Self Deception on Career

Maybe it’s our behavior,
That we bend the facts to fit our self-image,
perpetuating a view of ourselves,
that is often more positive than accurate..”
(~Sam Sommers)

You see, when it come to career, I’ve always interested about “attitude” & behavior, just trying to understand my career more. And, this is another honest reality-based post, taken from various resource. I’ve noticed that various people doing those “self-deception” about their career. In fact, those “self-deception” can be used to make ourselves feel better, but sometimes it can cause problems.

Accompanied by denial, rationalization is used to justify things we do that we know are wrong. To sum it up, it is the way we allow ourselves to avoid facts. But, I think, rationalized are made so ourselves can feel better about a choice or decision at work, even deep down, we knew it was questionable.

The Better-Than-Average Effect
Have you ever involved on “Performance Appraisal” process at your company? If you ever done it, then you’ll notice that most people usually think they’re better or more than average, or having more than satisfied performace, etc. Let’s be honest, how many times have you thought to yourself, “I’m better than my co-workers.”?

Illusions of Control
It’s like that we convince ourselves that the randomness of life doesn’t apply to us. Others may be unable to manage their own workload, but somehow we think we can. Many workers think that if they do their job well and stay ‘under-the-radar’ at work, then they should be able to keep their job as long as they want it, a controllable job security. Do you think your hard-working efforts on-the-job ensure a job is yours for as long as you want it?

Basking in Reflected Glory
This is my favorite self deception tool. In common language, we like to brag about our association with winners. So true! Better still, why do we gladly take credit for our associations with successful projects at work, but tend to downplay our involvement in those that failed? To be honest, I’ve seen people brag about as a way to improve your professional credibility.

Downward Social Comparison
So, what happens when a person we view as our equal suddenly becomes more successful than us? How do we react when we are faced with the reality that we really aren’t better-than-average? Simple. We start to compare ourselves to the least successful people we know.

Think about the last time you were handed back an exam. I know, one of your first reactions was to wonder what the average score was, or to ask your friend how they did. Or maybe even to sneak a peek at the score of the guy sitting down the row from you. Sound familiar?

Last, but by no means least, self-handicaping is when we chose to actually sabotage our own performance to ensure our ego stays in tact. In fact, I think self-handicaping is the most common way people hold themselves back from advancing in their career. It’s easy to validate a lack of career progression when we justified an inability to move forward in our career based on outside distractions.

The thing is, those self-deception above can be helpful too. We may not be to banish self-deception but to make it work for us, to enlist it when we feel threatened and let go of it when we’re ready to face facts. And sometimes, a dash of downward social comparison is just what we need to bounce back from failure. Or maybe the better-than-average effect will do the trick. Or a little rationalization.

Or maybe, are you better than the most of people and don’t use self-deception? 🙂

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