Flip the Script: Competition vs. Jealousy
Your best friend just landed the job of her DREAMS! She's worked her butt off to do it, and you've been cheering her on every step of the way - the application, the phone interview, you even helped her pick out the outfit and get her hair just right for that first meeting. So it's celebration time, right?! Drinks on her!
But there's this feeling you just can't shake that has you falling short of feeling as happy and as excited for your friend as you should. This all too familiar nagging feeling that creeps in, even when you're not expecting it.
No, that can't be it. She's your FRIEND! You wanted this for her! Of course you're happy for her, right? But it can be difficult to swallow our pride and celebrate the successes of even the closest people to us, particularly when we're not so content with where we are in our journeys. It can be easy to start seeing someone else's success as a reflection of or own failures, regardless of whether they're in the same position or industry as you.
Competition is inevitable, and the pressure that comes with it can pull us out of character sometimes, but there are a few things we can consciously do to fuel that competitive spirit and push our careers forward without falling prey to the green-eyed monster. Today, we're sharing three ways how!
1. Turn Your Competitors Into Collaborators
Because competition and collaboration really can work hand in hand. Start looking at your competitors as collaborators, and take every opportunity to learn from those around you (and above you!).
This rings true even with people you work with every day. Yes, it's true - chances are those people will be your biggest competition. You're vying for the attention from the higher ups, the same promotion, that coveted reserved VP parking spot. But when you think about it, most of the time, you're working on the same projects and towards the same goals. You'd be surprised at how much you learn when you take the "everyone's out to get me" paranoia levels down a notch and start embracing conversations and learning opportunities with the people in your life who know the most about what it's like to be in your shoes and work towards the same goals you're working towards every day.
2. Study Your Superiors
This ties into taking advantage of every learning opportunity that comes your way, even if it comes in the form of the bubbly brunette who's vying for your top spot, but this can also apply to people in your field who may not work at the same level, or even the same company as you. See what you can learn about their history and how they made it to where they are, especially if they are where you're working on getting to. How much time did it take them? What did they do to achieve certain milestones? Did they sign on a major client? Spearhead a huge project?
You'd also be surprised at how many of your superiors are super open (and flattered!) by a mentorship request, and these relationships can be invaluable!
3. Worry About Yourself
Don't get so distracted by the competition that you end up forgetting to focus on the one aspect of your journey that you can actually control: yourself.
It makes no sense to keep tabs on everybody else's progress if you've let that make a habit out of neglecting your own. Think of it as a marathon. Start by working on your own pace, bettering yourself with every run. You'll cross the finish line - just work on beating your own personal best every time you get out there. It might even just make for a much more positive and fulfilling journey.
The people you're competing with are really not all that different from you. They're ambitious, and they're motivated, and they're aiming for success, just like you are. Competition is not a dirty word. Use it to your advantage, leverage it effectively, and don't let it get the best of you.