Did you ever see an unhappy horse?

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” –Dale Carnegie

When we try to impress others, we set ourselves up for disappointment and discouragement. Whether it’s trying to get others to look at us or like us or be impressed by us, we are wanting their approval or recognition to feel good about ourselves. So, when that doesn’t happen–when we don’t get their approval or recognition–it’s a letdown. Then the counter-thoughts creep in: maybe I’m not as good as I thought; who did I think I was? what business do I have trying to do what I’m doing?

Who made that person and their opinion the standard by which I should measure myself and my efforts? Oh, right… I did.

I’ve been struggling lately with this, not so much with trying to impress others, but more along the lines of comparing myself to others. This has resulted in not being impressed with myself. And feeling overwhelmed with all the “shiny objects” that could help me be more impressive to both myself and others. All of this has only served to take my eyes off of my goals and my blessings and my own uniqueness.

A friend reminded me today that a lot of people, himself included, struggle with these same issues. And the only thing I need to focus on is what I can do TODAY to serve others.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m looking at the goals I set in January and recalibrating. I’m taking my eyes off the shiny objects and putting them back on the baby steps that I laid out for myself. All I can do is what I can do. I’ll leave the outcome to God.

How about you? Can you relate? Do you struggle with comparison and the resulting discouragement at times? What are your strategies for defeating it? I’d love to hear from you.

For your advantage,

Brian

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