Let’s Send Jealousy Packing
Have you ever, at any point, caught yourself feeling jealous of your friend’s success? Yea, me too. And the crazy part is we never really wanted to feel this way. It just kinda happens. Somehow, despite how much we want to be genuinely happy over our friend’s success, we can’t seem to stop jealousy from creeping in. It seems as though there’s this inner radar that actively scans and does a success comparison between you and your friends. And when the radar picks up signals that your friend is doing a lot better than you are, it begins to blow up and the natural response to this is jealousy! Moments later, you’re left feeling like such a horrible person for feeling jealous in the first place. This then makes you wonder how you can get rid of this uncomfortable feeling and stop feeling jealous of your friend’s success.
If you’ve ever felt this way (or are feeling this way), this is me telling you that there are a lot of us on this table. We’re totally in this together. But the good news is that it is absolutely possible for you to stop feeling this subtle (or intense) jealousy over your friend’s success and be genuinely happy for them.
But if you’re thinking:
“I Can’t Help Feeling Jealous Cos…
My Life Sucks!”
You might have found that other people’s success seems to make you feel subtly insecure. For some reason, their success makes you think about your mistakes, failures, and shortcomings. You are somehow reminded of how things do not come as easily to you as they do for your friends. And sooner than you know it, you begin to think unhealthy thoughts, that you have to work extra hard for everything. In your head, there are tons of reasons that validate the way you feel at that moment.
But what if instead of feeling liberated, these thoughts are what keeps you all the more trapped? What if these are part of the things preventing you from stepping out of the big blur that is your life? What if these feelings are merely just excuses to sulk and feel sorry for yourself instead of actively doing the work you should be doing and celebrating with your friends for seeing the results of the work that they do.
You might even begin to find yourself envying the people who are truly happy for your friends when they succeed. (PS: It’s totally fine if you feel this way, this is an almost natural feeling for most of us). On some days, escaping this feeling through sleep seems like the best thing to do. But this makes you all the more reluctant to do the necessary work. You’re thinking about how your friend has it all figured out while your life is still a big blur. And as a result, you wonder if you will just drift through life engaging in one venture after another without ever achieving anything major while your friends are climbing the ranks at Fortune 500 companies.
How To Stop Feeling Jealous Of Your Friend’s Success
Apparently, sulking and feeling sorry for yourself never causes any real change. If anything, it makes you all the more handicapped in addressing those issues. What rather helps is acceptance (of the way that you feel) and then taking the necessary action.
In this post, I share 3 totally relatable tips on how to stop feeling jealous of your friend’s success and start focusing on the things you should.
Jealousy is never about the other person
We are often tempted to blame our friends for the jealousy that we feel. After all, it is something that your friend is or has done, that surfaced the uncomfortable observation about you that you don’t like. However, in the middle of this, if you really pause to think, you’ll find the real cause of your jealousy.
Jealousy has the tendency to make us all so panicky and consequently, unproductive. And in that feeling of panic or inadequacy, lies either a wish or a fear. Unearth this wish or fear. If you believe your friend is more “successful” than you are, then you are afraid you have not achieved enough. You might feel tempted to deny it. But if you pause to really access this emotion that you feel, you’ll find that this jealousy speaks more about anger (one that you feel towards yourself). This only buttresses how insecure you feel. You might even be scared that you do not have enough time to catch up with their success.
But really, why do you feel the need to catch up? Is it a competition – a battle of who accumulated the most achievements or a question of living your own life and living it well? Looking candidly at these twisted emotions, do you now see that it’s not “useful”— it’s impotent? This is precisely what is so uniquely destructive about jealousy. It takes your power and fosters shame. It would help to discard this fixation. Apparently, no one on Earth will ever be lining you and your friend up side by side and adjudicating you against one another.
Related – 5 Quick Ways To Cope With Anxiety
Instead of focusing on your friends and drowning yourself in your flaws, focus more on your life. Focus on the you that you are and the you that you are capable of becoming. When your friends hit new milestones, celebrate them for the progress they’re making on their own journey, realizing that you’re both running two different races.
Of course, doing this is never easy but practicing self-awareness would really help you act right and stop feeling jealous of your friend’s success.
Understand that we each have unique gifts
If you go about with the mindset that no matter what you do, someone can outperform you in some specific way, then someone will always outperform you in some way. However, if you go about with the mindset that you cannot be outperformed within your spectrum, then you will never be outperformed within your spectrum.
This analogy calls for the need to understand your strengths and your weaknesses. Every person has a spectrum of excellence that is unique to them. In this spectrum, no other person can match or beat them. These are strengths – the areas you function best!
The reality is we weren’t meant to be all things. This is in fact why we have the liberty to network, build relationships, and have friends. Shifting your focus from your friend being a rival or a competition to begin seeing your friend as an important part of your journey would cause a tremendous shift in perspective and belief. This would then help you stop feeling jealous of your friend’s success.
Again, realize that you and your friend are both running different races. In order to win independently, you gotta harness each other’s uniqueness. Your excellences may or may not be crowd-gathering, spectacular, or even visible to others. Some of them may not even be visible to you… yet. But they are yours and no one else’s, leverage them!
The key is all about perspective adjustment
In simple terms, jealousy is a false perception! It builds up the false belief that something someone has is not available to everyone. But really, is this true?
First of all, it helps to evaluate why you need to have this same thing that your friend has. As already established, if this is because of the need to “meet up”, then you best reevaluate your choices.
Understanding your uniqueness and differences in gifts, you’ll begin to see that whatever success another has in no way decreases your chances of having it. Switch up your perspective towards these things and watch yourself stop feeling jealous of your friend’s success.
For taking this big step to stepping out of one of life’s biggest traps (but ironically, not easily noticed), I commend you.
Cheers to more wins for you and your friends.