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Challenge your Mindset

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The one thing that is ruining your career

comparison-at-work

Mark Twain once said “comparison is the death of joy”. He has a point: how often do we compare ourselves positively to others? We normally compare ourselves out of jealousy, low self-esteem or resentment. Comparison invites rivalry, which can be helpful in the right sectors, but not all of them. Competitive business is healthy, but people are often a little more complex to be able to compare themselves accurately. By comparing too much, you could potentially ruin your career.

What comparison causes

Comparison is the root of many career-related insecurities.[why you shouldn't compare] It could be comparison to other people’s successes that makes you neglectful of your own ambition. You become too disheartened to move on in fear you’ll never match other people’s heights, or never work towards getting a job you enjoy because it’s difficult to get into (or so it seems). It’s also comparison that ruins workplace relationships. Too fierce a rivalry with a colleague causes you to be unable to work together. On the other hand, rivalry can also make you meek and reluctant to contribute because you feel inadequate. Comparison makes you forget your individuality because you are so preoccupied by what everyone else is doing, and it causes your strengths to deteriorate as your flaws become more obvious. Professionally and personally, you’ll become a difficult person to work with. It’s time to stop pressing the self-destruct button.

How to stop comparison

It’s easier in this day and age to make comparisons between ourselves due to social media. If you find yourself perusing other people’s statuses and photos which brag about their fantastic lives, make the conscious effort to stop. Envy doesn’t help you. Instead, it inhibits you and allows for negative emotions and thoughts to breed. For example, you won’t get that pay rise you so desire if you spend too much time wishing you could go on the holidays that your colleagues do. On the contrary, if you stopped the preoccupation with their lives, you might find yourself one day going on those holidays yourself. Instead of basing your dreams on other people’s achievements, project them into personal goals. Next time you start fantasising about having someone else’s life, create a new, entirely different fantasy for yourself. Vision boards are often promoted as a good way of clearly presenting to yourself what you want to achieve and how to do it.

Compare yourself to yourself

Dealing with the issue of comparison essentially comes back to ourselves. You have responsibility for your career, so only you can stop yourself ruining it. Instead of seeking out rivals in the workplace, try to become your own rival. We all have our own skills and attributes that could improve, so focus on the level you are at and aim to climb higher. You will feel so much more accomplished if you focus on how far you’ve come personally, instead of how far you’ve come compared to others. Success enables success, so the more you improve, the more you’ll continue to improve, and others will notice.
A successful workplace relies on everyone bringing something unique to contribute.[Access FREE ebook on discovering your inner potential] It’s about pulling these unique qualities together, not disregarding them to compete. The problem with comparison is that it leads you to forget to collaborate. When you identify and gain confidence in your strengths, try to use them in conjunction with others, and see your successes multiply. Teamwork is key to not ruining your career, and recognising yourself as an individual with something to offer will put you on the right track towards this.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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