The Than-Game: 8 Signs You’re Playing

CaleyPowerPointTemplate-1Something really interesting + sorta unexpected happens when I talk to people about self-esteem:  they become jerks.  And, their self-esteem actually plummets.


It’s happened to me.   And I’m pretty sure it’s happened to you.

You know those times when your day is going just fine?  
You’re feeling pretty peaceful.  
Getting stuff done.  

Then, someone talks about improving their self-esteem, and Wham!  You feel awful. Can list 100 things you need to change about yourself.  And your self-confidence (not to mention day) is now in the toilet.   

We’ve all been there. 

And here’s what’s really going on: you, out of habit, dove, head first, into what I like to call the “Than-Game.”

We all know this game.   It’s where you feel good (or bad) about yourself because you’re better (or worse) than the person next to you.   So, to feel good, you’ve got to be:

  • better than
  • skinnier than
  • smarter than
  • make more money than
  • have more seniority than
  • drive a better car than


And, when someone else is better, skinnier, smarter, richer than YOU… your self-esteem takes a major nosedive. 

Yeah.   The Than-Game is so not fun.  Especially at work. 

Playing this grass-is-greener-game at work means you’ve taken your eye off the ball.   

You’re not focused.  You’re not producing great stuff.   

And, you’re stuck.  

‘Cause instead of putting energy into the pitch coming your way + figuring out HOW to hit your own home-run, you’re wasting energy tracking your co-workers.  

Not helpful.  (And, so not going to get you noticed for your skills.)

Here’s 8 signs you’re totally playing the Than-Game at work. (Maybe without even knowing it.)

  1. You can’t be happy for a coworkers success.  If each win your coworker has feels like a loss for you.  You’re playing the Than-Game.

  2. You can’t make a decision.  If making a decision feels like making a commitment.  Like you’ll be tied down to something you’re not even sure you want.  You’re playing the Than-Game. 

  3. You fear being wrong.  If being wrong means someone else is right instead of a chance to learn something new.  100%, you’re in the Than-Game. 

  4. You fight with people over things you don’t even want.  If you fight (to the death!) to win, not because you really really want the “prize,” but ’cause you have to win.   You’re literally playing the game. 

  5. You can’t seem to settle down.  If you want to be seen as an expert in everything, not just one thing.  You’re in the Than-Game. 

  6. To you, the grass is always greener.  If you can’t feel grateful for what you’ve already got, ’cause someone has more something different.  Yep.  You’re in the game. 

  7. You nitpick the heck outta what others do.  If you can + do find fault in everything + everyone.  You’re probably a Than-Game All-star. 

  8. You throw co-workers under the bus.  If you avoid “being wrong” at all costs.  You’re definitely a Than-Game All-star.  

Now that you know about this slippery slope of game (+ if you’re an All-star or not)
keep your eye on the ball!  

Instead of diving head first into old habits, practice keeping your eyes on what’s coming your way + how you’re spending your energy.  

You’ll be knocking ’em outta-the-park in no time.  

Not to mention feel so much better.