Oh, haven’t we all been there? The time when we are overpowered by jealousy? And can anyone ever deny how difficult it is to deal with? Nope.
Jealousy is like that one evil aunt/uncle that we all hate but cannot escape. Just like them, it shows up wherever we least expect it and manages to drown us in its sticky negativity. The worst part is that unlike evil aunts/uncles who are people we can run away from, jealousy is a feeling. It stays in our heads. There’s no running or hiding from it. Moreover, it can prove to be a big hurdle in our progress and journey towards success. It holds us back and prevents us from being dedicated to our lives by making us focus on that of others.
It isn’t easy to escape the notorious, big green monster. Even if you think that you have finally managed to overcome it miraculously, it really is just an exotic-vacation-photo or life-update away from reappearing. And once that awful green monster begins to overpower you again, all the motivational self-talk that you might’ve given yourself since its last attack starts to lose its efficacy. In no time, you’ll find yourself aggressively scrolling through the social media feeds of the person you’re envious of, gossiping about them, crying about how they have what you desire and end up feeling all the more terrible.
Just like every human on this planet, I too have succumbed to jealousy more often than I’d like to admit. But I’m glad to mention that today; I’m light-years ahead of being overpowered by it. Need to know how I did it? Then read on to find the 6 steps that one can follow to keep jealousy at bay:
ADMIT THAT YOU ARE JEALOUS
This step is more important than you think. If you aren’t being honest with yourself and keep denying that you’re being jealous in the first place, you won’t be able to get rid of it. It’s easy and a bit of a default protocol for our minds (more like ego) to be envious of our succeeding peers. We don’t want to admit this because it makes us feel weak and vulnerable. On the other hand, accepting this fact gives us direction and clarity about what we need to work on to improve and what could be making us lag behind when it comes to growth in life.
REMEMBER THAT EVERYONE TAKES THEIR OWN TIME TO GROW
No two human beings can possibly live the exact same life. Even if two people happen to be in the same place and witness an event, they would both experience it differently. This is why comparing yourself to other people is unfair. There are so many factors that affect someone’s journey in life – time, financial resources, location, abilities, shrewdness and connections, to name a few. Some people may succeed overnight through hard-work or even immoral means while many others may not even after years of putting in their best efforts. But if one’s efforts are aimed in the right direction, they will taste success eventually. Your current position might not seem the best to you but that doesn’t mean you’re failing. Instead of envying another person for their growth, learn from them. if there seems to be nothing to learn then keep working on your dream, do your best and focus only on your growth without comparing it with that of others.
ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU ARE FEELING THIS WAY
Often, the people we envy the most are the ones we already dislike. Maybe they trigger insecurities in us, were mean to us in the past or snatched an important opportunity from us using unfair means? Regardless, today there’s bitterness and vengeance in our hearts for them. So how does one check if their anger is justified? Well, If this person has never done anything wrong with you, then you need self-reflection to fight your jealousy. However, if they’ve really been bad to you, their success can be hard to digest. It may seem as if they are being blessed and not punished for what they did to you. Though its understandable to feel this way, it’s better to overcome it for your own peace. I found working on my ego to be a great solution. Its very difficult to admit having an ego-issue so first, do that. Trust me! Everything gets multiple times better and easier after that. Our ego will always tell us that people who hurt us deserve punishment. But this way of thinking is severely damaging for us. Try to look beyond your ego and forgive them even if they don’t deserve it. You don’t have to let them back into your life though. This reduces the power of our jealousy, offers clarity on the situation and motivates us to let go of any resentment we have.
STAY CONNECTED TO THE PRESENT
We are all so overwhelmed by our past and future that there remains no space to see what’s happening in real time. Obviously, remembering where we went wrong in the past to help us become better and planning ahead of time to stay prepared in possible difficult times is fantastic. But obsessing over them so much that we forget to use the time we have right now is not. Over time, I’ve noticed that focusing on NOW leaves me with no time to compare my growth with another person and prevents me from feeling jealous and discouraged. Plus, I am able to give more time to my goals, work more efficiently, feel more creative and stay motivated! The point is – the past is gone. Constantly analyzing it all day, every day wouldn’t change anything. Moreover, a bright future can be ensured only if one works well in the PRESENT.
LET THEM BE YOUR INSPIRATION, NOT COMPETITION
Jealous of someone who seems to be amazingly dedicated, hard-working and successful? (a) Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there. (b) Don’t compete with them! I’ve always found myself feeling more aggressive than usual when I consider someone my “competition”. But if the same person is considered someone to learn from, the friction subsides instantly. When we feel inspired by someone, we become curious and wish to learn new things from them. If you see fit, go a step further and collaborate with them. In this way, you can both help each other grow and succeed together!
USE YOUR ENERGY TO FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS INSTEAD
Ever noticed the amount of anger and resentment you feel due to envy? Well, that can be put to good use. Instead of investing all of your precious energy in feeling doubtful of yourself and unhappy because of the progress of some other person, you can channel all of it to fulfill your tasks and goals. Every time you feel a surge of negative emotions towards someone else, take it as a reminder to concentrate on your dreams instead.
Jealousy can be one of our life’s biggest enemies if we don’t control it. Like all good things, becoming someone who remains absolutely unaffected by the “big-green” requires time and continuous practice. That being said, if you are here reading this blog and wishing to make changes, then you’re already half-way there. 🙂
Featured image Credits: Merchi Rodriguez (@merchi_rod) from Unsplash.com