WHEN JEALOUSY STRIKES
Put your envy to good use by driving it towards a more positive direction. Here’s how you can use it as a source of motivation and growth
Envy and jealousy stem from the fundamental inability to rejoice at someone else’s happiness or success
– Matthieu Ricard
Envy usually carries a negative connotation, but turned into a stepping stone, it can be a trigger to realising what you really want. “If you can admit, ‘I’m envious’, you’re at an advantage because that can prime you to take positive action. It can rev you up and motivate you to pursue your goals,” explains psychotherapist and author of On Fertile Ground, Helen Adrienne.
Here’re three ways to harness this “deadly sin” as a source of motivation and use it:
#1) AS A REMINDER OF WHAT YOU DON’T WANT
Instead of letting envy consume you, use it to rediscover your real interests and priorities. Perhaps you’re envious of a friend’s beautiful new house… now consider the overheads she has to bear, or the late hours she has to put in daily just to furnish her loans. Ask yourself: “Do I really want that?”
#2) TO BE A BETTER FRIEND
The tendency with malicious envy is to bring down the person you’re envious of. Convert your feelings to benign envy and let go of the negativity by engaging your friend with a positive mindset. Instead of begrudging her accomplishments, get to know her better and learn her secrets of success firsthand. Then strive to bring yourself to her level to attain a similar state of fulfilment.
#3) TO SET A NEW GOAL
Envy will not get you anywhere if you do not take action to make things happen for yourself. “Start by replacing negative thoughts with a film reel of your action plan,” says Gregory Chertok, Director of Sport Psychology at The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center in Englewood, New Jersey. Map a strategy and follow through with your plan. Before you know it, you’ll be half-way there.