As a product of a dysfunctional family, I find fulfillment in sharing my personal heartache to help others going through difficult times.
We have all been there. Where you ask? Stuck in the grips of that ugly green-eyed monster. He gets right up in our face when we least expect it and breathes his ugliness into us (not to mention his breath stinks!). Whether you have been caught between feeling both happy for and extremely envious that your friend got engaged (and, of course, got a stunning diamond ring!), while your boyfriend has yet to let you keep your toothbrush at his place after almost a year of dating. Or it could be that your little sister got a promotion and now you feel like you make less money that every soul you know.
I feel we would all be lying if we said we have never felt the slightest twinge of jealousy at one time or another. There may be a few lucky people in this world that have never had to experience that awful feeling but I know I for one do not fall into that category. As a young woman in the entertainment industry, i struggled for years. But being a little older now and having adopted a better way of thinking, I have been able to get over a lot of that nonsense. I still have moments, as we all will, but things should always be about progress, not perfection.
When that feeling sneaks up trying to ruin your good life, keep these three things in mind.
1. It is a wasted emotion
I really believe that jealousy (second to guilt) is useless. Think about it. It not only leaves you feeling bad but it provides the wrong intention for us to be who we are. I think of it as negative inspiration. Don’t let jealousy inspire you, instead let inspiration motivate you. Don’t do yourself the injustice of basing your life on everyone else's. You life deserves more love and care than that. Compete with yourself and only yourself (unless you're playing Monopoly, of course) and lift others up. Lifting others up can be hard when we are experiencing jealousy, but I feel it can be a way out of such a terrible feeling. It is especially hard too because sometimes we become jealous of the people we love the most, then guilt can set in and you are experiencing two of (what I believe are) the two most wasted emotions. Do you see what a vicious cycle this is?
2. Success for others doesn't mean you've failed
This was a huge one for me when I was first starting out in show business. My younger self hated to see other people succeed because I felt that if they succeeded, I could not. There is nothing further from the truth than that belief and I have actually learned the opposite. I have now been on both sides of this now. There are so many jobs I wouldn't have had if someone who made it first didn't help me and I have done the same for others. That is people helping people at play. If I had held onto the notion that people had to fail for me to triumph, there is no telling where I would be. I do know I wouldn't be as happy, have as many great friendships and working relationships, and probably not nearly as many successes. There is not a limited amount of success, happiness, joy, or blessings. Be happy for others when things happen for them and let them be happy for you when you have yours. When we can share in each others happiness it is a win-win.
3. Things aren't always what they seem
In the past, I have been guilty of feeling envious because of things that I thought I knew about someone else. Then I would then often find out somehow that not only did they embellished the truth, they downright lied. You can never get the time wasted feeling bad back, and truly, it should alter my happiness anyways. This is truly the time to take things with a grain of salt. Sometimes people brag and embellish to make themselves feel better because they are feeling envious of you. Again, focus on what you know about you and those are the blessings you get to experience daily, however big or small they might seem.
4. It's hard to admit to
This is a hard emotion to admit which might be why it's a difficult one. We would never want the people, especially ones we love, to think we are capable of feeling such a vile emotion. However, if you are human, you've felt it before. Maybe we can at least start by being honest with ourselves when we are feeling a jealousy twinge. Think about time where you have felt jealous. You may notice that there is a range of emotions that go with it, such as, anger, sadness, hopelessness, yearning, lack, and guilt. No wonder it feels so terrible.
5. Live a life of gratitude for what you have
Ultimately, I believe everything good in life comes down to gratitude. I think even more than laughter, gratitude is the best medicine. When you have gratitude for all that is good in your life, it is impossible to feel jealous of someone else. Life is a natural give and take. When it seems that someone has certain things going for them, know they also have not so favorable things going on. We all have a different set of blessings and challenges in our lives. Sometimes, one can even become jealous of someone's problems if they are different and think that they would rather have their problems than the ones they have. Don't fall into that trap. I heard a beautiful quote somewhere that said something like "never wish you were someone else because you never know who is looking at you wishing they were you". So be grateful for what you do have and take the good with the bad. That is one thing that no matter how different things are, they are all the same too!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jess B