Jealousy. It’s a b*tch of an emotion. It’s a feeling so wretched it’s actually quite hard to put into words. Sometimes we feel angry, sometimes we feel sad. Sometimes we turn into nasty and bitter people that we don’t even like. It’s an emotion I used to really struggle with and I’d pretty much go through all the feelings above; a bitter and angry emotion being the initial spark, followed by a deep and dark feeling of anxiety and insecurity; a big knot would appear in my stomach that felt almost impossible to untie. Almost.
Fortunately, I have not only learned to understand my jealous emotions and identify what they are and what they mean, but I have learnt how to turn them into a positive. And not to toot my own horn, but bar some reading, I pretty much did it all by myself. There was no expensive therapist or specialist doctor coaching me through this. Because no one can cure your jealousy but you. It’s about sitting down and having an honest conversation with you and your emotions, and personally I am a much happier person for following these four steps to turning feelings of Jealousy into Positive vibes
1) ACCEPT YOUR JEALOUSY, IN FACT, MAKE FRIENDS WITH IT
I cannot stress these five words enough – It’s. Okay. To. Be. Jealous! It’s normal in fact, and in order to turn jealousy into a positive, you need to first accept that.
In her book Big Magic, Liz Gilbert talks about how fear used to hold her back and the only way to continue her passion for writing was to accept fear. In fact not only did she accept it, but she made friends with it and allowed it to sit in the backseat of her creative journey. You need to do the same with Jealousy, as Jealousy is essentially a form of fear. You should acknowledge her, wave her over, sit her down and say “Okay Jelly, I get it, you’re here, now let’s cut all this bull crap once and for all and let’s work as a team, shall we?” There is no point in trying to tell yourself you’re not jealous when you so clearly are. You might be able to fool family, friends and others, but you can’t fool jealousy and she will keep lingering around until you sit down face to face with her.
2) UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S NOT THEM, IT’S YOU!
Author Joan Didion said: “To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction with self.” I Hate to break it to you, but as much as you want to blame them or put this person down, they aren’t the problem, you are. To feel an emotion such as jealousy, which is defined as a feeling of insecurity, you must realise that the problem has nothing to do with what this person has, but the problem is more about what you don’t have. So it’s not their problem at all, but yours. In some cases maybe the person you are jealous of is a friend and in others this person may not even know you exist. Either way, it is very very very unlikely that their success was all part of some plan to make you feel sh*t. In fact, I’ve learnt to applaud people I am jealous of and look upto them, because they clearly have something I crave…
3) ASK YOURSELF ‘WHAT DO I WANT?’
Once you have admitted to yourself you are jealous, and realised this is not someone’s else’s doing, the next step is to ask yourself why you are jealous? What exactly is it this person has that you want? Is it something physical? A brand new car? A house? Or is it an accomplishment? An achievement? A certain status?
There is no right or wrong, but if you work hard enough, you can have whatever you want in life too, but first you must find out what exactly it is that you want. This probably won’t be an overnight epiphany, have a long and hard think about it. Once you know what it is you want, you can move on from jealousy and onto the next step – Achieving what you want!
4) TURN POISON INTO FUEL
Jealousy is poison, it really is, and I can completely relate to the term stop drinking your own poison. I spent most of my 20’s downing it. I was drinking copious amounts of resentment and upset on a daily basis, whilst still blaming other people and hoping they would be the ones that change. How pathetic is that? That’s like smoking 20 cigarettes a day whilst looking for a cure for Cancer – surely just quit smoking, right? Why don’t we do the same with Jealousy?
I’ve no idea where this saying came from, but the line ‘Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die’ basically sums up just how pointless jealousy is. So instead of feeding yourself poison, why not turn it into fuel? Once you have acknowledged your jealousy, accepted you can’t blame someone else’s success, and once you have figured out exactly what it is you want, it’s time to channel all that negative jealous energy into pure drive and motivation. Don’t focus on what they have. Focus on what you want and how your going to get it.
It’s at this point that you high five your jealousy, congratulate her on a successful project, wave her off and say Hello to your new friends – Goals, Goals and Goals.
These are the steps that worked for me and I can’t stress enough how much happier I am for it. Of course jealousy will always strike, sometimes when I least expect it, but it’s about handling it properly. The time comes when you can’t carry on going through life continually blaming others for your misfortunes! Whether your jealous of someone else’s money, career, status, looks, you need to stop wasting your time thinking about them and concentrate on you, lovely wonderful little you. Find out what you want and go and get it. Don’t resent others for their success.
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