Article by Erin Brown, Girls Gone Strong
Remember high school? The social politics were ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait to be an adult!
I knew that I would grow up, and all of that “popular kids” vs “nobodies” stuff would go away. Somehow, though, “grown-up life” ended up feeling like more of the same. Except now the comparisons were of new homes, jobs and designer diaper bags!
The thing is, that as long as you are looking for it, you will always find someone who has something that seems better than what you have.
There is always a woman who just seems to have you beat in some way. She seems more successful. She seems to have her life together, is smarter, more charming. More whatever.
It’s totally human to find jealousy rearing its head. Here are four way you can turn it into a productive emotion, instead of one that leaves you in the dumps.
1. Give yourself a break.
First off, jealousy is a normal emotion. It can even be helpful, illuminating our own desires and insecurities. There’s no reason to beat yourself up because you find yourself turning a little green. You are not your feelings, and you get to choose how you react to them.
Sometimes it’s more subtle. A backhanded compliment like, “I’d love to have legs like hers, but I’m not eating rabbit food and running all day long. I have a life.” Regardless of your intention, voicing these kinds of judgements about others serves no one, least of all you. Instead, take a pause and move to #3.
2. Stop yourself from going negative.
So often when we feel jealous, we are putting someone else on a pedestal. The most common reaction then, is to knock them down. We’ve all experienced these conversations, right? One woman makes a comment about another’s amazing body (or significant other, or life choices, etc.), and the others join in, ripping her apart.
3. Become curious about it.
All we see in the world are reflections of our own perception. Jealousy is a powerful indicator of where we’d like to go. Where are your feelings coming from? If you find yourself envious of someone else’s job, for example, are you dissatisfied with your own? Do you secretly want to change professions? Is it really her schedule and freedom that’s appealing to you?
Instead of directing that energy outwardly, shine that light back unto yourself. Explore where your feeling is coming from. Not only is this less negative, it’s productive! It can help you explore what you want for yourself and drive you forward!
4. Clap your hands.
Yes! Clap your dang hands for what you see in the world that you’d like to have! Being supportive and caring toward other women serves all of us. This takes practice, but it’s so gratifying once you get in the habit.
Does that woman have an amazing deadlift? BRAVO!
Does your neighbor seem to have a super supportive relationship? Good on her!
Is that lady on the talk show doing something you’d like to do in the world? High-five, talk show lady! High freakin’ five!
I truly believe the sooner you start applauding those ahead of you, the sooner you’ll join them. But if every time you see someone doing something you’d like to do, you give them a big, nasty thumbs-down, you sure haven’t indicated that’s what you want for yourself. You are literally saying “no” to your desires.
Clap your hands! Your positivity will not only impact your day, but may be the thing that connects you to your goal or the people who help you get there.
There’s room for all of us.
Women are taught that we are in competition against each other. For significant others, for the perfect body, for being the best Mother, and on and on. Rarely does this elective competition actually serve us. When it comes to having what you want in life, there is room for all of us. One person’s success doesn’t keep you from it. In fact, that may be just the person to help pull you along.
Jealousy is a normal, human emotion. What we do with it will either keep us playing small and picking others apart, or can propel us toward our own desires.
I vote the latter.
Do you find yourself feeling jealous of other women?
From the time we’re little girls, we’re not only taught that our looks determine our worth, we’re constantly reminded that no matter how hard we try (at anything), we’re never quite good enough.
It’s no wonder we struggle to feel confident in so many areas of our lives—our bodies, our relationships, our intelligence, our contributions to the world. It’s frustrating and stifling to feel like your voice doesn’t matter, like you don’t measure up to arbitrary and ever-changing standards, or like everyone else’s preferences and needs come before yours.
What if you could feel confident in every way? What if, instead of wondering how it would feel to be good, worthy, and deserving enough… you already knew? What if you truly believed that losing a few more pounds or squeezing into a smaller size dress had nothing to do with how amazing, powerful, and valuable you are?