Mental healthCareersConfidence issuesBloss

A common theme that crops up with parental leave returners and those who have been away from work for a period of time is the tendency to slip into ‘comparisonitus’ mode.

Judging your career progress against others. Worrying that you’re falling behind. Questioning what your peers are doing that you are not. Constantly asking yourself, am I good enough?

Does this sound like you?

Whilst comparing yourself to others is completely normal, you might find that this negative mindset is hindering your progress and damaging your wellbeing.

What to remember about comparing yourself to others

Before sharing top tips for you to take to help you stop comparing yourself to others, it’s important to remember the following:

  • Comparisons are always unfair. We typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others.
  • Comparisons rob us of precious time. We each get 86,400 seconds each day. Using even one to compare yourself to another is one second too many.
  • You’re too unique to compare fairly. Your value, skills and strengths are entirely unique to you and they can never be properly compared to anyone else.
  • There’s no end to the possible number of comparisons. The habit can never be overcome by attaining success. There will also be something, or someone, else to compare to.
  • Comparison puts focus on the wrong person. You can control one life ā€“ yours. But when we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other people’sā€™ lives rather than our own.
  • Comparisons often result in resentment; towards others and towards ourselves.

How to stop comparing yourself to others in the workplace

So what can you do to break free of your current negative spiral and build back confidence in yourself?

Here are five ideas for action:

  1. Acknowledge the people and situations where you find yourself in comparison mode the most, then practice focusing your mind on something else.
  2. Surround yourself with people, things and situations that make you feel good. Delete and unfollow people on social media that trigger ‘comparisonitus’.
  3. Rather than comparing yourself to what others may have or are doing, ask yourself ‘what can I learn from this person or this situation’.
  4. Make a list of your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses. For a free strengths assessment I love the Marcus Buckingham ‘Stand Out’ report which is free on his website.
  5. Get into action mode. Doing one small thing towards your goals refocuses your mind back onto your priorities, and away from others.

If you think that some further support with your development would help you unlock your potential and stay accountable then consider working with a coach.