In the age of social media with its likes, followers and picture perfect scenarios, it is difficult not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others and feeling jealous. We can envy someone else’s looks, intelligence, success, wealth, mate or educational background. No matter how hard you work for something or how good you look, there is always going to be someone better, right? I think we all, often subconsciously, compare ourselves to others and feel the jealousy when they succeed better than you, at least I know I have in the past. But along the lines of 2016 being my year, I have decided to stop letting my jealousy and insecurities define me. Do you want to learn how to do the same?
“It’s an ugly way to feel—unhappy because of someone else’s success—but human beings are often ugly” – Emma Straub.
1. Be proud of yourself
To some it might sound easier said than done while to others it might sound naive or banal, but it is truly important to be proud of yourself and everything you achieve. In the pursuit of everything you don’t have but feel like you need in your life, it is easy to forget to be grateful of what you actually do have. We all have people around us who care for us, we all have a job/ education or similar that we have worked for, we all have our own unique style and personality and we all basically have the ability to do anything we want in life if we just work hard enough for it. If that is not something to be proud of then I don’t know what.
2. Be proud of your friends
Even though it is easy to get jealous of celebrities with all of their fame, money and followers, that is not really where the big issue normally lies. It is easy to understand that you and those celebrities live in “two different worlds” and therefore it is easier to distant yourself from that fame. When it comes to the jealousy and envy that is actually unhealthy for you, it often has to do with your closest friends. It is (sadly) easy to compare yourself to those you are normally surrounded by or who have some kind of relationship to. As they celebrate a good grade, a huge promotion, winning something, a good relationship, success on their blog/ social media or something similar, the jealousy can quickly come upon you with questions like “why is that not me?”. Instead of feeling proud and happy for that person it is (again, sadly) often normal to feel some kind of envy. This can also result in us undermining that person in our minds and letting the jealousy and envy get the worst of us. But instead of feeling and acting like that, it is important to be proud of your friends for their achievements, and to accept that sometimes it is your turn to shine but right now it is theirs and that’s okay.
3. Turn the jealousy into something positive
Jealousy is normally linked to something negative. Being jealous of someone else, not feeling good enough, not trusting your partner and so on. But what if you could change that feeling into something positive? Whenever you feel the familiar feeling of jealousy creeping up on you, instead of letting it bring you down you should “embrace it”. Not that you should embrace not feeling good enough, but really feel on what it is that is troubling you and how you can change that. Why are you not feeling good enough? Is it because you could have done something better, you did not give it your all or you are not truly being yourself and happy? Try to really figure out why someone else’s achievements are brining you down instead of motivating you to do better, and aim to change that mindset of yours.
4. Stop seeking approval from other people.
Browsing through Instagram a few weeks ago, I came across this Abraham-Hicks quote and I just had to screenshot it. Even though it talks about happiness and independent, I think it relates to the topic of jealousy when it comes to not seeking approval and being dependent on other people. Stop seeking approval from and comparing yourself to other people, you are you and that is damn good enough.
Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook”. And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel — and then you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them, is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.
5. Be grateful for the little things
I have briefly mentioned before both on my blog and Instagram that I advice you to start the habit of writing some kind of a gratitude journal. You don’t have to make the biggest deal out of it if you don’t want to, but at least be sure to take a few moments every morning and/or evening to think about what you are grateful for in life. Focus on the positive, focus on the small things. Every day you will experience small great things, but if you don’t appreciate and really think about them they won’t matter as much as if you actually take a moment to think about them. Take a moment to stop, close your eyes, think about your day and smile for the little things, the kind words, the small achievements. It will leave you with a smile on your face and a gratefulness you can keep in mind the next time jealousy comes creeping.