Imagine that you’re in a race, but instead of focusing forward on the hurdles in front of you or on the finish line, you’re looking at all the other racers to your right and left. It probably would not end well. However, when you think about it, that’s how we are sometimes in life. In this short episode, we take a look at the insights we gained from our last guest, Angela Scott in “Comparison Detox.” Through personal stories of both successes and failures, we share what we’ve learned about casting aside comparison and competition…and running our own race, even when it’s the most difficult.
This can be an uncomfortable topic that forces us to be honest with ourselves. We promise to try to be transparent and encourage you to do some soul-searching as well. Click play for some encouragement in finding your own God-given gifts instead of worrying about how others are “stacking up” against you. The only competition you really have is yourself.
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Sandy Kovach [00:00:00]:
You welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast where we help you imagine the next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage and faith. We hope you enjoy this one on chasing your dreams and not your competition. And by your competition, I mean anybody else who you compare yourself with. We are all guilty of it, including Lanee and I, as you will hear in some of our stories in this episode.
Lanee Blaise [00:00:26]:
Hello, everybody, this is Lanee, here with Sandy. I don't know if you remember out there listening a long time ago there used to be this book called "I'm Okay, You're Okay." And you remember that book Sandy?
Sandy Kovach [00:00:38]:
I do, and I think I might have read it, or maybe my mom read it, I don't know, but I remember seeing it laying around.
Lanee Blaise [00:00:43]:
It's been out there for decades. But the reason I bring it up is because today we are going to dive deeply into the topic of comparison and how we sometimes even accidentally find ourselves, or subconsciously, I should say, comparing ourselves with other people, either in our personal lives, our professional lives, our bodies, our worth, our everything. And we just want to make sure that we try to send a message to ourselves to stop that, stop it. Because we don't want to get ourselves caught up in another person's life when we're here to live our lives, right?
Sandy Kovach [00:01:24]:
Life is not a competition. And this is kind of like a follow up for our last episode with author Angela Scott. And one of the things that she kept saying is that we lose so much by not running our own race and focusing too much on what other people are doing, whether it's professionally or it's stage in life. We wish we had kids or we were married or we had grandkids or on and on it goes. Competition, even within our own families.
Lanee Blaise [00:01:57]:
That episode really dug into how we can ask God to help us kind of climb out of that comparison problem. Today we wanted to give a few examples. We've been really reflecting, sand and I have been reflecting on how this stuff can really get into you if you're not careful. It's like a little termite or something that gets into the wood of your building, of your home, and you want to make sure you get rid of it.
Sandy Kovach [00:02:25]:
When Angela Scott was on and the episode was called Comparison Detox, and I would recommend that when you have a minute, go back and listen to that if you haven't one of the things Angela said over and over again was run your own race. And she had to learn that because she was a first time author. She had written some stuff in other people's books before, but this is her first own book and she found herself comparing to all these accomplished people and she was like, my little book, I can't do this. And just all the things that as she let that go, God showed her. So I started thinking about, okay, when have I been successful and when have I been not successful in the comparison trap? And these are just two examples. One was way back when, when I got laid off of a job at a radio station when it changed formats. And at that point in my life, really, all I had done was radio. I mean, I did some voiceover work, but I was mostly focused on radio. So when that rug got pulled out from under me, I was wobbly, right? And I would look and of course, I had tons of friends in the business who are amazing people that I've either worked with or know from socializing, and I would see their posts on social media, how they're doing this stuff in radio and that stuff in radio, you know, me or anyone. Okay, I don't want to say anyone, but a lot of people would be like, I want to do what that person is doing. I remember when I was doing XYZ and I'm seeing this concert and going on trips to Hawaii and blah, blah, blah, and now it's like I'm just sitting here in my studio doing voiceovers. So I really had to ask God for forgiveness because envy is like a huge sin, so it's just not good for anyone. And it kind of like Angela said in her when she was doing her episode, she was comparing herself to other authors. It not only is bad for you, but it's bad for how you think about those other people. I didn't have anything against them, but yet anytime you envy someone, I think it's like a negative emotion. So God did grant me peace about that. And what I learned about radio or like this is true of many other careers, whatever, especially in the creative industry, is it goes around and comes around. I mean, I had other jobs, I had other format changes. I've been through several now, and so does everybody else, and everybody's running their own race, and it's okay when I see somebody lose their job now or some format changing or whatever. I feel really bad for them because I remember how that felt that first time, but I know they'll be all right.
Lanee Blaise [00:04:54]:
Sandy, I love the way that you have now because of all this up to your compassion game, up to your asking for forgiveness, and seems like you have lowered that whole part of envy and really tried to get a handle on the comparison stuff. And that is a beautiful way to ask God to help us do it. Asking for forgiveness. Yeah. My piece that I've been stewing on ever since we had that episode with Angela, it kind of comes right at a time when all of my siblings were all gathered together. We were kind of going through the family home and decluttering, which is always a fun thing, but I have lots of sisters. And I have one brother, so there's six of us girls and my one brother. It's something that I really wanted to give my parents credit for, for trying their best to make sure that we don't get caught up in comparison amongst one another. Because there's the oldest and there's the baby of the family. There's the some families, there's the cute one and the smart one, and the good one and the bad one, and that can really wreak havoc. So I was really thinking about this as far as a piece of encouragement to look at your own personal and professional life. I have one sister. She's been on this podcast before. Her name is Blaine Lawson. She is an absolute gift to the psychotherapy world. She's just a genius of all things mental health. She has worked with people in literally life saving ways. And sometimes when it's someone in your own family, you sometimes discount how wonderful they are. I know they did that to Jesus also. They like, he's from their hometown or he's from their family. He's just like, oh, he's a carpenter, or whatever.
Sandy Kovach [00:06:42]:
She's in good company then, right?
Lanee Blaise [00:06:44]:
Exactly. So I just love to harp on this aspect that we kind of talked about in the last episode as far as every person has a role, has a special gift, and it's just beautiful when they find it. I have another sister who is just a true people person. She's a chef, she's a party planner. She's got a job in marketing with a great company. She's a great mom, a great wife. Sometimes she acts like she's our little mom, even though she's my much younger sister, but she just kind of takes on that beautiful role. She's the one who keeps us all informed and checks in on all of us. Her twin sister is a biomolecular chemical engineer.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:26]:
I can't even say that.
Lanee Blaise [00:07:28]:
It just blows your mind. She's also a children's book author, though. She wrote a children's book about children and math and Stem and science and stuff like that too. So it's just like you never know what gifts you're going to use and how you're going to piece them together. That's another part. I just encourage everyone to kind of think about all the elements of who they are because you've got this engineer, but she's also a children's author and she would go to elementary schools and do little science projects for the students and big auditoriums. It's just awesome. I have another sister who's a master at troubleshooting and creating materials to train people, and she's just the kindest, most loving, most giving person you can meet. I have another sister who is also a wonderful mother and wife, and she's the baby girl of the family. And her job, they call her a unicorn at her job because she has mastered this ability to mix the It world with the medical field. And it's just one of those things where she actually loves her job, which is yet another thing that is hard to find in today's society. So for those of you who say, oh, my gosh, there's some people out here who actually love their jobs, please understand that, like in this case, this sister, it took her such a long time to land on this particular job that was the perfect fit. She had to go back and get certification and coding and data analysis and all these different things. But she finally found her spot, and we're so grateful to God that she found the spot that she needed to. And my brother, oh, my brother, he has a PhD. My dad used to say was a pretty heavy dude.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:19]:
I love your dad.
Lanee Blaise [00:09:20]:
My dad is hilarious, which is, I guess why we got all these different components, because the dads and the moms together just really poured in. I think our parents poured in all of their fun and best stuff into us. Because he works at a top university, he is helping the next generation of students. I'm in the world of television and film and writing and podcasting and all those creative aspects. Only reason I bring all this up is hopefully I hope that every single one of my siblings listens to this.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:52]:
Episode and gets now for them to listen, right?
Lanee Blaise [00:09:54]:
Yeah, that's right. I want them to know how much they're appreciated.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:58]:
There's no competition, just mutual respect, it sounds like.
Lanee Blaise [00:10:02]:
But I also just want other people, including myself, to take a long look at some of these different skill sets and different personalities and different talents that people bring to the table and use it to go within in a good way. Not in a way of envy or comparison, only in a way of let's see what I can extract from myself to bring what's best to this world.
Sandy Kovach [00:10:30]:
That sounds healthy. That sounds very healthy. Well, as I was talking about, in my job, I don't really have the comparison as far as career goes anymore.
Lanee Blaise [00:10:41]:
Sandy Kovach [00:10:42]:
But I recently found out that I'm not over. I don't think anybody ever gets over the comparison trap. I think we all fall into it from time to time. And my most recent falling into the comparison trap is via social media where it usually happens. And because I've been dealing with some health issues, I haven't really been out that much. And this is the summer and you're seeing people all over the place on their boats or doing things that are fun on vacations, on the beach, wherever. So I've been totally comparing myself and really getting depressed, and I had to take a step back. So when Angela did her podcast and started talking about run your own race, god's, timing is different in everybody's life. Maybe there's a reason that I need this downtime or there's something I need to figure out going through these health issues. I just have to trust god. I really have to ask for forgiveness on that too, because that's not cool, because I want everybody to be enjoying themselves and have a good time. I don't want to be resenting them.
Lanee Blaise [00:11:44]:
Right. And like you said, of course, as much as everybody wants you to be back to yourself again, your best fullest healthiest self, I agree with you. I think that this is some kind of significant period that you are meant to discover something, hear something from God, learn something, some aspect of health, wellness, life that is going to kind of transform what your future is going to look like in a good way. And I just can't wait for that to be all found out, transformed and great. Because, Sandy, many times when we are confined like that and our health is at stake, that forces us, it should force us to run to God and to really hear what God is saying. I prayed the other day for God to please let me know things in a very, very loud voice, because that the still, small whisper voice that God many times uses. Sometimes I've been missing it. I'm just going to pray the same thing for you, that God's voice will be very loud and very clear for all of us.
Sandy Kovach [00:12:55]:
God's timing is what I have to trust in it. There was a quote, and I think I put it in the last blog that we had with Angela's podcast by Bob Goff, who said, we won't be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose. So sometimes our purpose, we have to step back from certain activities, but it doesn't mean that we can't work on what we need to work on as we can. And God uses everything, and envy and comparison are so poisonous, as Angela So put it so well, that I just have to forget about stuff like that and run my own race, even if my own race is a little boring right now.
Lanee Blaise [00:13:35]:
I believe that's going to be temporary. I believe it's going to open up. I believe that the good things are around the corner, the health whatever thing that God is trying to make sure that you hear, and lots of other people listening too. I believe that career, that loved one, that relationship, that health breakthrough, that diagnosis, even just understanding what the heck is wrong is right around the corner. And I just believe that. I believe that for us.
Sandy Kovach [00:14:01]:
Believe that for us and believe that for our listeners and we definitely like to hear from people too, if they have something they want us to pray about or maybe they even have suggestions, because I think we talked about this in a podcast before. People with chronic pain, you don't know that they're going through that. People with mental issues or anxiety or there's just a ton of stuff that people burdens that are people walking around with something is wrong in their relationship. They don't wear a T shirt that says, I'm biting with my husband. All the things.
Lanee Blaise [00:14:31]:
All the things. That's why we do this podcast. I had a neighbor who came to me just two days ago and said, I really love the work that you and Sandy are doing on the podcast. It is very helpful, some of the tips are very clever, very helpful, very beneficial. And that's why we do this. We do this because we're trying to help ourselves. We're trying to help others. We're trying to spread good messages. We're trying to make sure that everybody remembers that God still is working in our lives. Even when it feels confusing or frustrating or painful, there's still miles to go before we sleep, like Robert Frost used to say.
Sandy Kovach [00:15:15]:
Lanee Blaise [00:15:16]:
Yeah, I love Robert Frost. With miles to go before we sleep. So imagine yourself running your own race, living your own life, taking that time to look within, to look above to God, and less time looking all around at others so that you can have your happiest, healthiest, best life, and so that God can get you all the way through on this journey.
Sandy Kovach [00:15:43]:
Thanks for listening. We would love to know what you thought of the episode and what are some of your struggles with competition and comparison. You can send us a message by going on to our website, imagineourselfpodcast.com, or hooking up with us on social media. All the links are on our website as well as in our show notes. If you have a chance to leave us a review, that would be awesome as well. It really helps us shape the podcast and it helps others find it as well. So until next time, when we have something new to imagine, here's to chasing your dreams and not your competition.