Whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all had moments where the green-eyed monster has gotten the best of us. Jealousy is a natural human emotion, but has gotten a pretty bad rep over the years.
Not only can it affect relationships with those around us, but with ourselves too. Jealousy makes us doubt ourselves and wonder why we aren’t as (fill in the blank: smart, successful, rich, talented, etc) as someone else – how crummy is that!?
Here at Believe, we’re all about building positive relationships with those around you and building your own self-esteem in the process. We strive to help people find their passions to make positive changes in the world around them.
So… what if I told you that jealousy didn’t have to be a bad thing? What if you could use this feeling as a tool to help you figure out what you want, and help motivate you to achieve those goals? Jealousy can be a clue.
WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF COMPARISON
Mel Robbins – a phenomenal lawyer, television host, author, and motivational speaker – recently guest starred on Jay Shetty’s podcast, On Purpose. The conversation turned to a chat about jealousy, and how easy it is for jealousy to creep into our relationships.
We live in a world of comparison, and it can be hard to push down feelings of jealousy and envy. In a world of beautiful and curated Instagram posts, job and career updates on Linkedin and #humblebrags on Twitter, it can be so easy to only see the highlights and to feel as though the people in your life have it better than you. Getting caught up in the mindset of “wow, if only I had what they have” or “well if I was as lucky as them, I’d be successful too” is just too easy. Even when you want to be supportive of the people around you, that little green-eyed dude can still peak his head out.
But, Mel shared that jealousy doesn’t always have to be seen as a negative trait… it can actually act as a clue to help us discover what we truly want in life.
One quote from Mel that really stuck out in my mind was “you cannot be jealous of someone or something that you do not truly desire”. We often misunderstand the feeling of jealousy as hatred towards another person for having something we want, when in reality, it brings light to what we truly wish for in life.
Jealousy can be a directional signal, pointing us towards our goals. It can show us aspirations we didn’t know we had, or passions that have lived deep within us, just waiting to be discovered.
“Desire is often blocked by fear, comparison, insecurity and stress”. Breaking through these feelings and having the tough conversation with yourself to find out where those feelings of jealousy come from can be really challenging. But, if you’re willing to do the hard work and give yourself permission to unpack those feelings, it can help you find your north star.
““Desire is often blocked by fear, comparison, insecurity and stress”
– Mel Robbins
BEFRIENDING THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER
Jealousy helps you to know yourself in ways you might not learn otherwise.
When you’re feeling jealous, I challenge you to dig deeper. Where do those feelings stem from? It’s probably not as simple as it may appear on the surface.
A great example Mel and Jay talked about was examining how people view celebrities like Justin Bieber or Cristiano Ronaldo. Take a moment to think about them, their careers and their lifestyles. They’re both incredibly talented, famous, and wealthy – how can you not feel jealous of that!? But slow down and think about why. Are you jealous of Justin’s angelic pipes, or of Cristiano’s goal-scoring kicks? Maybe… but probably not. I’d be willing to bet that the jealous feelings you might have stem from seeing someone living their dream, getting to live out their passion and purpose every day, and being praised for their skills.
So instead of seeing people as your enemies for having the things that you want, instead look at them as goal posts. Make that the objective! They are officially your new role models for accomplishing the goals you want for your own life. What can you learn from them? How can you emulate the path they’ve taken? Who in your life can support you?
Jealousy only becomes a tool when you are self-aware. It helps you to be realistic and determine what you do and don’t want in life, and to let go of the things that really don’t matter.
Reflecting and working on your self-awareness helps you to understand how to use these feelings to your advantage. Once you realize you don’t really care if you can sing like Bieber or kick a ball like Ronaldo, you can focus your attention on how to build a life around your own passions and talents instead.
Next time the envy creeps in and jealousy starts to take over, take a moment to reflect.
- Why are you feeling jealous?
- What is it about this person or thing that you want for your own life?
- What can you learn from this person that will help you reach your own goals?
- How can they help you?