their victories made mine feel like nothing. Here’s what I said:

This sounds so selfish, but I want to know if anybody understands. I feel.. sort of discouraged on [the YWW Community].

I think I have a pretty nice blog and I’m about to get into my first year of NaNoWriMo. I’m working up the courage to ask someone to be my mentor. So I should be on a pretty decent track to be an author, yeah?

But everywhere I look there are people are SO MUCH BETTER than me! I mean, I can’t even get three blog followers in a week and there are people my age getting full-fledged book deals! Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited about things like that but at the same time I’ll never live up to that standard.

This makes no sense since I’m so supported by my family and the YDubs community. Maybe I’m jealous? Does anyone understand?

And of course they did. The first response to that post was by my prayer warrior friend, Courtney.

Boy do I. It kind of makes you feel like, “Why do I even try? They seem to be doing really well and all, and I’m way behind. I’ll never get where they are. So why don’t I just give up?”

 

design-82

This comment was followed by many, many others.

This can’t just be my issue. It can’t even be just a writer or blogger issue.

It’s a sneaky way for Satan to steal joy from e v e r y b o d y.

dividerflat pink

the answer

Then one of our wonderful Student Mentors, Aleigha Israel, gave us a beautiful piece of encouragement.

Ah yes, that feeling that we can’t always put a finger on, right? I know exactly how you feel and I have struggled with this SO much, Abby! You are definitely not alone and you are not selfish in asking this here.

I also tend to compare myself to other writers and it NEVER turns out well! Having that feeling that other people are “so much better” comes from comparing, and trust me, I’m the worst at this! When we stop comparing ourselves to others, the Lord will bless us for it.

Secondly, I give my entire writing life to the Lord. I do it at least two or three times a week! When I start to feel discouraged or feel like I’m traveling a long dusty road that’s not seemingly going anywhere, I just take it to Him and I’m reminded once again that my entire writing life is in His hands. He’ll bring me more readers or book reviews in His time.

W.O.W. Give your entire writing life to the Lord.

This doesn’t even have to apply to the writing life anymore — it can be body image, talents, grades, jobs, you name it.

My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says simply, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

I think a lot of people say this is their favorite verse because, look, God just told us he’s not going to harm us!! Nothing bad will ever happen!! YAY!! and abby facepalms into a brick

But, seriously, take a second to stop and think about the beginning of that verse. It’s the very best part! Take a look:

design-83
For I know the plans I have for you.

God has plans, guys! Plans specifically for you! He knows exactly where you will be in a week, a year, a decade. Isn’t that so encouraging?! He has plans! *excited squealing*

I like how Mandisa puts it in her song Unfinished. He started something good (you, duh) and He’s going to complete it. So let’s not be discouraged by other people being faster, prettier, cooler, or better than us in any way. God has a plan for us!

Oh, by the way. Want to know something special?

You were created with a unique learning pace, a certain type of body, and, yes, you were created to be at this place in your writing right now. You weren’t created to be a carbon copy of someone ‘prettier’ or more famous or better paid. Maybe you don’t know why you’re like that, and boy do I understand. One thing is true though.

design-7 You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
smalldivideremptyflat

I want to thank you guys for staying this far into the post. I know it’s a little long, a little deep, and a little sad, but it’s necessary. Far too many people aren’t happy with the great things they achieve just because other people get to them faster or easier.

I still think sometimes that I’ll never make it as a blogger because I don’t have talent ‘like everyone else’. I still look in the mirror and frown at my big nose or frizzy hair that don’t look like people on TV. I’ll never fully win the fight with comparison, and it’s likely that nobody ever will.

But I know it’s a flat-out lie to think that you don’t measure up.

Your body, writing, job, or social standing don’t define you.

God has a plan for you, and where you are now is a part of it.

You are wonderfully made just as you are.

smalldivideremptyflat

Well, there it is. A sort of sappy, sort of empowering post half a year in the making. I know it’s really different than usual, but different is okay, right? I’d love to hear what you think, so go ahead and comment. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

love,

design-73

39 thoughts on “The Biggest Lie You’re Telling Yourself”

  1. Abby, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart. These are the kind of posts that I love. I have struggled with this so much, and I really think we all do. So our identity is not in ourselves. It’s only Jesus. Love you, girl.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cries stares at wall cries some more
    The blogging community has helped me so much over the past year, and God has been really providential -every time I’m struggling with something, a post pops up that deals with my exact problem. Thank you so much for this!

    Like

    1. omg this made my day. I was so close to not publishing this today, and I’m shocked by how much it’s blessed people already! 😮
      Catharine, your identity is in Christ!! Not in your blog or stats or writing or anything else! Love you and your blog my friend! 😀

      Like

  3. Thank you for writing this. It exactly describes how I feel in every way. I try to remind myself of the encouragement you give as well, and I think I will come back to this post often. You are doing great – you have 113 followers, soon 114! I think I will be happy if I ever have 10!

    Like

    1. Aw, you’re so welcome! Thank you for such a sweet comment ❤ I have to remind myself, too, a lot more often than you would think 😛
      Yes! I’m very excited! And I’m absolutely sure you’ll be able to hit 10 followers and beyond 🙂

      Like

  4. Comparison is a very horrible thing to have. And yet, despite knowing that, we’ve all done it. I see writers out there going like, “I pulled an all nighter!” and I am totally happy for them. But at the same time, I can’t even pull of a single plot right. (literally, I have to replot my entire book. Again. face desk)
    But for the record, I have really frizzy hair as well (can’t do anything but a ponytail with it) and I also listen to Mandisa. 😉

    Like

    1. Exactly what I feel Julia! But you’re moving and working at your own pace and that’s 100% okay! You’re ahead of the game anyway — how many people can say they’ve actually published a book before their 15th birthday?! I’m so proud of you exactly where you are!
      Haha, really? Mine’s not horribly bad, but it’s bad enough that I need product to tame it xD Mandisa is awesome! I’ve seen her twice and she is absolutely incredible, not to mention beautiful ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually am going to rewrite that too. 😛 I hope to relaunch it at the beginning of summer. (Shhhhhh, that’s super secret info 😉)

        Like

  5. I also struggle with comparison, in fact I often do things just to impress others. I read other people’s books who are my age and say, “I’ll never be that good!” but really, I just need to try my best and let God do the rest! 😉 Praying for you 🙂

    Like

  6. Abby, this was so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I’ve had to fight against this as well. Your post hammered in what God is so patiently teaching me. Thank you!

    Like

  7. Abby this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
    Thank you so much, I literally just ignored all my notifs popping up and forgot everything else and just took the time to read this and it’s AMAZING!!!!!! :O

    “math is dumb. That one is self-explanatory.”
    SPOT ON.

    Like

  8. I struggle with comparison a LOT. Not just in the blogging world. So you’re not alone! 😉
    This is so inspiring, Abby!
    And yes, math is dumb, but unfortunately, essential. 😛

    Like

  9. I love this dear Abby! I struggle with comparison tons, and especially in writing. It’s so hard on the YWW community because you see all these people signing books deal, while in struggling to get words on the paper. I get your pain! Thank you so much for this encouraging post. It really inspired me to look to God for where my worth comes from. Thank you.

    Like

  10. claps 👏 so true, comparison IS a joy kill, and Satan is the one behind it. God made us in his image, so, why should we compare, we all look alike to God. 😊💚💙✌

    Like

  11. Abby, thank you for using your God-given talent of words to encourage and uplift others.❤️This post was beautiful! Like you and so many others, I struggle with comparison almost every day. (More so with my dancing and other stuff than blogging, though.) THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your lovely words of encouragement and truth!

    Like

join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.