Galatians 6:4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

Confession Time: I'm extremely competitive. Obnoxiously competitive. If I'm at the gym and there are others working out around me, it doesn't matter what they are doing. I WILL do more. Run longer/faster. Lift more weight. Do more lunges. Whatever I have to do, I WILL try to outlast. Unfortunately, it hasn't always worked out well!

I learned a good lesson the first time I did this at the gym. I was determined to lift more weight than one of the girls lifting beside me (who was clearly much stronger and more experienced), but I was determined that I would lift more than her, no matter what. Stupidly, I kept watching what she did, and adding more each time. On the last set I was red faced, and shaking I tried to lift the set, and finally I ended up dropping the weights and pulling a muscle. That was the WORST. I crippled myself for a good week or two after that and couldn't lift at all. My pride to win ended up setting me back. I had to learn that hard way that playing the comparison game will literally cripple you, and set you back from accomplishing your goal.

I've noticed that when I compare myself to others, there are times I can't even remember what my goal is... I get so distracted focusing on winning that I end up losing myself. Ever been there?

Sadly, I consider myself a former-expert in the comparison game, an expert at crippling myself before I even get started, if you will. If you're set on failing at your goals like I did, here's exactly what you'll want to do :

1. Definitely don't worry about what YOUR goal is: Worry about everyone else's.
Make SURE that you completely forget about what you're supposed to be doing. The important thing is that you make sure that you spend all your time trying to be just like everyone else. Expend your energy trying to hit goals you were never meant to accomplish. Make sure to blend in as much as possible so you never find out your unique gifts.

2. Don't bother taking the novice steps. Skip straight to expertise. Make SURE to compare your beginnings to EXPERTS.
This is key. Don't waste your time building character, integrity, foundation, knowledge, or basic muscles. Keep focused on comparing how far ahead others are, that way you'll give up faster.

3. Make sure you let jealousy dictate how you react to others wins.
Definitely don't celebrate others wins. Nothing good can come from supporting other people along the journey with you. Make sure you stomp them all down and walk on top of them. If they get ahead of you, pull them down. This is how you win friends and influence people. This is obviously how you prefer to be treated.

4. Continuously beat yourself up.
Keep your main focus on all the mistakes you've made. Don't allow yourself to look into the future with hope... Confidence is over rated. Keep your standards for yourself low. Your dreams are probably too big to actually hit. Who are YOU to do anything great?

Obviously I'm not serious... I would never suggest you to do these things. I hope you realize that the mind games I put in here are absurd. BUT if I'm honest, I've struggled with each of these thoughts at different times! Maybe you have too. Today, God's reminding me that He wants to help me accomplish the dreams He's put in my heart, but in order to do that I have to let go of the competitive mindset and start focusing on my OWN life.

Today's spark of the day, is sparking my own fire today is Simple: Be a proud original. Because you are.

Learn to take delight in your shortcomings, your slow & steady process, and bring people along with you on the journey. God's purpose for you may or may not be glamorous, but it's absolutely necessary.

If Albert Einstein wished he were one of the Wright Brothers, we might not even be here today. Never let yourself fall for the lie that your gifts are "less than." When you choose to be proud of who you are, embrace it, and share it, you give the world a gift that no one can take away.

You be you.

XOXO,
Natalie