The Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Others
The workplace is one of the most competitive environments out there. This is especially true if you’re looking to move up in a company. There are always new challenges, new projects, and competition between co-workers to worry about. It’s no wonder that inevitably we start comparing ourselves to others. While at first, this might seem like a good way to motivate yourself to be better. Eventually, comparing yourself to others spirals into a battle you can never win. So, let’s break down when a bit of competition is a good thing and when it’s gone too far when comparing yourself to others.
Some Competition is Good
I know, ironic right? We’re writing about why comparing yourself to others is bad, but we’re also saying some competition is a good thing. Well, here’s why. Some competition is good because it keeps all of us ground. It shows us what others are doing and creates a reference for us to judge our progress. By watching what others are doing, you might discover a new way of doing something and see how they’re interacting with others and learn some tips yourself. Lighting a little flame under yourself is good. Now, that’s is about the extent of comparisons usefulness.
Comparing Yourself is Detrimental
At the core of comparisons is a lack of self-worth. Comparing yourself stems from two things Either a way to increase your view of yourself by deeming you or your work superior to others or by feeling inferior and holding your work back. It’s natural to want to compare yourself to others, but rarely if ever does it increase our status, performance, or happiness. Over time, this mindset will eat away at you and you’ll be looking to others for validation.
Anxiety isn’t Good
Competition causes anxiety. While you may feel like you do your best work under pressure, this isn’t the kind of pressure you want. Constantly being on the lookout for other coworkers’ performance, is distracting and brings negative energy with it. When you feel like you’re doing worse than your team members, you create the environment for anxiety to bloom. Even when you feel like you’re doing better, you cause anxiety by holding yourself to an unrealistic and everchanging standard.
Comparisons Don’t Inspire Creativity
You are unique. No one sees or thinks of things the same way you do. If we all did things the same way, no one would ever advance, and nothing would get done. Our skill sets inspire our work to take on new challenges and find better ways of doing things. When you’re comparing yourself to others, you’re brushing aside everything unique that you bring to the table in favor of doing things the same way someone else does. Bring your suggestions and voice your opinions. It’s okay when you agree with others, but don’t be afraid to voice when you don’t.
Don’t Place Others on a Pedestal
Sometimes other people can seem like they have it all figured out. Every project seems to go off without a hitch and they seem to be loved by everyone. When that happens, placing them on a pedestal seems only natural. Don’t do this. You don’t know their story or what they’re going through. Maybe you think they’re beloved by everyone, but they aren’t, or they don’t see themselves that way. By treating people as equals, we avoid adding undue pressure to both our lives and theirs.
Be Realistic with Yourself
We all want the best for ourselves. Holding ourselves to a high standard isn’t inherently a bad thing. However, when we lose track of what is realistic and what isn’t, things go south. While you may want to be able to juggle multiple projects, meetings, and events, and have them all go off without a hitch, that might not be realistic. If you’re just starting or have a lot going on, relax with the self-induced pressure. Take on what you know you can handle, do the best job you can, and once you’ve got that down, then you can start taking on more challenges.
The biggest lesson to learn why you find you comparing yourself to others is to check your confidence. Confident professionals don’t base their view of themselves on others. Have faith in your abilities and set your own goals. Trust yourself to go in the right direction. You are enough the way you are, and any changes or improvements are only improving on something already great!
Comparing yourself to others is normal. We all from time to time feel insecure and do this. The important part is stopping this train of thought and these actions. Be realistic with yourself and have faith in what you can accomplish. You bring a perspective and outlook that is unique to you, be confident enough to share that with the world.
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