For this week’s radio show, I tried something a little different: a mini show. Instead of a full 30-minute interview, I spent 15 minutes focusing on one topic: jealousy. I chose that topic because, after careful thought and research, I’ve come to the conclusion that jealousy gets a bad rap. All over the internet there seems to be a universal desire to do away with it completely in exchange for forever avoiding what some are calling “the comparison trap”. And in theory, I understand that. Jealousy without further inspection can be a difficult feeling to process. But, when examined further, it can be one of the most powerful and healthy tools we have to process our own wants, needs and goals.
What if, instead of letting those moments of envy and jealousy shut us down, we decided to let them fire us up? If jealousy and desire have the power to move us to feel something so strongly, surely they have the power to move us to do something GOOD, too. Simply put, I’ve decided that we need to take the fear and negativity out of the word JEALOUSY and focus on the power it has to motivate, inspire and mold better businesses. So in today’s show I’m breaking down the reasons jealousy is misunderstood, how to understand it accurately and how to change your perspective and stance on envy to turn it into something that can be a positive motivator in your life and work. The link to listen are below, but I’ve also shared some overview notes from the show below if you don’t have the time or ability to listen during the day. The radio show will go into more detail about each step of the process, provide resources for staying motivated and provide examples from my work and personal life that show how jealousy can be a positive motivator. xo, grace
Read through for notes from today’s show after the jump:
One of the primary reasons jealousy gets a bad rap is that it’s often represented and aligned with the concept of cattiness between women. In fact, when I did research for my show, 75% of the articles I found lead with an image of two women looking at each other skeptically. I’m not here to say that women running businesses can’t be competitive- but the idea that women are the only people that can be jealous or that it’s inherently tied to a sense of negativity between women is inaccurate. So let’s start by getting this straight: jealousy is a NORMAL, NATURAL AND INHERENT human emotion felt by all people.
Why is it a good thing? Let’s break it down:
1. There is no faster or clearer tool for showing you exactly what you want. When you feel jealous of someone, that is a clear indication that there is something missing in your life that has yet to be fulfilled or validated
2. All those people you’re jealous of? They can, and probably should, be people you eventually add to your network of friends, colleagues, collaborators and co-workers. Rather than piling them into a list of people you dislike or could never be like add them to you list of people to email and talk to.
3. Jealousy may feel like it’s showing you what you don’t or can’t have, but in fact, it’s showing you what you CAN have. Seeing that someone in your industry got, for example, a book deal or a TV show, means that people are interested in investing in and seeing more OF people like you.
How can you learn to turn feelings of jealousy into motivation? Here’s how:
Step 1: Acknowledge the feelings you’re having and say them out loud. Jealousy shows you what you really want and your job is to get past the emotion or anger and figure out what that feeling is telling you is missing in your life.
Step 2: Investigate the reality of what you’re jealous of. We often do a disservice to people we’re jealous of by assuming their lives are perfect. Find out more about the people and opportunities you’re envious of- most times you’ll find they’ve worked incredibly hard to earn something and that their lives aren’t as perfect as you thought.
Step 3: Investigate YOUR reality. This is the moment to look at what you’ve done to achieve the things you want, accept and embrace any limitations you have right now (we don’t all have spare time to launch new businesses or the money to do so). Take a moment to look at all you HAVE accomplished in your current situation. Write it down. Be proud of what you’ve done. If you don’t look at all the things you DO have, it’s hard to put the things you don’t have in perspective.
Step 4: Take next steps. If after investigating your achievements and current situation you still feel like you’re missing something you want and need, write an action plan to get it done. If your goal is a book deal, write a plan to research what the steps are to get there and start working on it day by day. No opportunity happens overnight or lands in anyone’s lap without hard work.
Step 5: Turn jealousy into collaboration or friendship. The people you feel envious of are people who are getting things done and working hard. They’re people you admire and for that reason, should be people you keep close to you for inspiration and motivation. Instead of associating their success with things they’ve been given that you haven’t, associate it with a level of work, drive and talent that would be positive for you to have in your life and learn from.