Ah, envy. One of the most common and most uncomfortable emotions that we all deal with at one point or another. You’re scrolling on Instagram and you see a childhood friend get married. You scroll some more and you see a coworker get promoted to a better job or position. You keep on scrolling and you see random influencers traveling the world and living their best lives. You stop scrolling and you start feeling angry, sad, and envious because you don’t have any of those things. You start to fall down this negative rabbit hole and you start to feel as if you’re not good enough to achieve any of those things. Does this sound familiar?
The good news is that envy is actually a very powerful tool and can be used to your advantage. If you’re feeling envious of someone, the reason why they’re showing up in your life is because they’re here to show you what’s possible for YOU. The energy behind envy is simple and straightforward; you’re witnessing in someone else what you’re capable of having or achieving. They are simply a mirror to your own desires.
Envy can help you realize your life purpose and what gifts you haven’t discovered yet. Let’s say you’re a writer and one of your best childhood friends is a doctor. She’s a really well known doctor, has been featured in different medical journals and publications, and makes a lot of money doing what she loves. Since your friend isn’t in your field of interest, there’s no “competition” there. You’re most likely going to be happy for her because she’s not seen as a threat. Now let’s say you have another friend who is a bestselling author and is incredible at her craft. You’re more likely to feel threatened because you both love to do the same thing! The envy you’re feeling is the desire to be where she’s at in her career or to do the same thing she’s doing. Maybe your desire is to be recognized and seen or to have that creative freedom.
Now let’s say that you envy that friend who is a doctor. Maybe that’s a sign that you’re not really doing something you love, or maybe you envy their recognition or the fact that their career brings them a good income. Maybe you crave the financial freedom. No matter what it is, envy is just an emotional alarm that goes off and nudges you so you can put in the work to be where you want to be. This doesn’t just mean putting in the work physically, it also means putting in the work mentally by healing the insecurities and wounds that make us feel like we are not capable of having what the next person has.
Envy is also your shadow that is being projected onto another person, so whenever this emotion arises, ask yourself what that person has that you want. What is it that’s making you feel so bad? Why do you feel like you can’t achieve what they have? The answers to these questions are your blocks. These are your limitations that are being shown to you.
The feeling of envy really sucks, and when you’re in it, it’s challenging to get yourself out. But with some self awareness and diving deep into your own shadows, envy can be turned into power and inspiration. It all comes down to how you move through it. Are you choosing to stay in the emotion or come out of it inspired?