Jealousy, Comparison and Hustle
“You should jump on this!”“It’s the only way.”“You’ll regret it if you don’t.”“This is how everyone else is doing it.”
This is the voice of the hustle. The relentless force that pushes, tempts and otherwise distracts us from our priorities and values. Regardless of whether it whispers doubt and fear, or forcefully and proudly shouts down from above, it is harder than ever to ignore.
Just last night it came after me with the lie that “what she is doing is better. You should do this thing like her. If you don’t take this chance then you’ll regret it later because it is the only option you have.” After 24 hours of feeling these jabs, I’d had it— and shouted, “enough!”
I’m typically not one to make decisions based on what everyone else is doing. I will never be defined as being a trendsetter, but I’m definitely a girl who loves a good deal. I love thrifting, hunting for a bargain, and feel accomplished when I come in under my weekly grocery budget.
So when a friend started gushing about an amazing opportunity, I asked Siri to start searching. It was indeed something to be excited about— a venture that I didn’t have to be married to indefinitely. Then came the catch— I’d have to sign up in the next 48 hours. So began the inner conflict since we had recently decided (with the holiday season practically starting tomorrow) to cut our spending.
It would definitely be “an investment”, but one that I felt would pay off in the end. I would have the chance to sharpen my skills and regularly connect with other speakers and writers. It could open up new doors and allow me to learn from women who are passionate about similar things, but with our revised budget I knew that this was an expense that I couldn’t justify, regardless of how great a deal it was.
The more I came up with reasons why I needed to make this happen, the heavier my heart grew. At first, I couldn’t even articulate why I felt so torn and ugly on the inside… and then the answer came: I was jealous that she had the means to do this, and I did not. While I wanted incredible opportunities for my friend, I also coveted them for myself. I didn’t want to be left out. What I kept hearing my mind whisper over and over was, “this is the only way.”
This is the only way to meet an agent and grow a new circle of influential and authentic relationships. This is the only way for my pathetic little goal of being a writer and speaker to get to the next level. This was the only way, and I was going to miss out if I didn’t sign up before the deadline closed in just two days!
It is mortifying to punch out the above paragraph. It’s humbling to admit, again, that I struggle with giving in the pressure of the hustle, that I selfishly want my dreams (keyword: my) to unfold in the manner I think is best— as well as the timing that I choose.
I apologized to my friend for letting jealousy take root in my heart. And then letting comparison and resentment move right on in on its heels. I told her I was genuinely excited for this new opportunity, and I meant it. I closed the door to wanting to pursue this for myself, and I instantly felt peace overwhelm me.
I know that the hustle will continue to stalk my joy and assault me with discontent; it will try desperately to engage me in comparison games. But I can’t let that happen to my heart. I am confident in the purpose that God has for me (even if I don’t have the whole picture right now). I trust that He is able to see further than I can, and knows the best course for me. I know that His plans are better and that my life is sweeter when I choose to follow His leading instead of blazing my own trail.
He’s asked me to obey. With the same level of commitment to the one enormous responsibility, as to the five smaller tasks that may seem mundane and trite. Whatever He’s asked, He wants my obedience. Not excuses about how my ideas are most certainly better, or questions and complaints about why my path can’t look like someone else’s. Simple obedience. Every day.