Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Yet we live in a world where competition reigns in the workplace. Who raised the most money for the gala? Which nonprofit organization has the most social media followers? How many page views did we get with the previous campaign?
On LinkedIn, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, an industrial and organizational psychologist and workplace strategist, writes about how we all have a need to self-assess our own skills and abilities, but we can turn that into useful insights, if we look at others with the right perspective.
"You may be inaccurate. Research has shown that we can prove to be poor judges of our own skills and abilities. For example, as we process a failure we tend to blame our own skills and abilities – when in reality, other factors were actively operating."
"Turn it around. Attempt to transform feelings of insecurity into a positive state. If you find the work of another to be at a higher level than your own, shift your perspective and attempt to learn from what they are doing right. Focus on becoming energized – not demoralized."
Comparing ourselves to others can often be a detrimental thing, but if we acknowledge that we are doing it, and try to turn it into a positive, perhaps it can motivate us to do more.