You know, there’s a societal mentality these days that says,
“If you don’t do it first, it doesn’t really matter”.
That’s just messed up, isn’t it? Considering we all go at our own pace, I would certainly say it is. There’s this need for constant neck-and-neck competition, either for the “glory” of winning or pure entertainment for onlookers. And well, in either case, it’s all about what someone else is doing. I’m not saying that we should only be concerned with ourselves, because that would be categorized as selfish and narcissistic, but in terms of how we feel about our own achievement, the only thing that should be relevant is our personal growth and improvement. This is much easier said than done. Especially with social media these days, it can seem nearly impossible not to put our accolades against someone else’s. Society tells us superiority is satisfaction, but in fact, it lies within steady faith that we’re going the right pace on a path that’s right for us.
I have a lot of goals; I think many of us do. However, all of those goals aren’t in reach yet, and that’s why they’re, well, goals. Eventually, if it’s in God’s plan and we persevere, then those goals become attainable. However, it can be difficult when someone we follow online has achieved that goal now. Suddenly, it may feel as though our achievement of that goal in the future is dimmed or made less valuable to us. I’ve started talking about scenarios like this in a post earlier this year, but it remains very relevant, so some expansion seemed necessary.
But here’s the thing: it’s all up to us. Whenever I stumble across posts of someone else doing what I want to do someday, my first human instinct is to be jealous. However, I’ve started training myself to ask: Shouldn’t I be happy for them? The answer is always yes, so then I continue: “So, aren’t I happy for them?” And then, with a deep breath and letting go of my own insecurities, I answer again: “Yes. I really and truly am happy for them.”
Give yourself time; don’t let your impulsive reaction become your final one. Because, chances are that that isn’t the reaction that really reflects what’s in your heart. I know my snap reactions don’t reflect that. So it might take a minute, but give yourself that minute. You deserve that minute to decide how to feel! And at the end of the day, regardless about how I feel about the other person, I know that Jesus is leading me towards these feelings of happiness for another because we need to be positive lights for each other in a world that can be so dark. And, on a side note, I also ask myself: “Well, when something exciting happens for me, won’t I want others to be happy? Well, then I need to suck it up and be happy for them, because this is a wonderful time to celebrate with them. Stop being so selfish, anyway!” (Yes, my human-ness shows a lot, but I have a Savior who keeps me on solid ground no matter how human I get).
With that tough love from myself, and a touch of logic, I come to my conclusion:
No, their attaining of the goal first doesn’t lessen my hopeful future achievement.
Yes, I’m happy for them, because this is a wonderful achievement to accomplish.
No, it really doesn’t matter who does it first and who does it last, because we’re all on different paths with different timelines from God (who knows what’s best!).
Yes, celebrating with others will always make me feel better than moping about what I haven’t yet accomplished.
No, I don’t need societal standards as my goals, because those aspirations would be purely of this world… John 16:33. Instead, I look for goals of a deeper relationship with Christ.
Yes, I’m overthinking this, but you know what? That happens, and at least I came to the right conclusion in the end 😊
As always, just a little reminder to count your blessings. You are loved!
Much Love, Quinn