It's easy to get carried away examining other people's lives - what they appear to have, what they've accomplished, or how well they're known. American Life Coach Marie Forleo says, "Envy doesn't have to be a bad thing, if you know how to turn that beat around and use it to your advantage."
We might question, "Why didn't I think of that business idea first?", "Why didn't I get asked to speak at that event" or, "How did they get more funding than us?" There are a number of scenarios we could find our minds cycling through, if we don't get a hold on our jealousy.
"To use envy to your advantage, you have to first recognize that it's not your enemy," says Forleo. "It's a valuable clue to who you want to be and how to get there." In her video on MarieTV, Forleo introduces three steps to overcome envy:
1. Don't Hate, Celebrate
Often our natural reaction to hearing about other people's successes is to judge or comment on why they don't deserve it. If you find yourself behaving this way, Forleo says, "that feeling is likely an indicator of someplace in your life that needs more focus or attention." Instead she encourages us to say, "yay" to feeling this way. "When I feel envious of someone, that's a place where I need to step up my game. If [they] did it, that means I can do it, too. Appreciate, congratulate, and celebrate that feeling and the person who triggered the feeling for you."
2. Investigate: Find What Your Envious Of And Why
Now that you're aware of feeling envious, you need to dig deeper. Get out your pen and paper and write down what or who you're envious of and why. If you're envious of someone's public profile, then ask how that relates to what you're trying to achieve as a leader. If you're jealous of a startup's financial situation, then ask what you would use similar funding for. Forleo then encourages us to ask two important questions: "Are you willing to put in the time, effort, and energy to create the results in your life? Is developing that skill, trait, ability, or result aligned with your priorities and goals?"
Often taking the time to talk things out or write them down can help ease some of your envy. You might discover that you don't actually want what someone else has, or you don't have the time or effort to put into a particular area of work.
3. Activate: Find Meaning
This last point is short and sweet, though has the most meaning. Forleo says, "Get your a** to work. You've got to get moving on the things you most want to have, because you can absolutely have them."
Ready to get started? Focus on what you want and need, rather than chase someone else's idea of success.