The Comparison Trap: Why a Man Does it, and Who he Should Really be Comparing Himself too.

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What's the number one thing that most guys ask each-other when they first meet?

"So, what do you do?"

This question can make a man shake in his boots, especially if he is already uncomfortable with his masculinity and how he provides for his family.

He doesn't need to be though, unless of course he is a dirt-bag, who lives and leaches off of other people. 

I actually despise this question, mainly because we have come to use it as a way to compare ourselves to other men, from the answer that we get we make assumptions and judgments about social status, money, success, and manhood.

It's something that we have been conditioned to do.

For example, if we are at dinner with another couple, we ask the man what he does, and he tells us he is a trader on Wall street. What is the first thing that you think?

He has money, and he is greedy.

Is that necessarily true? We have no idea, but we have already made assumptions based off of how we have been conditioned to see those things.

A better question that I ask other men when I meet them is, "So, what kinds of things do you like to do?"

This will tell me more about a man than what he does, and it is a much better conversation. 

The main reason that I bring this up though is how we as men get caught in a comparison trap. We do it to ourselves.

The only person that we need to compare ourselves to is the man that we were made to be, not other men.

The man you are

The man that you are now, is not the ultimate version of yourself, in fact, odds are if you are anything like me, then sometimes or even now you despise the man that you have become.

When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, you are ashamed of what you see. You have made some big mistakes, some bad choices, and you seem to be stuck in the same rut that you have been stuck in for a long time now.

It seems like that no matter what happens you can't break free, you can't make ground in your life. There may be many reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is that you have become passive, or maybe even given up. The battle is just too hard to fight.

  • I am just in too much debt
  • I just can't possibly lose this weight
  • My marriage is just not going to work out
  • I just don't ever seem to have time
  • I just can't get up in the morning
  • I'm just not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough
  • I just don't have what it takes

Do you find yourself saying any of these things to yourself, or at the very least, thinking them once in a while?

I have said one or more of those many times, and even catch myself doing it now. 

Why?

Because that is what happens when you are in a fight, when you are in a battle. You get hit and it hurts.

The thief, attacks our most vulnerable spot(s) as men. Our ego, our pride, and our self worth. If we are comparing ourselves to others than all of that is misplaced. We don't get our worth from comparing ourselves to others, and we certainly can't be like anyone else. Yet we try.

The reasons a man compares himself is because:

  • He feels inadequate
  • He doesn't have a plan
  • He is not grounded in some sort of faith
  • He is envious or jealous
  • He is not confident in who he is
  • He has not discovered that he can be his own man
  • He doesn't know what else to do
  • He has been told his whole life to be something he is not
  • His wife asks him why he can't be like so and so
  • He puts his worth in something or someone else

The man that you are now, is not the man you were made to be. 

 

The man you were made to be

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Most men are obsessed with making a million dollars, dating the hottest women around, and being the alpha male in the room. 

There are a ton of programs and marketing tactics aimed at men who have extremely low self confidence or inadequacies. Not all of those are bad though, there truly are some legitimate things in place.

All men want freedom, so when we see that someone is offering to teach us how to do that in 30 days or less, our heart skips a little bit. We think "Oh, yes, finally, I'm going to do this, it's exactly what I'm looking for."

The truth is that you already know who you are, you just have to draw it out, that's what the 360 Man Project is all about. Becoming the man you were made to be.

This is what we need to compare ourselves to, This man isn't interested in material things, or making a million dollars or dating and sleeping with the hottest women. Those things are just a byproduct of his life.

The only person this man compares himself to is himself, the ultimate version of himself. The man that God designed him to be.

He is confident because he understands where his authority comes from, and that his purpose is much bigger than anything this world has to offer. He understands that life is but a fleeting glimpse, and that every minute is lived to fulfilling his purpose which is to be the best man that he can be.

This man has goals and things he wants to accomplish, because they come from within him, and from the one that created him.

  • He compares and measures himself to his own goals
  • He is confident in the abilities his creator has endowed him with
  • he does not need to prove his worth
  • He is not owned by anything or a slave to anyone
  • He is happy for others and there success
  • His wife and kids respect him and value him as a man

He compares himself to the man he was made to be, not who everyone tells him or thinks that he should be.

When we stop comparing ourselves to other men, and wonder why we can't be like them, we are believing a lie. The truth is that if one man can do something, another man can also do it. However, not everyone can be the same person, and not everyone has the same goals.

You have to know how to get there

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Most of us men aren't born with a compass on how to be the man that we are made to be. Most of us get lost in all of the information and noise that the world tells us about being a man.

It can be confusing. Most of the time, we are shown how a man should be but we are left without knowing how to get there, you can't just act like those men and expect to be them.

In order to be the man you want to be, you have to know who that is. Here are some very practical steps on how to figure that out.

  • Make a list of the characteristics that you want as a man
  • Seek Wisdom (Read one Proverb every day for a month, this will tell you how to live daily)
  • Begin a workout Program (this is going to help you in all areas)
  • Get a mentor, coach or accountability partner (this person needs to be someone that is going to help you but not coddle you)
  • Whenever you find yourself desiring something or wanting something, write it down, and come back to it later...or don't. See if the desire just goes away. As you resist, you will grow stronger.

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong" - 1 Corinthians 16:13

You can't do it alone. It takes a man to make men.

How do you struggle with comparison? 

What do you do to overcome this?

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