“Envy isn’t an emotion that’ll disappear overnight, but when these feelings emerge they can provide us with powerful insights that can shape how we view ourselves. Knowing our weak points allows us to make the necessary adjustments to ensure our life aligns with the goals we’ve set for ourselves.”~ Phrieda Bogere
We live in a world where we’re constantly competing with each other.
This can provide motivation to push towards a better version of ourselves but it can also be a mechanism that can negatively impact our self esteem. Envy is considered a bad word that tends to hide under vague smiles and words of encouragement towards a friend or peer when celebrating a milestone. Social media places pressure on appearing to have it all via sharing highlight reels.
The result of unrealistic expectations and the need to hit major goals while we’re young has contributed to feelings of dissatisfaction when comparing ourselves to other counterparts. This is something I’ve struggled with over the years and as I get older, the feeling intensifies.
Coping with Envy
“Do not be jealous of others’ good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.”~ Buddha
Envy isn’t an emotion that’ll disappear overnight, but when these feelings emerge they can provide us with powerful insights that can shape how we view ourselves. Knowing our weak points allows us to make the necessary adjustments to ensure our life aligns with the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
In this article, I will go over three questions we should ask ourselves when envy shows itself in various situations and how we can manage those emotions to get out of that vicious cycle.
3 Important Questions to Help Free Yourself from Envy
1. What bothers me in this situation?
Assess the factors that trigger the emotion. Be specific and make the connection to how it aids your strengths or weaknesses. For example, a peer or a good friend of yours may have gotten a promotion or performed better at an exam than you did. Think about the qualities this person has.
Do you feel like you’re more deserving?
Do you sense that is a weakness of yours and it’s something you want to improve? Are there specific areas in your life where you feel unseen and not heard?
More often than not, uneasiness when witnessing someone else’s success can come from a place where our expectations haven’t been met. Deeply ingrained ideas of unworthiness crafted from childhood and adolescence clash when you’re introduced to a perspective that challenges your view. These projections can serve as a mirror and give direction on how this feedback can improve your life and help free yourself fromenvy.
After you recognize that you’re feeling envy, make sure to ask yourself why you wish to have the same level of success. Is it something you truly desire or is it for the pursuit of external validation.
It’s easy to get caught up on what you “should” do because everyone else is doing it and it seems like the most sensible path. Make sure your “why” is rooted in your values and long term professional and personal goals. Just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
If you want to emulate the success of an individual or a group, what steps are you taking to move towards that desired outcome?
The process can feel overwhelming so make sure to break it down into small steps that are realistic to your situation. No step is too small. Over time those efforts will allow you to make those shifts. You will be surprised how far consistency can take you.
Whether it’s in six weeks or six months, staying committed to your goals will improve your confidence and give you the power to change your circumstances.
3. When do I feel fully present in my power?
There’s a saying that what you admire in others, you also have those same qualities yourself. Think about what sparks your interest, what makes you feel alive. It’s so important to lean into your strengths and celebrate what makes you unique.
Your path might be structured differently than others but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail. The journey is never linear and the roadblocks you encounter when getting there are all the process. Someone’s success or shortcomings doesn’t make your life less or more valuable.
You can’t manipulate the way you’re perceived by others but you can control the energy you want to put out.
Resolving your envy feelings isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s something I still deal with and it’s normal to experience the full range of emotions. What’s important is that we recognize it when it happens and use those feelings as reminders of what is important.
Check in with yourself regularly and don’t lose yourself in a world that sometimes feels like it might swallow us whole.