Green With Envy? How to Overcome Jealousy
No one likes to feel jealous, but most of us do feel this emotion at one time or another. However, although jealousy is part of the human experience, it doesn’t have to rule our lives. Let’s take a look at what causes this challenging emotion and see what we can do to overcome it.
Causes of Jealousy
Scarcity mindset. Have you ever felt as though someone else’s success and happiness takes away from your own? If you believe that the world is an abundant place, jealousy becomes far more difficult. This negative emotion can sometimes be merely a symptom of a scarcity mindset.
Consider that if someone you know is doing really well, you are also helped by their success. They’re more enjoyable to be around. The positive feelings that they have will naturally be spread to everyone around them. This is a good thing. Would you prefer to be surrounded by people who are struggling and unhappy?
Those who are doing extremely well can also serve as inspiration; they show us what is possible. Being surrounded by people who are excelling where you’re challenged may actually help to lift you to a new level of success.
“You vs. Them” mindset. Jealousy is very much based on the ego. To feel jealous, you must believe that reality is a “you vs. them” situation. If someone else gets that fantastic new car, now you can’t have it. They won, so you must have lost. But there are essentially an unlimited number of great cars, houses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and jobs.
Jealousy begets more jealousy. Those who are routinely jealous seem to attract a lot of situations that cause even more emotional pain.
For example, if you lose that great promotion to someone else and are oozing jealousy, then you’re probably not going to seem very attractive to some great new girlfriend. Then you’re jealous about that, and so on.
Secrets of Success in Overcoming Your Jealousy
Jealousy can also serve as a guide. The things that fill you with the greatest sense of frustrated desire are likely the things that you want the most, but currently don’t have.
If you’re incredibly jealous of someone’s romantic relationship, your emotions are simply a wake-up call. They’re really telling you that a great relationship would be a meaningful addition to your life, so it would be good to focus on bringing a fulfilling relationship into your life.
Now that you’re paying attention to what your jealousy is really telling you, you have a good idea of where you should be focusing your energy.
When you use your jealousy in this fashion, you’re accomplishing several things:
Depersonalizing the issue. When you view your jealousy as simply feedback from your brain, you’re far less likely to go to an unproductive place in your mind. This emotion isn’t about your inability to have something you want. Instead, it’s just letting you know what you want.
Allowing jealousy to serve as guidance. Now you’re using your negative feelings to propel yourself forward in a positive direction.
Improving your life. As you focus on obtaining what you desire, you’re bound to improve your life. Once you take care of a couple of the bigger items, there won’t be much left to be jealous about anyway.
Recognize that jealousy is largely the result of a scarcity mindset. If you truly believe that there’s plenty to go around, you aren’t capable of being jealous. Work on that, and you’ll see that someone else’s success doesn’t limit your own.
As you can see, jealousy can be used as a tool to serve you and improve your life. Ask yourself why something makes you so envious, and then seek to resolve it. Be savvy about your emotions, and jealousy can actually work for you instead of against you.