When I first wrote this post, I was taking one of Gala Darling's online workshops, Radical Self-Love Bootcamp, and she had a chapter which dealt which jealousy. It resonated with me so I decided to respond to it.
I also felt like re-posting this because I've been struggling a bit lately, career-wise and otherwise. I've just moved back to NYC after spending almost 2 years in Columbus, and seeing how my peers have progressed in their lives has led me to a lot of rumination and self-comparison. I know that comparing myself to others is a quick path to misery. So as I figure out how to - in the paraphrased words of Brene Brown - 'let go of who I think I'm supposed to be and figure out who I am', this is a nice reminder and refresher on how to deal with jealous feelings.
When I first went through the class, I kind of skimmed over this chapter because I was all, “I'm not the jealous type!”
But now that I’m going back through, I am paying extra special attention to this one, because everyone is prone to being jealous, and boy, have I been feeling it lately. To combat jealousy, I’ve learned two very important truths:
1. No one is perfect. It may seem like it on the outside, but perfection does not exist.
2. The Theory of Abundance. The theory of abundance states that there is enough for everyone. We often think that is someone is happy, then we won’t be able to also be happy. This is just not true! If one person seems to “have it all”, you can too! There is enough out there for everyone to be successful, everyone to have love, everyone to be happy. The generosity principle really helps me with this one: be generous with your knowledge and your help. Helping others become successful and happy won’t make you any less so: it will make you more so!
Don’t dwell on the negative. Talk to someone who you trust about your jealousy. Write about it at length in your journal. And then, take a deep breath and imagine yourself letting it all go, exhaling out the negativity, not thinking about other people, inhaling positivity for yourself. Focus on bettering yourself, and not comparing yourself to others.
Another important thing to do is to distance yourself from conversations that criticize or ridicule others, or force you to make unnecessary comparisons. Cutting down on TV can help, especially commercials or reality television. I’ve also cut down on Tumblr and Pinterest browsing. Cutting down on browsing Tumblr has been really important to me, because there are so many images and comments on Tumblr that can just wash over you as you do that endless scroll. Lastly, I’m trying to remove myself from negative comparing/smacktalk conversations - even if this means tuning out my boss. If it’s a friend spouting negativity, I just try to gently steer the conversation away. Ultimately, jealousy is a form of self-doubt. We think that someone has something that we don’t, and start to hate them and ourselves. I’ve been trying to focus on just having more positive experiences in my life, so I don’t focus on others’ experiences. There is a big difference between inspiration and jealousy. Try to think, “She may have that perfect relationship/billions of Twitter followers/awesome job/beautiful hair, but I am awesome in my own right!" Don’t waste your mental energy on things you can’t change.