- Dora Nudelman
How To Overcome Jealousy
With our society breeding us to compete and compare with each other so much, how can a person who doesn’t really want to feel this way overcome their feelings of jealousy?
Envy is a nasty emotion that not only makes us feel like crap, it also sends out bad vibes and makes the people who are the subject of that envy feel like they need to downplay or justify what they have. So who, then, actually wins?
I have a lululemon bag that has printed on it the saying, “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.” What that actually means is, if you think feeling jealous of what someone else has is going to make them lose what they have or help you gain it, you are sadly misinformed. In fact, your jealousy has no impact on anyone other than yourself. You are the one who feels bad. You are the one subscribing to a lack mentality. And you are the one self-sabotaging.
Unfortunately, many people feel jealous more often than they would like to admit, but also sad is that many don’t have any will to change it (or if they do, they don't know how). But for those who do want to know, there are a few steps one can take to get over that nasty emotion.
1) Recognize jealousy when it presents itself. Sometimes it is not obvious to us that this is how we feel. We may initially feel angry, resentful, judgmental, depressed, and/or sorry for ourselves. But if we practice awareness with our thoughts and emotions, and even our actions, we will be able to notice and identify envy before it gets out of control.
2) Once we have acknowledged and admitted to ourselves that this is how we feel (without judging ourselves for it), we need to ask ourselves if what we see others having is actually something we want for ourselves. Sometimes we impulsively decide that we want what others have without testing it out first to see if we, in fact, do want it. Maybe we want another version of it. Maybe we want the essence that it represents (like freedom or love, for example). And maybe we don’t actually want "it" (i.e. whatever that specific thing is) at all. So before we waste our time feeling jealous perhaps it would be best to determine if there is really anything to be jealous about.
3) Once we determine what we actually want (versus what we think we want), the next step is to start listing all the things we appreciate in our lives right now. What are you taking for granted? What assets and blessings do you have in your life that you are ignoring or forgetting? Noticing everything that is going right for you in your life helps alleviate any jealous feelings or feelings of lack. It also gets you feeling a lot more abundant. You see, when we are chasing after something else we tend to take for granted how far we have already come. But appreciation helps us remember that.
4) Then, once you have shifted your perceptions to being more appreciative, you can subsequently start focusing on what you can do to get you closer to manifesting your true desires. You see, jealousy actually stops you in your tracks. It stops the flow of inspiration and it stops you from taking action on what you want to achieve. It might motivate you temporarily via your competitiveness, but that will likely lead only to hasty decisions made out of desperation. And all that does is cause you to feel even more depleted, resentful, and bitter, never mind apathetic and distracted. But when you are not feeling jealous and instead are inspired to create positive circumstances in your own life, then your focus comes off of what others are doing or having, and onto what you are doing and having.
The thing about jealousy is that when you feel jealous, in truth, what you are feeling is not really about "them"; it is about yourself and what you believe/think/feel you don't have. Generally speaking, someone will always have less than you and someone will always have more. So it isn't really about how you compare to anyone else then, is it? Because if it was, that would be an endless game you would never win. As such, we must focus our attention on what we can do to better our own lives rather than wasting our time feeling jealous of others. Plus, it doesn't matter how blessed someone else's life seems or how easy they seem to have it because that has nothing to do with what we can create for ourselves (and it is not our place to judge them anyway). We can make assumptions and generalizations all day long but we will never fully know what went into anyone else's success or the reasons behind it (i.e. destiny/karma/perseverance/determination/alignment, etc.). As such, we can only truly focus on ourselves because that is what we have control over. And so, perhaps we need to stop being so "them-centered" and instead start being more practical about our own steps to what we want to achieve. Then we will be relaxed and free to create our lives as we see fit while being happy for others who are doing the same.
And so, once you realize that jealousy is futile and counter-productive you will be well on your way to eliminating that feeling from your life altogether. As a general rule, if you simply focus more on what you do have (and what you authentically want) and less on what you don’t have that others do, there will be no need to compare and contrast with anyone. When you feel comfortable in your own skin and accepting of yourself and your own pace and path in life, there will be no room and no need for envious feelings to creep up. Then you will be able to be happy for other people and inspired by what they have rather than jealous and discouraged by it. And when you are happy for and inspired by others, you too will be aligned with the very energy you seek to manifest.