Green With Envy
“Envy is unpleasant, for both the envier and the envied. Being envied is painful enough that some of us avoid it by not acquiring, achieving, or accomplishing things that others might envy.” – Kate Levinson, Emotional Currency
For me, this hits at the heart of the fear of success.
It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? When you think about it – fear of success?
We are all working towards success. It’s what we are all dreaming of. And yet…
What if we really make it? What if all of the goals are accomplished above our wildest imagination, and we get just what we have been dreaming of?
Will our friends still be our friends? Will we still fit in with our families? Will people smile in your face and talk about you behind your back?
What will they say?
Like I often told my daughter during the high school years,
“What other people think of you is really none of your business.”
– Martha Graham
I have also reminded myself of this over and over through the years.
And while that felt like a helpful suggestion at the time, it still stings.
Envy and jealousy are human emotions and they just are what they are. They come in and it’s up to us to decide what to do with them. Do we want to be hateful and covet other’s lives and belongings? Or do we want to lean in?
At the conference I was at a couple of weeks ago, in one of the breakout sessions, we talked about when we get this feeling of jealousy and envy – we can lean in. Get curious. Let this be the whisper that’s leading you to what it is that you want in your own life. How can you make it happen for yourself?
Not in a way that you are copy-catting off someone else, but what of that is it that you want for yourself, and how can you make it there?
How can you reframe your mindset?
How can you be truly happy for the other person who stirs up envy and jealousy for you?
For me, it’s helpful to know that envy is painful for both the envier and the envied. I don’t want to cause pain or harm to someone else, and I don’t want to carry that icky feeling around with me.
Actionable Step: Think about your most often or recent feelings of envy and jealousy. What desires are behind those emotions? What can you do to lean in, to get you some of what it is that you want, while also being genuinely happy for the person whom you are envying?