It’s been said that comparison is the thief of joy. In other words, when we measure who we are and what we do against other people, we diminish ourselves and what we’re capable of doing. We see what aren’t, what we don’t have, and maybe how we’re missing out. And comparison will put you in a prison that leads to isolation, self judgment and eventually self hatred.

Don’t think it’s affects you? Ever spend scrolling through Instagram? Before we open the app, we may think we have a good family with a happy home and even consider ourselves to be pretty good parents. But then we’re overwhelmed with a flood of images from people we know who appear to be enjoying much richer lives, who are movie-star photogenic, whose homes look like a magazine, and whose vacations are perfect … and somehow, we just don’t feel as good about ourselves.

It isn’t just social media. Maybe Mom is still saying we should be more like our sister or Dad never appreciates us the way we wish he would. Maybe the pastor’s sermon makes us feel we’re not worthy of God’s love unless we become someone we’re not.

So many of the people we work with think less of themselves because of comparisons to others. When discussing the challenges they face, we hear them say, “I wish I was more like …” or “I’m so jealous of her because she …” or “If only I could be like that.” It’s amazing … and sad … how often the root of our own behaviors and attitudes is in feeling we’re just not as good as the others around us.

Even the Bible tells us comparison is a bad thing. In Galatians 6, Paul says each of us should test our own actions and take pride in who we are, rather than comparing ourselves to others. It’s a bad habit most of us get into at an early age, as we’re eager to fit in and want to please everyone around us. When we sense we’ve fallen short of that goal, we start to think of ourselves as unworthy and less than others.

No, it isn’t easy to learn how to love yourself and what you’re capable of doing. Care to Change offers a special invitation-only workshop called “Know Your Worth” we created to help people better understand who they are and take pride in what they do. If you regularly talk with one of our counselors, ask them whether they think the workshop would be right for you. And if you feel this way and haven’t sat down with a counselor, why not set an appointment to learn some strategies that can help you place more emphasis on becoming who you are and less on other people?

Teresa Haskins has a deep desire to help families share information, express their emotions in more effective ways, and solve conflicts.