How to Use Jealousy to Your Advantage
Today’s guest post comes to you from Vanessa Bowen of Nessbow. Vanessa’s fashion blog was originally an outlet for her to share her eclectic personal style and penchant for alternative fashion but it blossomed into a site about self-exploration, self-care and thepreservation of self-worth from the self described love child of Judy Garland and David Bowie. Be friends with her on facebook and twitter!
Jealousy is a part of life. No matter how well adjusted you are, there is likely to come a point in time that you wish your life were a little bit more like your best friends’, your boss’ or Gwen Stefani’s. I propose that, rather than digging yourself a gloomy little bunker from which to fire nasty barbs, you use your jealousy as a catalyst for positive change.
“What the heck is she talking about?” you are probably thinking. What I mean is this: if you are jealous of somebody, they must have something that you want. If you can identify what that coveted thing is, it can act as a key to improving your life. Rather than seeing your jealousy as a negative emotion that needs to be squashed, try to view it as a message to yourself about what you need to feel better about yourself.
The first step is to find out what it is specifically that you are jealous of. Perhaps you envy a person’s job, their killer wardrobe, their relationship or their perfectly decorated apartment. It might even be something more complex, like an innate ability to make friends or a knack for humour. Whatever it might be, look closely at the reason that you are jealous.
Once you have identified the thing that you feel you are lacking, you will need to decide whether that thing is something that could actually be achieved by you. For example, if you are jealous of somebody who earns more money than you do, generating more cash is an attainable goal. However, if you are lamenting over your short stature in the shadow of an Amazon, then you might need to accept you can’t make yourself sprout a few extra inches, no matter how much you might want to.
If your goal is something that is actually do-able, that’s fantastic! Rather than being bitter that somebody has something you want, put all that energy into making it a reality for yourself. Make yourself a plan to achieve your goal. Be sure to break it down into small bites so that it doesn’t seem too daunting.
Once you have made a workable plan, commit yourself to actually taking a few steps. Book in for a career consultation, join a dating service, start looking for new apartments, just do whatever you can to make your goal a reality. Making regular, committed actions towards your goal will give you a huge sense of self-efficacy and with any luck, you will eventually get to where you want to be.
If you are wishing for something that you can’t change, your path might be a little trickier. What you are going to need to do is to accept yourself and your life the way it is and not sweat the things that can’t be changed. Life is simply too short to be spent wishing for things that can never come true. It’s easier said than done, but it’s important to try to accept the things you can’t alter.