Let’s start by acknowledging that feeling jealous of our coworkers happens to the best of us. One day you’re feeling great about your career and all that you’re working towards, and the next? You find yourself dwelling on the fact that what’s happening with your coworker’s career isn’t happening with yours.
Maybe she landed a big promotion or was asked to speak at a cool conference. Maybe you even learned that she earned a bigger bonus. Whatever the reason, you can feel the jealously sinking in and it’s starting to make you feel anxious, resentful toward your coworker, and even making you doubt your own skills and abilities.
Negative self-talk, impostor syndrome, and measuring your self-worth against someone else’s success is a dangerous and unfulfilling road to go down.
Here are three ways that you can ditch the jealousy distraction and focus on your goals, your successes, and your happiness.
image by kristen kilpatrick
Swallow Your Ego
One way to get over jealousy is to face it head on and admit how you’re feeling to your coworker. This does not mean pull them into a room and start telling them why the promotion should have been yours. Instead, keep the conversation positive and friendly by congratulating them on their achievements. Admit that, while you’re happy for her, you’re also a bit envious of her success and hope you can also reach XYZ milestone in the future. This is also a great time to let them know that you’re wishing them well and if they need your help on anything, to let you know. You can even ask your coworker what advice she can share with you to reach your career goals. Chances are, she’s got her own insecurities and a simple conversation can serve as a reminder that no one’s life is perfect.
Research has shown that open, authentic conversations are deeply appreciated in relationships—especially in the relationships you have with your coworkers—and that those same coworkers reward honestly.
Stop The Comparison Game
We have all fallen victim to this game. Instagram and other social channels only compound these emotions. In fact, they are set up for people to share their highlight reel of life. As such, it’s foolish to use Instagram as a barometer for success—or comparison.
Surrendering comparisons lets you put your energy and focus back on your own career and your own success — where they belong — instead of wasting them, obsessing over other people’s good fortune, or beating yourself up.
One trick I’ve learned is to not let the narrative of this feeling go on and on and on. For example, you can lean into feeling disappointed about not getting the opportunity that your coworker received, but after a 30 minute “why not me” vent session, it’s time to move on. Recognize it, let it go, and move forward.
Focus on Gratitude and Contentment
An attitude of gratitude will take you far on this journey of ditching jealousy. Pay attention every time you find yourself obsessing about a coworker who seems to attract more attention and opportunities than you do. You can even keep a journal and write these moments down. This will allow you to release the feeling — and help you to notice what triggers these feelings in the first place.
Most importantly, when you catch yourself comparing yourself to her, STOP and shift your mindset. Focus on what you’re grateful for in life, not what you’re lacking.
Keep a digital “smile file” with praise, feedback, and your own work accomplishments. It’s impossible to feel angry or discontent when you focus on gratitude.
I’d love to hear: How have you let go of jealousy at work? What tips can you share with the community?