Monday, March 9, 2015

It's Not Easy Being Green: Dealing with Professional Jealousy

We have likely all found ourselves, at some point in our careers, using others' success as a way and
means of gauging our own.  Comparing ourselves to others can be a positive motivator, inspiring us and opening us up to new realms of possibilities.  In this scenario then, others' success highlights for us what we too may choose to strive for.

However, we may find ourselves, in making these comparisons with our peers and co-workers, experiencing a professional form of jealousy.  We may feel resentment or anger over their achievements and frustration with our apparent lack.  Envy and jealousy can create stress and pressure that may hinder our success.  In this situation our comparisons to others become disruptive and debilitating, leading to negative emotions and behaviours.

Ultimately, any time  that we spend worrying about what others are doing is time away from doing what we could and should be doing which definitely prevents us from achieving all that we might. When you find yourself feeling a little 'green-eyed- with jealousy, use any of the following tips to help you gain control and keep you on track to adding to your own list of successes.

Take a Big Picture Approach

When we only see the final (often bragged about) accomplishment, we fail to understand the 'how' it came about; the struggles, the sacrifices.  We often wouldn't be so envious of something someone had achieved if we knew everything that they had to do to get it.  If we would never be interested or willing to make a similar investment, then it is far easier to let the jealousy over the achievement go.

Refocus Your Energy

Instead of directing your energy into the 'Woulda', 'Shoulda', 'Coulda's', put your focus into what you can and will do to achieve the same great levels as your colleague.  What can you be doing - Now - that puts you in a better position to receive that promotion, that award, that funding, next time around... and start doing it!

Create Your Brag Bag

Build your confidence and self-esteem  by maintaining, and reviewing, your own personal success journal.  Often, when we view the success of others we feel bad about ourselves because we don't have ready access to our list of achievements.  Maintaining a success journal, in which you document all of your successes and achievements, can serve to remind you of everything that you have achieved, helping you to put your co-worker's accomplishment in perspective.  Rather than allowing their achievement to highlight what you're not, your success journal can direct you instead to focus on everything you are and have done.

Stop Looking

If you are looking too much on what other people are doing and accomplishing... stop looking. Unfriend them.  Unfollow them.  While it's good to keep up with the overall happenings in your industry there is a 'Healthy' level of insight and an 'Unhealthy' level.  If the attention you are paying to someone else is not serving you in a positive way, then STOP and fill your time with activities that will be more productive.

And... if you have found that your successes have left you with jealous onlookers, begin distancing yourself from them.  You don't need their toxic energy preventing you from achieving even greater heights.

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