Have you ever read a social media status update by a friend or someone you know talking about something great they did or that happened to them? You're happy for them and what they accomplished, but there's something gnawing deep inside you.
Maybe only to yourself you think, "Why couldn't that be me?"
I've accomplished a lot this last year. I've lost 170 pounds; I've moved our family from Wisconsin to Maui, Hawaii. I'm fully supported by my writing, speaking, and coaching. Even still, I see these updates and I get jealous.
My pride reads an article someone else wrote and says, "I write better than that person." I get that rejection email from a conference a friend gets chosen to speak at and I get jealous.
Jealousy is a part of human nature, and I'm guessing you've been there too. We want to be happy when people do amazing things, but we want it to be us. We might even want that attention. Jealousy may be human nature but that doesn't mean it's healthy.
There's a line you don't want to cross, and there are ways to deal with jealousy when it arises. Jealousy can eat away at you and keep you from making progress in life. Here are three ways to deal with jealousy.
1. Step away from the situation
In that moment when the jealousy hits, walk away. Turn your phone, computer, or tablet off and breathe. The more you sit there and think about the situation, the more you will let the jealousy build up and become a monster.
Turn some music on or go talk to your partner, but step away and express what you're felling. Don't hold it inside and let it foster. Get honest with your feelings and yourself.
If you're jealous that's natural, so don't be ashamed to admit it to yourself or someone else. Verbalizing those feelings and acknowledging them will help you heal. Analyze why you're jealous. Maybe it's because there's something you know you need to work on.
2. Take the focus off yourself
Jealousy may be there, but if it's strong it's because you're too focused on yourself. It's easy to get jealous of other people's successes when you're self-focused. You see them doing amazing things and you get frustrated because you aren't where they are.
Don't focus on their success or compare what they're doing to what you're doing. Instead, focus on what it takes to achieve success in your life. Focus on helping those less fortunate than you.
This shouldn't be about you. If this is about your pride or ego you're destined to fail. The ones that succeed are those who come from a place of service. It's hard, but when you focus on others, you'll also experience success.
3. Be grateful for what you have
A friend of mine said something that opened my eyes to what gratitude means. He talked about a new car his wife got. It was a car that he had never heard of. As soon as his wife started driving it, he looked around and started seeing this car everywhere.
It's not that those cars were never there. Once his wife got one his eyes were opened to what was around him. That's how it is with gratitude in our lives. We don't see all the things around us that we should be grateful for until our eyes are opened.
Every morning I think about three specific things I'm grateful for. Doing this has opened my eyes to all the amazing things in my life that I have to be grateful for.
If you just listed one thing a day, your eyes would be opened, and your attitude would change from being jealous to being grateful. You would be grateful for the day and age we live in where we can make a living doing something we love. Learn to choose gratitude over jealousy and your life will never be the same.
In the end, life isn't always about you or money. It's about helping people get through rough times. It's about making an impact in the world. Don't get jealous or let jealousy win. This week when you see one of those status updates, step away. Tell yourself one thing you're grateful for and come back and smile.
Have you ever been jealous of what someone else is doing?
This originally appeared on KimanziConstable.com
Photo credit: Flickr/ Antoine K