I admit it. I feel jealous at times. No big deal…it is part of being human. i can usually recognize it “Oh, that’s jealousy.” and let it go. But sometimes, when feeling vulnerable, seeing someone rock out in life starts a downward spiral of thoughts about all my disappointments, supposed shortcomings, and heightens a feeling of lack.
There is so much advice out there for bolstering our self-esteem, reminding us that social media shows us the “best” or an incomplete view of others, and that tells us not to compare our insides with someone’s outsides.
This is all great advice. For me, though, the most powerful antidote to jealousy i have found is this: to wish success for those who succeed. Even if I am feeling small and mean and envious, I choose to “act as if” until I genuinely feel that joy and that desire for the fruition of all their deepest wishes, hopes, and dreams.
No one’s life is devoid of pain or fear or disappointments…when we are jealous we seem to forget this and covet a fantasy of a perfect life. Instead, I like to focus on giving this person even more doses of relief and happiness, because chances are they need it more than we think…and when we send wishes of generous spirit outward, that ripples inward in our own hearts, as well.
So, here’s a quick cure for comparison:
Step 1: When you find yourself feeling envious or even just less-than when you see someone else succeeding, looking attractive, getting something you want–whether a relationship, an outfit, a job, acclaim or attention, STOP those thoughts in their tracks.
Step 2: Move your focus to their well-being and celebrate their achievements, accomplishments and admirable traits. Deliberately turn your mind to wishing the absolute best for them and generating happiness over their situation. See them happy and think “I am glad they are happy and I wish more and more joy for them and greatness in their life.”
When we delight in someone else’s accomplishments, the mind is released from the grip of jealousy and we feel more peace. In this space of calm and generosity, we are then more likely to find happiness, as well. Try it and see what happens.