How to stop comparing yourself to your colleagues?

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, once said: Comparison is a thief of joy. This happiness is perfect for the subject we are going to talk about here: how to stop comparing yourself to your colleagues.

Excessive comparison in the workplace not only robs us of joy, but can also jeopardize our jobs by focusing more on what others are doing instead of focusing on how to perform at our best. Let’s see how harmful it is and how to avoid it.

    How to stop comparing yourself to your colleagues

    No matter how hard we try to be equal to others, it just isn’t possible. Just because someone is better than us at doing something in a given situation does not mean that if we imitate them, we will get the same results. This is especially true if the way he or she does things makes us extremely uncomfortable when we try. This person has their own particular and unique way of doing things, so they don’t have to work for us..

    Excessive comparison with colleagues all the time is extremely detrimental to our work performance. It involves wasting time, energy, and sanity when we become obsessed with trying to be who we really are not. It is true that we must try to learn from others to improve ourselves, but focusing on what they do and what they stop doing instead of getting to work and developing as people is a extremely dysfunctional behavior.

    Luckily, there are healthy ways to stop being constantly compared to co-workers in order to be able to progress in the professional career with less stress and anxiety. But first, we need to be aware of the main pitfalls of job comparison.

      Labor Comparison Pitfalls

      Comparison is like quicksand: the more you struggle, the deeper you sink. It is essential what are the main pitfalls of comparison at work to know in which we have fallen, and how by being aware we can free ourselves from them.

      1. Skills

      Do not compare your talent with that of others. It is essential to understand that everyone is unique and as such also has unique qualities. You can’t do the same as everyone else, and they can’t do the same as you.. The diversity of talents and skills is what makes businesses and societies exist, because if we could all do everything, they would no longer have any reason to exist.

        2. Time spent in the company

        Each person takes their own time to achieve success and skill. Some people discover their true calling later than others. We should not compare ourselves to those who have worked for the company for decades or to someone who is just starting out and has already surpassed us in success. We all go our own way, some ahead of others.

          3. Resources available

          In many cases, to achieve our professional goal, we need financial resources. These resources are used to pay for training, attend a training program or start a new business. We must not be discouraged by seeing that we do not have the same resources as others or their economic stability. If money helps to achieve this, not having it should not be seen as an inalienable obstacle to achieving our professional dreams and goals, it will just take a little more time and effort, but if we are consistent sooner or later we will see fruit.

          4. Life History

          Some people have a fascinating life story, a life trajectory that sounds inspiring, almost like a movie. Others, on the other hand, have seemingly more normal lives which, upon hearing the lives of the former, may seem complicated by not having such seemingly interesting lives. Whatever your life story, there’s no doubt that it’s what got you to where you are today. Appreciate it.

            The damage of always comparing yourself to others

            Excessive comparison with colleagues is a heavy burden on our work performance for a number of reasons, including the following.

            1. It wastes your time

            It’s a big waste of time to think about what other people are doing. What if instead of wasting time comparing ourselves to others, we use it to do something productive? We can use this time to do training, evaluate our performance and progress at work, improve an area we need to improve…

            2. Generates a toxic environment

            Envy is unhealthy, and even more so in the office. Excessive comparison with our colleagues can contribute to creating a toxic environment in which that there is resentment among the employees and even towards the chief or section chief. Resentment and resentment among workers harms job performance, work ethic, and trust.

            3. Lower your self-esteem

            You won’t feel much better after comparing yourself to someone who is seemingly better at everything.. Even if you use comparison to try to make yourself feel better, this type of behavior is often based on insecurity, the pathological need to find fault with others. What if instead of looking for the weaknesses of others, you were looking for a way to value your own merits and strengths?

              What can you do to stop comparing yourself to other employees?

              It sounds easy to say “stop comparing yourself to your colleagues”, but of course it’s harder to put it into practice. Comparison at work is a bad habit, and as such it’s hard to get rid of, just like smoking or procrastinating. But even so, owning one is still out of reach for the average person.

              Evaluate your performance, not the performance of others

              It’s very important that you keep this in mind: the only person you care about is the one you compare yourself to.. If you see yourself starting to compare yourself to others, try breaking that toxic spiral by focusing on yourself. Are you working better than last week? Have you learned anything new recently? Do you have more skills than a month ago?

              If the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, then you are progressing. It is with yourself that you must compare yourself and see if you are really better or worse than before.

              Keep your vision in mind

              A clear vision of who you want to be and where you want to be will motivate you to move forward. If you’ve never defined your work ethic, now is the time to do it. Stop paying attention for a moment to current problems, setbacks and failures, and focus on what you want to do.. Try to keep and keep your vision in mind, moving closer to the end goal step by step every day. By doing this, the need to compare yourself to others will fade as you get closer to your dream.

              Is there anything good compared to others?

              As a last point, we would like to say that not all job comparisons are bad, as long as they help us learn to be better workers and grow as people. If done in a healthy way, with no envy or toxicity in between, comparing the skills and knowledge of others with our own can help us grow and achieve our work goals.

              To prevent the comparison from becoming toxic, it is very important to keep in mind the idea above: that we cannot be exactly like everyone else. By understanding this, we can improve as much as possible, without obsessing over trying to be an exact copy of those people we consider to be high achievers because, quite simply, that won’t be possible.

              It helps to take a look at how others are doing certain tasks, because this this is an opportunity to learn from them. This is especially important when we are new to the business or project and not quite sure how to do things. Before implementing our own way of doing things, it is important to understand how the basic processes of the organization work and how things should be done in the most appropriate way.

              Bibliographic references

              • Hargrove, MB; Nelson, DL; Cooper, CL (2013). Generating eustress by stimulating employees: helping people enjoy their work. Organizational dynamics, 42: pp. 61 – 69.
              • Herbert, TB; Cohen, S. (1993). Stress and immunity in humans: a meta-analytic review. psychosomatic medicine. 55 (4): 364–379.
              • Ruotsalainen, JH; Verbeek, JH; Marine, A.; Serra, C. (2015). “Preventing Occupational Stress in Health Care Workers”. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4): CD002892.
              • Saur, W. (2012). Occupational Diseases.. Biomedical Therapy, 5(1).
              • Van Dierendonck, D.; Schaufeli, WB; Buunk, BP (1998). “Evaluation of an individual burnout intervention program: the role of inequity and social support”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 83 (3): 392-407.
              • Westhues K. (2006) The Envy for Excellence: Administrative Mobbing of High-Achieving Teachers Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press.
              • Westhues K. (sf) At the mercy of the crowd. OHS Canada, Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, 18 (8), p. 30 – 36.

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