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Celebrating Your [and others] Accomplishments

Both in instructional design and as a graduate student, you will work in teams. You have peers who collaborate beside you and with you on all sorts of projects. One thing that took me a while to learn and be okay with is not comparing yourself to others. So what if Suzy has twelve publications already and you only have two? So what if Danny is able to take 12 credit hours of coursework each semester while you only take five? So what is Larry was given an award for going the extra mile? The important thing to do and consider is your own situation.

You know how hard you can push yourself, how much you can handle, how much you can or can't add to your plate. Only you know that level at where you can succeed or get burned out. This is so important when pushing yourself and working with others. I think I've blogged about it before - but if you are not your best self then you will not be a great team member. Therefore, being able to recognize what you can handle and how much you can add to your plate is critical. One of these skills is also being happy for those when awards are given.

I'm lucky to be surrounded with a group of faculty and staff who truly want the best for you. When they earn an award, I am happy for them and know that in a way, my work on their project is also getting recognized. Especially in higher education, the faculty member or the instructor of the class gets recognized for the class they teach. However, many people do not think about the person who helped to design and develop the class by working side-by-side with the faculty. As an instructional designer, you sometimes are the hidden gem whose work doesn't always get singing praise. I've learned over time that being happy for others will not only help you to be a better co-worker but also creates a space within your own head where you are not comparing yourself to others or getting down when an award is given to someone else.

Switching gears to graduate school, working in teams or with partners can be really stressful. People who work differently than you may be a cause of stress - you cannot let this get to you. Think about the other person - they may be just as annoyed with you because you aren't doing things the way that they want. The same applies when one of your peers gets an award. While you may be jealous or stressed that you are not getting the same accolades, you must be happy for your peers. Think of it from this way - you are a part of a program where students are getting awarded for their work. Doesn't it make you happy to know that one day you can benefit and learn from individuals who are succeeding in their studies? Don't view it as a way to compare yourself against others - view it as a way to learn and benefit from others.

Bottom line, if you take anything away from this post, is that you should be happy for others in their successes. Now, let's be real. This may be something that you only do on the outside - you may show and express happiness for them but then internally you are struggling with jealousy or resentment. My suggestion is change your mindset in how you view accolades. Do not view it as a competition. View it as a collaborative effort one where you can be happy for others. This is something that I've been working on changing (my mindset) and I figured I'd reach out to you all and challenge you to do the same!

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