Today I received an “Employee of the Month” type award; my second in 4 months. The $80 reward is welcomed, and the recognition even more so. But, while working your butt off and receiving recognition amidst talks of future promotions and raises is encouraging, it’s not always enough to keep from feeling kind of like a loser.
It took speaking with a few close friends to realize that a forward moving career and gradual incline of success is not enough to make anyone immune to jealousy.
This isn’t breaking news, but social media has a lot more to do with your feelings of inadequacy than you may realize. Scrolling through a news feed of acquaintances becoming engaged, getting promoted and overall looking a hell of a lot better than you is bound to drag you down. Even if you don’t want to get married or have children, and even if your “friends” are excelling in careers you would never personally pursue, their level of success seemingly trumping yours sucks. This comes from me scrolling through Facebook looking for Cyber Monday deals, only to come across a picture of an old friend looking absolutely beautiful with her very serious and very rich boyfriend. She makes double than me as it is, and my breath caught in my throat. I have no idea why; I’m very happy and optimistic about my life and current position. But, for some reason in that moment, I felt like I hated her and her boyfriend, and her beautifully blond highlights.
Everyone starts somewhere, and some start better than others. Your current status does not nullify your overall worth as a person. I think if you feel intense jealousy and rage when looking through your social media accounts, be it Instagram or even Twitter (if you still use that mess), you need to get the hell off. Yes, actually unwire for a bit. Go to the gym, or make a really nice dinner, or take a bath. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something.
I’m serious. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn since graduation was how to keep from comparing myself to everyone. Learning how to be content no matter what your current title, salary or life status will only make your days easier, and who isn’t for easy days? The truth is, no matter how great your success, there will always be someone better off than you, so accept that and move on. Plus, when did your job or status or bank account start to make or break you as a person? It’s time to get back to reality.