What To Do When Comparison Doesn’t Lead to Confidence

I recently explored a sunflower patch with my mom. There had to be thousands of flowers (most of them taller than me) uniquely contributing to a yellow blanket, stretching out to meet the sunrise. Some were bigger than others. Some stood perfectly straight. Others had a curve in their spine, while some had a smaller array of petals. The sunflowers seemed almost human to me- so vibrant and lively. Each one stood at its own height, displaying a unique beauty and quiet confidence as if it were the only flower in the field.

As I stood surrounded by the golden beauties, the saying, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms” came to mind and I thought of you.

I recognize your search for confidence – wondering what the magic formula is and why she has it and you don’t. I understand your desire to walk into a room and easily strike up conversation with complete strangers. You want to spend less time in the mirror, adjusting every feature and just walk out the door, satisfied. I can relate to the struggle. The temptation of Insta filters, tanning beds, teeth whitening cream, eyebrow pencils, and the perfect camera angle, all intended to make us feel beautiful, ironically, have a way of highlighting our greatest insecurities. Until one day, “If only I had her ________.” becomes our theme song.

Unlike the sunflowers standing tall and proud, we ladies have a tendency to get bent out of shape by looking to our left and our right for assurance – seeking confidence through comparison.

I might not like my legs, but if there is just ONE girl at the gym who’s thighs rub together more than mine, I’ll be alright.

My eyebrows might not be symmetrical, but at least I’m not __________.

If we’re lucky, we won’t be the worst looking gal in the room. But often, this twisted method of finding confidence leaves us feeling worse than before. We play this off as “just a part of being a woman.” But I don’t think we have to settle for this kind of womanhood.

A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Did you know that sunflowers are called sunflowers because they follow the sunshine? In the first half of the day the flowers face east- looking to the rising sun. In the latter half of the day, they focus their attention to the west- facing the setting sun. And when the sun is gone, they gently close their petals; only to stretch them back out when the sun returns. They don’t waste any energy looking to the other flowers because the sun gives them life. It gives them a purpose. Its where their beauty comes from.

Maybe we need to take a cue from the sunflowers and adjust our focus – finding confidence in the SON above us rather than the girls around us.

What if we had our gaze fixed so tightly on Christ that we had no room for side-to-side glances of comparison? What if we stretched with all our might to lock eyes with our God- focusing on who He is, and who He says we are? I’m convinced we’d have no choice but to stand tall like the sunflowers, fully embracing the Truth of our unique design and Designer.

Each morning I have the power to decide where I will find my confidence: Am I going to spend time with the Lord, digging into my bible, focusing my heart on His Truth? Or am I going to scroll through social media, comparing her waistline, her smile, her collarbones to my own? When I walk into class am I wondering how I’ll ever measure up to those around me or am I resting on God’s promises about who I am?

You have the same power to choose. So here’s my sunflower challenge for you:

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Fill your heart with His Truth. Embrace who He says you are. Leave competition behind. Plant yourself among sisters. And BLOOM. Because confidence isn’t born out of comparing ourselves to the girls around us; confidence comes from fixing our eyes on the God above us.

With Love & Freedom,

Kelsee

P.S. Do you want to find your confidence in Christ, but still not entirely convinced of your beauty? Click HERE for a free download that’ll help you see the Truth about just how lovely you are.

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Clinging v. Conquering: Why The Difference Matters

As my feet hit the floor, I released the carabineer attached to my harness and made my way to my water bottle. My forearms were pumped- burning and swollen. I still had a lot of climbing I wanted to do, but my arms were already so fatigued.

In rock climbing, getting “pumped” is sometimes a symptom of climbing inefficiently, or using too much energy. I thought rock climbing was all about upper-body strength. To my surprise, climbers use their legs a great deal. I’ve been learning that using my legs can help me climb more efficiently and avoid the pump.

Picture this: You’ve climbed halfway up a wall. Your legs are bent and you are looking for the next place to grab with your hands. You find two handholds and pull yourself up using your upper-body strength. While this isn’t necessarily wrong, your legs did not do any work, which caused you to exert much more energy and tire out your arm muscles.

Now, imagine that you are in the same position as before. Except this time you straighten your bent legs, growing taller as you grab onto the next handholds. This time, you used your leg muscles, which are very strong. You distributed the energy you needed to use and as a result, your arms are not so tired. This is climbing efficiently.

As a new climber, I’ve been trying to focus on climbing like this. Despite my best efforts, on my way up a wall, it’s just not my natural instinct to look down at my feet first. I’ve got my eye on the prize, but ignore the foundation that will help me ascend.

I think this imagery reflects the lives of many women today.

Today women are reaching and desperately grabbing onto something- anything– that will help us measure up to those around us. We’ve expanded SO much of our own energy trying to give our lives meaning, only to arrive too exhausted to even enjoy it.

-Working insane hours for an extra paycheck that’ll buy us the designer handbag.

-Canceling plans with girlfriends to study all weekend in order to keep a straight-A streak.

-Spending more minutes staring in the mirror, hopping on and off the scale, than time in the Word.

We’re clinging on with sweaty palms and pumped forearms, neglecting the solid base beneath our feet. If only we would straighten our bent legs and embrace the solid foundation of Christ. Then we would be propelled up into the life that He intended for us to live. Because we weren’t made to desperately cling- we were made to conquer [Romans 8]. We weren’t meant to grasp at whatever was within our reach. We were meant to be confident in our standing.

I need this reminder as much as the next gal- Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to continue in our old ways, earning love and manufacturing joy. Jesus died so that you and I could freely receive God’s love and grace. He died so that we could find a deep joy within that cannot be mass-produced and slapped with a Made in China sticker. Christ died to set us free from identities that never really did us justice, so that we could fully embrace the identity He uniquely and wonderfully designed for each of us.

Rather than striving and reaching, we have the opportunity to press into the firm Rock that is always holding us- we just have to pause long enough to look at our feet.

With Love & Freedom,

Kelsee

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. ~Psalm 62:5-8

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