“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown
A few of my friends (Cara, Jill, Lisa) and I went out to dinner. Cara brought along her coworker Meg. We were out to celebrate Lisa’s big promotion!! As we were catching up and sharing stories, Meg was very surprised and intrigued by the genuine excitement and happiness we shared with each personal success shared. She could not believe that we were very vested and sincerely delighted in each others accomplishments. She then asked how can we be so excited and not jealous of each other.
Jealously..the Green Eyed Monster. We have all been victim to its cunning ways. We want to be happy for our newly engaged friend but secretly we are wondering why her not me. We pretend we are happy for the promotion our coworker received but really we are wishing they fail so we can step in line. Why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to others? Why can’t we be happy being our wonderful self?
We have all been affected by the jealously bug. Jealously is an emotion that has been around for a very LONG time….. circa Cain and Abel. It can sometimes be a reminder of all the experiences you have not had, relationships you want, or successes that seem out of reach. It can cause you to feel “less than” and effect your self-esteem.
As we pondered Meg’s question, Jill was the first one to admit that she had a flutter of jealously once or twice over the years of our friendship. We all eventually admitted to having some jealous feelings a time or two. This then energized us to explore this jealously thing. We were determined to get to the bottom of why we (women) get jealous and how we can overcome those feelings. Let’s face it, women can get pretty jealous. After a lengthy and candid discussion over dinner we narrowed the causes of jealously into three categories:
1. INSECURITY. It is very easy to look at people and wish you had what they have even though we are only seeing an outward display or shell. We have no idea what that person has done or has gone through to get what they have. Yet we berate and think negatively of ourselves and form insecurities because of this. This is then carried into the relationships we form.
2. LOOMING EXPECTATIONS. Let’s face it, we sometimes put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Naturally we feel that some things should come easily to us. We then get disappointed when things do not happen for us as it does for the next person. Enter the green headed monster.
3. ENTITLED. We all for whatever reason have a sense of entitlement. We have this idea that something is owed to us. Things should just come natural to us.
Does any of this sound familiar? I will be honest some of this resonated with me. I have experienced one of those feelings during my life. Ok so back to the story….
We all admitted that our jealous feelings in the past had absolutely nothing to do with each other, but really about something internal that needed to be resolved. After we diagnosed the causes it was only fitting to discuss solutions we implemented separately to cope and tackle jealously and envy head on. After all what good is stating an issue without providing a solution. So as we ordered dessert, we began discussing our envy busters and here they are in no particular order:
1. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. There is no need. You are uniquely created to be you, and no one is better at being you than you! If you feel the need to compare yourself the best person to compare to is yourself. Take an inventory of how you have grown as a person, your future goals, and what it takes to get there.
2. TACKLE THE THREAT. Find out why you feel threatened. Are you afraid you will lose something? What are you insecure about? Once you identify that “thing”, make a plan to tackle it and overcome it.
3. LOVE YOURSELF– Self love and appreciation can be a boost to your self-esteem. It can also help you to focus on you and not the person or thing you are jealous of. Remember “If you don’t fully accept and love yourself as you are, you could be more prone to comparing yourself to others as a way of artificially boosting your feeling of self-worth.” — Steve Pavlina
4. SHIFT FOCUS– Stop worrying about you all the time. Spend sometime helping others. You will get satisfaction out of helping another person and that will boost your esteem. Focus on your gifts and qualities that make you special.
How do you handle envy and jealously? Share your thoughts and experiences.