Growing up, my father would offer some important words of advice that I never really fully understood until I began working, "Comparison is the root of all discontent."
As it turns out, there appear to be numerous popular variations of the phrase: Comparison is the root of all evil. Comparison is the root of unhappiness. Comparison is thief of joy. Regardless of the choice of specific words you prefer, they are wise.
In my career, I've experienced moments where my temptation to compare myself to others has been the thief of my joy. Recently, while preparing for my performance review, I found it refreshing to continually point back to my work, my leadership, my successes and my opportunities for growth.
After reading Dr. Carol Dweck's book, Mindset, I'm even more aware of how comparison is related to a "fixed mindset" instead of a "growth mindset." Studies show that when we focus on the effort, dedication and perseverance that are necessary to create higher performance, we stand greater chances of creating long-term success.
As you inventory the successes of your career and your aspirations for the future, where are you comparing, versus focusing on improving your capabilities? Where has comparison held you back from your joy?