How to Overcome Comparison: An Open Letter From a Recovering Perfectionist

I saw a really cute picture of another blogger’s kitchen the other day and it made me feel icky because my cabinets are so not pottery barn.

I overthink what others think of me and I’m always looking over my shoulder, worried I won’t work fast enough or be inspiring enough and lose my place in this race.

I edit most of my social media captions multiple times after posting them and I usually don’t get anything right the first time.

Hi, my name is Jordan and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I say “recovering” because for a long time I used to care so much about looking put together because that was “in.”

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Then, everyone attacked social media for being a pit of comparison so everything swung the opposite direction.

So for awhile, I caught myself trying to prove that I was real and messy because that was in. And I felt the need to prove that my life wasn’t perfect (um, whose is?). I felt the need to prove that I was “real and relatable and just like everyone else,” instead of just being real and how God made me unlike anyone else.

I failed to see that I am just as real when I’m having a good hair day as I am when I’m a total mess. I didn’t realize that I am both real and messy but also real and full of joy, life, and light.

It’s not that I don’t struggle like anyone else. I do. And I’m not afraid to share that reality (I mean, obviously, considering how I started this article off).

But for a long time I believed that people wouldn’t like me if I shared the good things in my life.

So, even when I showed the good things, I was SURE to highlight the imperfect parts of them instead of celebrating the real wonderful parts of them, too. I knew how ugly jealousy and comparison could be and I feared being someone people compared themselves to—so I set out to prove that I was “normal.” Whatever that means. 

I tried to hide all the good stuff and focus on the ‘relatable’ stuff because I was terrified that somebody else might step into the comparison game, point a finger as if I’m in the wrong, and say, “that’s not real.”

I know people do it because I’ve done it to other people.

But I’ve been challenged. Who are we to say someone’s joy or beauty or life isn’t real and legitimate? Isn’t that just our inadequacy talking?

The fact of the matter is that I was still being a perfectionist about what I shared and did. I filtered only what I thought people wanted to see—it just looked different from what perfectionism is typically understood to look like. It took the cloak of being “real” but maybe it was hardly real at all.

It’s as if, in some twisted way, I was being perfect about being imperfect and fake about being real. What on earth is that?

But if you think about it, I’d bet you have been, too.

Perfectionism and pride aren’t just reserved for the retouched photos. They take root in the heart and can mask themselves in all sorts of ways.

It’s an uphill battle and I’ll never tell you that I don’t struggle with it (hence, *recovering*). Because I struggled today. Struggling right now.

Maybe you are, too.

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Jordan Lee
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Jordan Lee is the creative voice behind the blog, The SoulScripts. She is passionate about seeing women set free by the love of Christ and works to bring them to that through sharing real, raw, and relatable stories and anecdotes with a creative spin. She launched her site in 2015 on a simple premise — to get real, to sort through the lies women believe, and to encourage readers in Truth while offering touches of comic relief along the way. She especially loves to keep it real by speaking openly into real-life struggles and offer encouragement through storytelling because she believes that our stories are the most unifying thing we have. The messy, broken, and imperfect parts of life are the threads that weave us together, reminding us that we are truly not alone. She understands the reality that we all have imperfections, brokenness, and pieces of our lives we’d rather not show. She recently published her first book, WholeheARTed: A Coloring Book Devotional, released this past spring. It is available for purchase via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lifeway, and more. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with a coffee in hand as she dives into the Word, jogging through town, and traveling the globe with her husband. You can get to know her more on Facebook, Twitter,or Instagram.