Comparison is almost impossible to avoid if you’re a living, breathing human being. As a kid you’re compared to your siblings or cousins your age and as an adult the organizations you work for often implicitly pit employee against employee to determine who gets raises, promotions and firings. Being compared to your peers is the standard.It’s not surprising, then, that we fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to those around us. We’re all for being ambitious and focused on self-improvement, but at some point it becomes unhealthy and unproductive to strive to be like other people.
Powerful professional women are well aware of this and are tuned in to what it takes to rise to the top and be successful and admired.They know who the influencers and decision-makers are and have personal relationships with them. They’re also very keen on picking up social cues in their organizations and understand the skills and competencies their employer values and rewards.
Then there are other women who think to themselves Why her and not me?.They’re the ones who feel slighted, under-appreciated, overworked, stuck and even ignored.Some of them wallow in their situations and complain about them.Others are working in roles that are misaligned with their talents and don’t know it. Still there are those who have never taken the time to step out of their day-to-day routine and consider the bigger picture. But while some women throw a pity party or feel resentful or inadequate because their peers are getting more attention and respect, powerful professional women don’t even notice.
That’s because they are focused on their own game. They have their own plan and an agenda to get there. They have put effort into building important relationships and social capital, and they don’t have time to compare themselves to other people. They’re too busy leading the way. So, the next time you start comparing yourself to someone at work, ask yourself: Am I really doing everything I can to get noticed, respected and promoted? Are my talents aligned to the work I’m doing and to the path I want to pursue? Have I built the right relationships?
If you answered “no” to any one of these questions, then you still have work to do. No amount of comparison is ever going to close that gap.