I make awesome chocolate chip cookies. I use a secret recipe passed down to me by my mom. We’ve been making them for as long as I can remember, and they’re one of my favorite things to bake. They always turn out soft and chewy – never flat or crisp -with the perfect amount of chips.
But even though my cookies are incredible, every once in awhile I’ll see a post or a pin on Pinterest and start to doubt my recipe. I’ll start to question my baking abilities or wonder if there’s something better out there. I’ll see the picture and notice that their cookies are a little puffier or a tad bit more golden than mine. The questions start to flood my mind. “Are my cookies really that good?” “Is she doing it better than me?” Then I’ll make the new recipe, and each and every time, they turn out horribly. They’ll spread across the pan and come out paper thin or get too dark and crunchy. They are NEVER as good as mine.
The new cookies never work out for me. And yet, every so often, I’ll allow that blurb about how “these” chocolate chip cookies were “famous” around the Betty Crocker kitchens make me doubt myself. I’ll let that picture of those cookies that look just a little fluffier than mine stir up all my doubts.
It’s like that with our lives too. Our family or our personal life can be going great. We can be experiencing things like joy and gratitude. We can be connecting with our spouse and children. Everything can be coming up awesome.
But then, we’ll see what someone else is doing – and it will tempt us. It won’t matter that what we’re doing is working for us – we’ll see the differences and wonder if what we’re doing is good enough.
The Saturday soccer practices. Homeschooling. Early potty training. Vacations. Going back to work. Crafty afternoons. Elaborate birthday parties. Holiday traditions. The list goes on and on.
We see other people living lives that are different than ours and start to wonder if we really have a good thing. We let doubt creep in. Our life doesn’t look like that – is there something wrong with it? Am I missing out on something? Am I making mistakes? Is their life better than mine?
If something isn’t working, by all means – seek out the wise counsel of someone you trust and admire. Take action steps to restore wholeness and joy. BUT, if what you’re doing is working for you – trust it. Don’t allow self-doubt to consume you.
Those other cookie recipes I’ve tried obviously work for some people – just like some habits, choices, and schedules work for some people. They don’t all have to work for me- and they won’t. (And that’s all okay.)
Comparison will rob you of your joy. Our lives are going to be different from those of our friends and acquaintances because we are different people! Sameness is not the goal. Finding what works for your family IS. Don’t allow those differences to haunt your mind. They are doing what works for their family – not yours.
Each of us brings a unique background and skill-set to the table. We’re raising unique children and learning to love and grow with a unique spouse. Our circumstances, emotions, beliefs, and schedules are different. Why would we ever expect our lives to mirror someone else’s? The differences mean we’re doing something right. The differences mean we are making choices that reflect OUR needs.
The next time you see a friend or someone on social media highlighting something in their life that is different from your own, don’t let it undermine your confidence. Don’t compare. Don’t doubt yourself. It’s okay for your life to look differently from someone else’s – it should! Do what works for you and your family. Seek out the habits, choices, and activities that promote wellness, wholeness, and joy in YOUR home.
Keep doing what you’re doing and trust yourself. You are capable, unique, and better equipped to make decisions for yourself than anyone else. Be you.
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