Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
This week, a PI Girl asked what she should do regarding comparing herself to others with her test scores.
“Now, I’ve never really struggled with comparing myself with other girls (appearance-wise), but academically I’m really bad at it. If I don’t get the percentage I want on a test, then I can get very upset and down. I often compare my scores with other girls in my class. It’s like I experience the same symptoms that girls who lack body confidence experience, just in a different area. Does anyone else feel like this? If so, what do you do to stop?”
Click here to read the full post.
Regarding comparing yourself with others and your exam scores, I would say that this isn’t a bad thing to want to achieve good grades or to aim high, but don’t look at others and beat yourself up. Comparison becomes a problem when it is no longer for inspiration, but rather is belittling our self-value or worth.
A grade indicates the level of knowledge we have on a particular topic or subject. When we study, we will have ample knowledge to be successful and we will not have the need to compare ourselves to our peers. If you find value or your identity based on your success or your grades, I would say that, again, it’s okay to want to be a good student, but it can be dangerous comparing yourself to others.
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Your value, identity and self-worth should be in Christ, not in your grades. Yes, be studious and prepare, but don’t harm yourself or destroy your confidence because of your neighbor’s higher score. You should consider your success based on the weight or value you put into the work to produce the outcome. If you studied very hard and were fairly assessed, then you should be content in your grades. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, when we compare ourselves to others, then we we lose our joy. When we are content in the Lord and the things of God, and when we honor Him in all of our work, then we will have great gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23)
Advice on Comparing Yourself to Others
- Aiming high isn’t a bad thing: Comparing and beating yourself up is the problem.
- Your value is in Christ: Know your self-worth is found in Jesus Christ, not in test scores, looks or anything else.
- Don’t put yourself down: You can aim to be a better student or worker, but don’t self-harm or destroy your confidence.
- Work hard, trust God: Don’t work unto man, but rather unto God. When you put your BEST efforts in, you know you did what you could with what you’ve been given, and the rest is in God’s hands.
- True success is knowing God and following His words: When we follow God and do what the Lord instructs, it will pour over other areas of life and will drench the other things that need filling. The Lord gives us grace, wisdom and the ability to do all things through Him well when we put Him first. Seek God first and work hard, and God will provide.
PI Girls, do you compare yourself to other students? Do you see why it’s important to focus on your own work and grades? Comment below!