Comparing ourselves to others at work. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Assessing performances during a big presentation. Measuring our success against others in our team. Gosh, we even do it in our personal lives when we’re scrolling through social media and comparing ourselves to our peers! It’s a normal reaction to benchmark ourselves against our siblings, friends, family, co-workers and those we look up to. Comparisons are a natural human tendency and, if harnessed in the right way, they can be powerful motivators allowing us to understand where we are in life and where we want to be. But excessive comparison can damage our long-term mental health, leading to reduced confidence, low self-esteem, anxiety and even depression. In this blog, I’d like to share my top 5 tips to help you move away from constantly comparing yourself to others at work and help you embrace your unique personality and strengths.
1. Use your energy wisely
Comparing ourselves to others can provide us with helpful information about what we want from life, where we want to head and help us get valuable feedback on how we measure up. However, when we look outside ourselves excessively and concentrate too much on what others are doing, that’s when we risk causing ourselves serious psychological pain. It’s also wasting valuable energy that we could be funnelling into our personal journey or focusing on our goals at work. It can be hard to push those “they’re so much better than me” thoughts out of our minds but comparison that makes us feel inadequate or inferior is just downright unproductive! Try to refocus your thoughts and attention, so instead of thinking, “I’ll never be able to do that”, try saying to yourself, “how can I get myself to that level?” or “I can and will get better at x, y, z.”
2. Focus on your journey
When we look at others, we inevitably see a gap. This could be a gap in knowledge, background, intelligence, education or experience. One way to avoid this is to become just like everyone else… to become a clone! The human psyche craves to feel unique, special and individual. However, if we aspire to be a carbon copy of our peers, we’ll wind up feeling unhappy and anything but! If we really think about it, most people we compare ourselves to probably have more experience or skills than we do, so it’s not even a level playing field! So instead, focus on where you are in YOUR growth journey and focus on the steps you want or need to take in your career to get you to where you desire.
3. Embrace your originality
Life would be pretty dull if we all did things the same way! We all have interesting qualities and skills to bring to the table. So instead of worrying about how everybody else approaches life, focus on and embrace your unique attributes and strengths. Not only is it a fantastic way to avoid comparisons and distractions, but it’s also a great boost to our self-confidence and can help us feel more secure in our teams.
4. Don’t worry. Be happy!
Pop on your positive pants and find opportunities to be happy for and celebrate those around you. Not only is it another great way to distract yourself from the stress and anxiety of constant comparisons, but it will also make you feel more optimistic and help you to be seen as a collaborative team player. Who knows what opportunities may land at your feet as a result?
5. Remember that the grass isn’t always greener
It’s so easy to look at someone else’s life and think that they have it all! The big house, the fantastic job, heaps of self-confidence, but you never know what’s truly going on and how happy people really are. What you may fail to see is the unhealthy work-life balance, endless sacrifices or damaging pressure. We also don’t see the people who compare themselves to us! We are all on our own personal journey, and that is such an exciting prospect. Feel confident that you will achieve YOUR goals in YOUR own time and sit back and enjoy the ride!
Would you like more tips to help you stop comparing yourself to others at work?
If so, why not listen to Series One, Episode 6 of my podcast on How to avoid comparisons with others? To find out more about how I can support you in the workplace, please get in touch with me to arrange a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation. It would also be great to connect with you on LinkedIn and Facebook!