A few minutes on social media can ruin your entire day.
That’s what happened to me during a bit of pre-getyourbuttup Facebook scrolling. A couple cats, memes, and then BOOM!
An acquaintance of mine posted an update announcing her upcoming TED Talk.
Her? A TED Talk? I mean, we’re the same age. We both work in similar business spaces. Plus, I have way more personality than her! How did SHE get a TED talk?
In a fit of jealousy I scrolled through her Facebook page and website trashing her site design, website copy, and muttering to myself about the irony of being so obviously beautiful but lacking in the eyebrow department. It was that bad.
Eventually I had to stop myself and ask, “Dayo, are you jealous?”
Who? ME? Jealous?
Why, yes. Yes, I was.
Jealousy happens to all of us. At times it seems like everyone else’s business is growing, that everyone else is getting a promotion, that everyone else is on TV, and that they all have their lives together. And yet with all the success, you can’t bring yourself to be happy for them.
This is jealousy.
You know it’s wrong. You know you should be happy for the person, but you can’t bring yourself to put out the hot coals that are burning in your chest.
Don’t fret. There is a way out of this. Jealousy is actually quite normal, but it doesn’t have to be an everyday thing. If you’re ready to make some serious strides to conquer that jealousy when it bubbles up, here’s a 4 step process to take you from hater to cheerleader.
Embrace Your Jealousy
I’m serious. In order to address jealousy you first have to admit that it’s there. Attempting to tell yourself that you are in fact not jealous will only make taming the beast that much more difficult. So be honest with yourself about the emotions that you’re experiencing. Explore specifically which events, experiences, or people are the sources of your guttural reaction. You may find that there is a common theme such as travel, career flexibility, or financial freedom.
Jealousy usually occurs when we’re not happy with our own situation. It’s a sign that someone has something that we want for ourselves. So once you have looked at the specific events or experiences that are causing you to be jealous, take some time to self-reflect. Is your jealousy expressing an internal desire? Is it a sign that someone has something that you want for yourself? What do you want?
Get Clear on Your Goals
Jealousy is actually distracting you from the real problem. Research suggests that jealousy can actually distract a person so much, that they miss what’s right in front of their eyes. So get focused. You’re not where you want to be. So take some time to get clear on your goals. Identify what you want for yourself and start creating a plan towards it. For example, I started working on my stage fright by joining Periscope to help me reach my goal of giving a TED Talk.
Surround yourself with people that make you jealous. This isn’t some cruel form of torture. It’s actually an opportunity to learn two things. One, that everyone’s life is not perfect. While it may seem like good things just fell from the sky and blessed the object of your jealousy, the more you insert yourself in the situation you’ll see all of the work that went into making the major trip, the increase in sales, or the accolades happen. Two, you’ll see what it actually takes to get what you want. Many times when we see good things happen to people it’s mystified. Put yourself in a position to ask, “Hey, how did you land that TED Talk?” and outline real steps to get what you want for yourself.
Jealousy can be a mighty difficult emotion to curb. The truth is, the person you are jealous of did not steal an ideal version of your life. There are more than enough TED Talks, money, clients, TV spots, and customers to go around. Think of it like clothes. You’re just seeing the same outfit on someone else first. Now it’s your turn to start saving for that amazing dress!
So next time you encounter the fiery feeling in your chest, follow this four-step process to nip that jealousy in the bud. Only then, will you be able to go after the life you really want.
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