Are Comparisons Healthy?
I work in an environment where I have to compete for work and the client chooses who they want to be their coach from up to four different candidates. I had a couple of situations last week, which made me reflect on competing and comparing in the corporate environment and the impact that had on me previously and how I feel about it now.
We are all raised to compete and compare and we never question the impact it has on our state of being.
Is feedback and comparison healthy? Or does it lead to blaming, frustration and negative comparisons in your head which impacts how you feel about yourself? How does it make you feel about the other person or organisation you are competing with or comparing yourself to?
The top companies are very fond of feedback and often when you compete for a role internally and you lose out, then you ask for feedback in the hope it will assist you the next time a role comes up.
Sometimes its helpful, but sometimes not and it leads to you either feeling ‘not good enough’ or wondering ‘how did you miss out on that opportunity when you were clearly the best candidate’. Either way, you are experiencing emotions which create an inner disturbance and when your inner critic kicks in, then you are not maintaining a resourceful state of being.
“Both of you were equally competent, we decided to go with a woman this time to balance out the team.”
“The other person has 25 years of business experience and you have 20 years”.
“You are overqualified for the job, we decided to give it to someone who can grow into the role and develop them.
“We loved both of you and unfortunately had to choose one and we decided to go with Mark”.
When you hear these responses, you feel frustrated, may look for reasons to blame or try to look for changes to make the system more fair and equitable for the next time a role comes up. You are left asking yourself – how does that feedback help me get the next role?
Why someone else is chosen over you is not an exact science and I prefer to view it from a different perspective. Yes, I always value feedback if the client wants to provide it, there could be something I am doing unconsciously. That said, often if I reflect on my experience more often than not, I can pinpoint the reasons myself.
I don’t feel the need to compare each time I don’t win a coaching assignment as there are a number of factors at play. Meeting coaching counterparts is about listening, presence, connection, chemistry and my previous life experiences. It may just be a word you use that resonates with the other.
Our life experiences are all unique and therefore I personally prefer to stay in my beautiful state, rather than compare myself to the other. I don’t assume that I did something “wrong” or the company acted unfairly – I assume the other was a rockstar on the day.
It’s a lot healthier for me to feel like I gave it my best shot and on that day the other person was simply a better fit for that particular client.
So next time you are tempted to compare yourself to the other – check whether this comparison is resulting in a resourceful state of being or an un-resourceful state. I think you will find it is having a negative impact on how you feel and therefore is it worth all the digging?
Comparisons are the thief of JOY…..Theodore Roosevelt