Do you suffer from Obsessive Comparison Disorder?

Do you suffer from Obsessive Comparison Disorder

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Turns out there’s a label for the funk I’ve been in lately.

That feeling of never being good enough. Never doing enough. Failing to be better at so many, many things.

As a women’s ministry leader I constantly analyze and compare myself and our women’s ministry events to those at other churches, to ones on Pinterest, and to that ideal made up in my head.

As a blogger I’m forever comparing my site to those I perceive as better.

As a mom, as a wife, as a friend…some days I feel like a big fat failure.

Can you relate?

I recently had the opportunity to pick up a copy of I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison by Kay Willis Wyma.

Truth be told, I almost said no.

I was running errands one day last month and happened upon the Family Life Today interview with Wyma about the Dangers of Comparison. It was then that my interest was piqued. What she was sharing at that moment made perfect sense to me. Here’s a link to the radio interview if you’d like to listen.

Wyma explains an alternate definition for OCD (Obsessive Comparison Disorder) it can “describe our compulsion to constantly compare ourselves with others, producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us into depression, consumption, anxiety, and all-around discontent.”

Whether it’s due to Facebook, Instagram, magazines, blogs, or just that glimpse you’ve caught of what seems to be the perfect life, “comparison is relentless”.

The subtitle of the book is “Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison”. That is the achievable goal that Wyma presents to us.

I don’t know about you, but I really do want to be content. I’m tired of feeling less than.

One of the things I love most about this book is that Wyma shares many examples from her own life and her own thought processes that we can all relate to. Ever been to another friend’s house and spent the time comparing your home to theirs rather than enjoying your visit? Wyma candidly shares how she caught herself doing just that.

Life is about more than this one moment.

“Being preoccupied with how we measure up personally leads to either pride or humiliation, whereas choosing to focus on and congratulate the other person lifts us both up.”

To lift each other up. That is want I want for you and me. For us personally and for our ministries.

When we can learn to walk through life content with our reality we will exhibit and exude a peace that will draw others to Christ.

Wyma says, “Satisfying life is found in relationships and friendships where we can genuinely rejoice along with someone who is happy and cry when that person is sad. And through those authentic and genuine relationships, we find that we belong, we are known, and we are accepted.”

Sounds like the description of what a women’s ministry should be, doesn’t it?

The end of the book includes discussion questions – perfect for a book club or book study.

Whether we are aware or willing to admit it, comparison is something we all struggle with. What a joy and blessing it would be to find contentment together as a group in a book study! I have no doubt the discussions would be lively and revealing!

Wyma ends the book with this resolution that I am making my own: “I do not want comparison to steal my joy or derail me from the path the Lord has set for me. Therefore, I resolve in the year ahead to stay in my own lane. Run my own race. Stop comparing.”

My prayer for us is that we will all find contentment in a culture of constant comparison. That we will personally and through our ministries rejoice in the achievements of others as they live out God’s calling in the lives. That we will run the race God’s set before us – our race in our lane. And that we will find peace in our circumstances.

Enter to Win I'm Happy for You

Sorry – Giveaway is over! One reader will receive a copy of I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison. To enter to win please comment below. I’d love to hear about your struggles with comparison. Winner will be selected at random at 10 EST on Monday, December 7, 2015. Winner must reside in the US or Canada. I will contact the winner via email.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Connect with Kay Willis Wyma:

 

You may also want to read:
Letting Go of Perfect
Don’t get caught up in the numbers!

One year ago: Why I Don’t Do White Elephant Exchanges
Two years ago: 31 Christmas Fellowship Ideas


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Comments

  1. Sarah, thank you for pointing that out. Totally an oversight on my part. Blessings and thanks to you!

  2. Sarah Williamson says:

    The phrase “Obsessive Comparison Disorder” was actually coined by Paul Angone not Kay Wyma. Kay references Paul in the book as the originator of said phrase. It is in the first chapter if you reread it. If you google the phrase as well, you will see everywhere that Paul is the person who coined said phrase.

  3. I just had a melt down and the Lord lead me to this blog!! God is good!!

  4. Oh sweet sister! My heart aches for you! I know some days can feel like an uphill battle. I’m going to send you an email. I’d love to brainstorm with you by phone.

    My first suggestion is to pray about what God’s vision is for your ministry.

    It’s not about what they want, but about what they NEED. They definitely NEED time in God’s Word. Are you all offering any weekly Bible studies?

    Hope to talk with you soon!!

  5. Help, I started a women group at my small church. If every one comes, its about 17 women. We have about 8 that comes all the time. We have our meetings every 5th Sundays. The women said they do not want to meet more than a hr. because they have others things they have to do, so to respect their time Our meetings are about an hr. During the meeting I try to get their input on want they want to do. We plan small outing without the kids I try to keep up with their b-days, keep them involved and up to date on church events, we even have a short financial workshop, which is every helpful, given by the pastor’s wife. We are coming up on our second yr. I’m planing a New years party. New year, New Ideals.on our next upcoming meeting. I Don’t seem to have a team, even though I started off with one. I don’t want it to be ran by me only. I thinking next year. I want to work on building a team back up.
    I want more of God’s teaching us who to show love and giving more of their time to the ministry. I did wanted to talk about short bible stories with our group, but it’s hart to fit every thing in , in an hr. But I may have to give them a little more time to ease them into it. I need help with getting others to help also. Thank you for your Ideas and input.

  6. I am a “recovering perfectionist” who compared herself to everyone and everything around her. I struggled so deeply that after the birth of my son I suffered negative body image and postpartum depression. By God’s grace, I have overcome that and He has used that comparison trap that I fell into to guide me to where I am today and He is using that experience to guide me as a women’s ministry coordinator and a blogger. I feel more grounded now and that I can fight off Satan when he tugs me that way, but it is still a daily struggle. I love the sound of this book!! I would love to read it!

  7. YES, I can relate; especially during the holidays when I compare myself to the “super women” I know who do all the baking, entertaining, and make it all look easy. I always fall short and feel lazy and guilty. Need to focus on “the reason for the season” and get my eyes off ME

  8. Carrie Kujath says:

    Sounds exactly like what I need; thank you for the timely reminder. Pick me!!!!!

  9. Debi Giordano says:

    This definitely is a book I need to read! As women, mothers, and wives, everyday we can come across this feeling of not quite measuring up and yes, that does send us into a pity party. We need to learn how to combat those feelings before the pity party!

  10. I would love to win this book. I find myself comparing other people’s lives with my own, which sends me into a pity party, Even though I know God doesn’t want me to feel this way, I still fall into the old habits.

  11. How difficult it is to be happy for someone when you feel so discouraged about yourself! There are many days I’m ready to give up but somehow God always assures me that He chose to use me and I believe Him so I try to focus on Him and not how much better someone else would be. Only then can I let go of those feelings of inadequacy and be joyful for others when I know of something wonderful they have done or some special way they have made a contribution. I would be so pleased to win a copy of this book but if not I may pick up a copy for myself.

  12. Sandra Monroe says:

    I so much enjoy your website. It is such an encouragement when you address issues we women struggle with. This particular one I personally struggled with from childhood till in my late 30’s to early 40’s when God delivered me through Bible Study. Believe me, it was a miserable life. I’m around so many women that struggle with this issue. My concern is also for the young girls that are falling into this thinking pattern. Although the Word of God has the answers, It will be great to have a hands-on book for sharing in an applicable way in a Bible Study setting. Thank you Cyndee.

  13. Wendy McCullough says:

    This looks like a great topic on a common modern problem. It can be hard to rationalize that social media is often one-sided in a world where we are multifaceted beings. Thank you for the giveaway.

  14. Great addition to my Women’s ministry toolbox. Tardy for giveaway(smile) , but clicked on Amazon and am excited to order and read. Cyndee, such a great topic for our women, and appreciate this site so much!!!

  15. Jo MacKool says:

    Comparing myself to others and other situations is something I have always done to myself. I’ve always been the person who believed if I only was like her, or had that, or was better at… which has always kept me from being happy and fulfilled at just where God has placed me. Such a struggle for me and it now sounds like so many others. I would love to win this book and read it then pay it forward to someone else.

  16. Unfortunately I also compare myself to others in far too many negative ways. Would love to read the book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  17. Rachel Lee Sowers says:

    I am pretty sure I compare myself in about every area of my life. Not necessarily to other people, but to my idea of what perfection is. Sometimes I see some one who I think comes close and do compare to them. My main battles are wife, mother and leader of our women’s ministry at church. Currently praying for God to use this for His glory.

  18. I’m not sure if I’m comparing myself to specific people but I definitely compare myself to my ideal of what I should be. I fall short every time. I do need to learn to be content where I am. I can do that some days. Other days….not so much. We must keep our eyes on Him and His work, not our own. Sounds right and good…but living that out daily is work.

  19. Sherri Notz says:

    Funny that I should see this article today. My weekend was terrible and I have been struggling with the comparison trap and wallowing in self – pity because of “feeling” not good enough. I plan on reading this book even if I don’t win it, but winning it would be nice too.

  20. Rosa Ferguson says:

    I’ve had to take a vacation from social media foe a while because of this very issue. While I once felt inspired by what others were accomplishing I began to to feel like a failure because I wasn’t accomplishing as much. Thanks for this post.

  21. This sounds like a book that I need to read – I struggle with comparing myself with others frequently. I stay off social media when I am feeling vulnerable, as that can be a big trigger to feel sorry for myself. It is easy to fall prey to that comparison trap – Thank you for this chance to win.I enjoy reading your blog and find that I use your tips frequently for our women’s ministry.

  22. I agree, Cyndee! Comparison can be demoralizing and paralyzing! Jesus’ words in Mark 14:8 have been a comfort to me lately: “She has done what she could.” It may not be what other women’s ministries and websites have the ability and people and resources to do…but it can still be pleasing to the One who counts!

  23. I’d love to win this book! I just commented on my facebook timeline yesterday that social networking can be great or it can be dangerous, depending on how we negotiate the comparison traps. Even though I know the traps are there, sometimes I fall right in!

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