Could-a Would-a Should-a

Originally posted on Healthcare Informatics

Do you have career remorse regarding your accomplishments (or lack thereof)? What’s your benchmark and how do you measure success in the roles you’ve had over the course of your career? Is your yardstick based on the accomplishments of some rising star co-worker? Has nepotism played a role in catapulting a peer to a higher elevation on the corporate ladder, making you feel inferior? Do you constantly compare yourself to others and wonder how, what, and when exactly your career started to derail?

Why do we seem to prefer charting our mediocrity by measuring our failures instead of feeling good about what we do?

Believe it or not, many of us think about this stuff constantly and unless we change the way we look at ourselves, we’re never going to be satisfied. By comparing the achievements of superstars and over-achievers to our own, we’re establishing an artificially high watermark that can never be realistically satisfied. With today’s speed of information, the emergence of social media and the hunger of the global audience, there’ll never be a shortage of information on other people’s accomplishments that you can gauge your career’s successes or failures by.

Want to be happy? Here’s a fresh idea- STOP measuring your success by what others are doing or have achieved. You’re a unique individual- there’s nobody else like you and there never will be. Follow these simple guidelines to avoid self-deprecating behavior:

Be yourself and march to your own music – enjoy every step along the way
Stop measuring yourself against unrealistic expectations or you’ll never like the outcome
Love what you do
Be a life-long learner
Have passion for your career – love it or leave it
Make a difference in the lives of others – leave your mark
Set realistic goals and targets based on what you can control (add stretch goals)
Be proud of your accomplishments
Find balance in your work and personal life
Have fun (this is an absolute must!)

Learn to know your talents – what do you have to offer? – and don’t worry about the accomplishments of others. At the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter.