Green With Envy
In school, there was a beautiful girl named Regina, who I spent years being jealous of. Her long flowing hair, delicate features, and trendy clothes put my curly mullet, awkward features, and old lady wardrobe to shame. We’ve all had a few Reginas in our lives. The secret is that you can use jealousy to your advantage. If you frequently want what someone else has, read on to discover how to turn your feelings of jealousy into inspiration.
Redefine Your Perception of Jealousy
Although words can have hundreds of meanings (set has 430 definitions), we tend to have set perceptions of the terms we use. For example, when I think of someone being jealous, I imagine a plotting, grasping, zombie-like being ripping what they want away from the person who possesses it.
However, when we look at jealousy and inspiration, they share common ground. When we’re inspired, we feel the motivation to do something. When we’re jealous, we feel motivated to have something. Merging the two brings us to a place where we decide what precisely we want, and how we can achieve it for ourselves.
Let’s say your close friend becomes successful in her entrepreneurial endeavors, quits her job, and gains financial and creative freedom. Her energy shifts, where she now attracts what she wants. She’s doing what she loves while you’ve become comfortable with settling.
Suddenly, you find it exhausting to be around her. You realize you’re jealous of her success.
Depending on how you frame the situation, your friendship can begin to suffer. “I’m jealous of my friend” leaves a bit of a gross taste in our mouth, making it harder to admit. “My friend inspires me,” allows us to quickly reframe and deal with the situation constructively. I teach this redefining of words (thus reframing a situation), in The Art of Positive Self-Talk.
Define What’s at The Core of Your Jealousy
What we’ve done is taken a situation (jealousy) that might chip-away at the friendship and made it feel non-threatening to admit to and deal with.
Now that you can comfortably say that you want something that someone else has, the next step is defining what specifically it is that you want.
To identify what’s at the core of your jealousy, answer the following questions.
- Am I jealous of achievement/accolades, material possession, a relationship, a feeling, a look, etc.?
Perhaps you don’t necessarily want to be an entrepreneur but crave the autonomy that she’s enjoying. Maybe you desire the confidence your friend feels having crushed her goals. Perhaps you want the sexy new car she’s able to lease. This is where self-awareness becomes a necessity
- Does what I want align with what my definition of fulfillment is, or is my ego driving my feeling?
Let’s say you admire that sexy new car she’s leasing. You see how it turns heads. That’s fine, but would having that car make you happy? I can tell you that with my family, I wouldn’t trade my minivan for anything. Maybe the freedom to unleash your ideas does align with what you need for fulfillment.
Maybe it’s not the specifics of what your friend has accomplished that’s triggering your jealousy, rather the fact that she set out to do something and did exactly that. Her overall goal-crushing may awaken you to the fact that you’re sitting on your own goals, rather than being proactive.
Create an Actionable Plan
It takes energy to stew in jealousy. Why not use that energy to pursue your goals instead? Take that awakening of wanting something more than what you have, and create actionable steps that will help you get to your goals.
To help with this, you have many options. One is my self-aware goal-setting mini-course. For a free option, join me below to receive your free Future Self Avatar Workbook. What’s a Future Self Avatar, and why does it blow a Vision Board away? Read this post to find out.
Now that you know how to use jealousy constructively rather than let it eat you alive, let me know what goals you plan on working on to turn jealousy into inspiration! Need ideas for goals that pack a punch? Read this post.