Beware!! Comparing can damage your career

My passion is studying human behaviour and my specialty is helping people achieve happiness at work, either through change, re-framing or re-focus.

One of the key lessons that I have learned and observed over the years of helping people in their careers is that comparing yourself to others is dangerous and potential destructive.

comparing-yourself-with-others “Comparison is the death of joy” – Mark Twain

In our ‘digital life’ it’s hard to avoid opportunities to engage in some form of comparison and it can take work to train yourself to recognise when you are in comparing mode. From my research, the two most common forms of comparison in the work place are:

(A) We observe others and wish we were more like them (do what they are doing / doing as well as them / look like them / have confidence like them / enjoy success like them / have their seemingly easier path ….etc

(B) We observe others and judge them. We scoff at their lack of ability, we sneer at their peculiar habits, we judge their appearance, we make pre-conceived judgments about them and their capability…etc

From my studies: (A) is almost guaranteed to make you feel bad about yourself and (B) is usually a conscious or unconscious attempt of making you feel superior. It’s my perception that neither will make you happy.

My advice is follow three strategies to help yourself avoid the comparison trap:

  1. Start to recognise when you are in comparison mode – check your behaviour, your language and your thoughts.
  2. Appreciate your own life status and set your own goals. Rather than running a comparative analysis on others, focus on what you want to achieve and aim all your energy and attention on hitting your goals.
  3. Choose to understand, rather than judge. When you notice that you are getting angry or frustrated with other people’s behaviour; seek to question and understand. This will reduce your stress levels and improve your ability to assist and help others.

Please remember, if you measure your personal worth by comparing, you will always lose as you are making judgments based on your perception and emotional state and without all of the necessary information.

Create your own ‘Comparison Police’ and help others to stop comparing. This will have a massive impact on your place of work and improve your team’s performance.

Best of luck!

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