It’s a difficult thing to do – to not get jealous when we see someone do amazingly at something we want to be good at. Thoughts like “they’re better than me” and “why can’t I be that successful” pop into our heads almost without our knowing it.
The problem is that this envy simply isn’t good for anybody. It doesn’t help us to do well, and it can poison our minds. The more envy we have, the more it will get in our way. We can end up spending our time feeling jealous and resentful, and feeling worse and worse about ourselves. This is why we need to change our perspective. Instead of being envious of someone else’s success, we should try to turn that envy into admiration.
When we admire someone, we can look at their success and see what it is that we like so much about that other person and/or their work. Instead of being full of envy which makes us feel bad about ourselves, we can use admiration as motivation.
If someone has been given a promotion at work, look at what they’ve done in order to get that promotion. Perhaps they worked late, or they had more years of experience, or they signed up for extra courses to advance their skills.
If the envy stems from someone’s creative success; maybe they made a YouTube video that got a large number of views, then look at what they did really well and use that as inspiration for what you can do better next time.
Envy is a sign that you feel that what that other person has is something which you could also have. It’s one reason why we don’t tend to envy the success of celebrities, but can envy our friends. A multi-million dollar house in Hollywood is way out of our reach, but a promotion at work is plausible.
So, identify how the person you envy achieved what they did, then ask yourself if you’re willing to do the hard work that the achievement would require. For example, are you happy to regularly stay late at the office like they did to get picked for promotion? If not, say you’re happy for their success and be pleased that you didn’t have to sacrifice your evenings.
If on the other hand, you are happy to do the work that they had to achieve what they did, then get specific about what aspect of their success you envy, identify how they did it, and get stuck in! Use your admiration-inspiration and you’ll be far more likely to succeed, and much less full of harmful envy!