We live in a world where we judge others by each other’s highlight reels. (cough, Instagram anyone?). We are connected via social media more than ever before, yet we are in an age where we have learned to be selective about the information we make public in the interest of presenting the best online image possible.

Comparison-both on and offline-are now an inevitable part of life, and as such, it may be difficult for you to believe that you have value amid the people around you developing the same skills or those who have similar experiences, especially if you are feeling burned out or undervalued.

Note To Self: You Have Value

Remind yourself of the following things:

No Career Is Worth Your Physical and Mental Health

Your physical and mental health should come before anything. Yes, you read that correctly. Take the time you need to relax and make sure you are well-rested. You can’t do your best work if you are physically or emotionally depleted. 

Yes, your career is important, but your career is not more important than your mental and physical health. Use your time off to relax in whichever way you feel is best. Whether that means hanging out with friends, working out, or exploring a part of the city that you’ve never been to, use your time off to switch off. 

Don’t check your work schedule for the next week; in fact, don’t do anything related to work. Your time off is the time when your brain is allowed to switch off. Your work will still be there when you return to it.

Saying No Doesn’t Make You A Bad Employee

Saying “no” to requests (like requests to work more or work overtime for instance), doesn’t make you a bad employee. It means that you respect yourself enough to take care of yourself. You know what you can and can’t handle. 

It is better to take care of yourself rather than push yourself. If you continually say yes when you know that you can’t commit, you will put yourself in the unenviable position of stretching yourself thin. Continually saying yes will deplete you. 

It can be difficult when you are a chronic people pleaser. But know this: Just because you say no doesn’t mean that you put yourself on the person’s bad side. You can help where you can, you can’t help where you can’t. Others can’t control you, and you shouldn’t give them the power to do so.

You can’t control the reaction of those around you. The only person’s reaction you can control is yours. If you say no and the person is unhappy or angry with you, that is out of your control. Let them find another solution to the problem they asked you to help with. The world will still go on.

Someone Saw Something In You

No matter what a company or individual may say, you have skills that landed you the position you’re in in the first place. Someone in the company thought that you would be a good fit; otherwise, they wouldn’t have offered you the job.

In a competitive environment with seasoned employees around you, it’s easy to slip into comparison. You have something to offer that the other employees around you don’t. Yes, they may have assets that you don’t, but you can work to build your skills to compensate for your weaknesses or work to hone the skills you know you have.

Regardless of what anyone says, you have value. Focus on the skills you have that got you there or the experiences you have that helped you. Focus on how those things can become assets. Focus on how those things can help you in the future. If you are dissatisfied with something, take the steps necessary to change what you need to change. 

You Have A Choice

As my father so wisely said to me, “You change what you can change. Pick your battles.”

Is it (meaning the thing you’re mulling over) really worth it? Regardless of what someone (or anyone) says, you have value, and if a person (or company) is not seeing that value in your eyes, you have the choice to step away. It will be their loss, not yours. You are not (and should not be) responsible for the happiness of anyone other than yourself. Nor should your choices be dictated by those around you.

I understand that there are some instances where you may feel powerless. I can’t pretend to understand your exact circumstances. But there will be something that you have control over in this situation. Focus on those things that are malleable, not the things that you know you can’t change.

It is difficult to believe in your own value when all you see is someone else’s highlight reel. But you have to remember that those people who you may be jealous of may be looking at you. Remember that no one knows exactly what they’re doing, no matter how much they may lead you to think otherwise.

The people you are looking at are just like you and me, no matter how much the media (or some other source) may lead you to think otherwise. The people who check off every step of their plan (if they have one) are few and far between. Life throws you curveballs. No one is perfect. Nothing goes exactly according to plan.

You have power. Assert that.