How-to escape the trap of keeping score

How-to escape the trap of keeping score

The situation:

You’re at work.. you know the drill. Things are going fine until your “rival” comes into the office or workplace. Your stomach tightens. Your energy constricts. Just one look at this person and suddenly all the power and confidence leaves you as quick as a bad date. You feel powerless. You feel that just their presence means they have the upper hand.

Then, his person gets into the groove at work. Answering questions, shining in the spotlight.  You can barely mumble any words with confidence anymore. And you are being self-conscious of your words as well.

As the day progresses through meetings, phone calls, interactions and such you find yourself keeping track of how many times this individual what you thought was a great job answering questions and being helpful.

You then compare that to how many times you were helpful. Wondering if you did a better job at being helpful. And then comparing who was of more value. Exhausting, isn’t it? 🙂


The strain of competition (feeling like you need to compete), anxiety, doubt about your abilities, anger ( trying to get the upper hand), struggle, win/lose dichotomy, resentment (by not getting what you want), and embarrassment (due to the feeling of being the “loser”)


Getting absorbed into this type of competition is a trap in itself. When you start to aggressively compete with another employee to be the top dog then you are setting yourself up for disappointment.


Because in this situation there are two outcomes. The winner and the loser. Each of you gets to have this role. And it’s not set in stone. Every day there could be a different “winner” and “loser”.

This game exists only in both of your minds. At any time you can change your perception and gain your own strength again.

It’s helpful to remember that nobody has any power over you except yourself.

At any time you can exit the competition and be the top dog for yourself.

Speaking from someone who has been through this situation several times, I finally found a trick that I think works well for me.

Stop competing.

Yes, step outside the energy field of competition. Essentially, be ok with letting go of the control. It’s a scary step at first. And it might feel like you are taking a step back and really “losing.” But there is real power in helping others and taking a step back and not being the star, sometimes.

Obviously, no one wants to be the loser. So, why not make everybody the winner? No life is any more valuable than the other, so why do we waste so much time vying to put that other employee in their place.

A company’s success is measured by how much value they bring to their employees first and foremost. And the bottom line, of course.

Instead of focusing on beating our co-worker, why don’t we compete with ourselves to see how happy we can make our customers. This would help the company we work for and in turn increase our bottom line.


Let go of the control. It takes practice to fully let go 100%. But, by releasing the need to be #1, you open up opportunities to be helpful to others, to ask questions (sometimes competition keeps us stagnant and unable to grow. We become afraid to ask questions for fear that it is seen as a weakness. And that we lack the knowledge.)

Stepping outside of the competition allows for more flexibility. We don’t get broken down easily or as discouraged. Therefore our natural gifts come through and we are able to shine in our own right.

We stop competing for the other person’s traits and suddenly our own traits and gifts are on display. We can fully appreciate the other person’s gifts as well. They become our teammate instead of our rival.

Be honest: when was the last time you found yourself keeping score at work? I personally found myself doing this about one month ago.

Share the experience with me and the other girls!