“I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape or form. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before. That’s me and I am free.” ~ Jenny G. Perry
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make in trying to get ahead in business is to have this attitude. Because I have a MBA, 20 years’ experience, my Dad owns the company, etc., I should already be running the place. This attitude won’t get you anywhere. First of all, actions speak louder than words and I don’t care how impressive your resume is, you have to prove yourself. Second, you are robbing yourself of your life because you are preoccupied with the future and what you “should” be getting. Finally, when you have this attitude, you project negativity, arrogance and do not endear yourself to those around you – which is a needed ingredient to long term success in any organization.
From my experience, I certainly never had any plan to “climb the corporate ladder”. I don’t have any fancy degrees and my Dad definitely did not own the company. What I did was give everything to the current project at hand. I sought out and volunteered for opportunities that I found challenging and could be passionate about (not because I thought they’d get me ahead). I helped out and ask for help of folks in all levels of the organization that had an equal degree of passion in the project. And I did keep escalating, getting many promotions but more importantly, many more opportunities to stretch my wings and find my passions. The side effects were nice sounding titles and increasingly good salaries.
So if you feel you are deserving of something that you haven’t achieved yet, try out these tips (give it a solid six months). Trust me they work.
1) First of all, get over yourself. Believe it or not, you are not the smartest person alive and God’s gift to the world. Yes, you really have been sounding that way. Every single person has a gift to share, right down to the lady answering the phone and the guy taking out the trash. More times than not, these are the folks that saved my ass.
- When you have a thought or feelings of superiority over anyone – in any situation – observe in yourself that your EGO induced that thought, do not judge, just watch it and let it go. There is no need to beat yourself up, instead, take a look at the person or the circumstance and try and find value in it. Not what they can do for you, just value in general. By not focusing on yourself all the time, you’ll have your eyes open for the value in others and you’ll also be looking up when an opportunity presents itself.
2) Next, start doing, quit talking.
- When you feel frustrated that you aren’t appreciated or aren’t where you feel you should be, again, observe these thoughts and let them go. Instead, think only of the present moment, what can you do to make you better? How can you give 110% to the project at hand? Immerse yourself. Trust that your path will open up ahead of you and you’ll achieve more than you ever dreamed.
It really is this simple. Be present. Work hard because you are trying to be better than you used to, not trying to impress someone. See value in those around you. Help them and they will be there for you. Expect that your life and career will be all that you imagined and more, but don’t dwell on it, don’t worry, don’t lament. Before you know it, great things will be happening – because you ran your own race.