Do you occasionally get bitten by the little green monster? If not, then I give you props.
I also think you’re lying.
Envy is a natural human emotion. It probably evolved from our reptilian brains as a means of survival. We constantly had to be sizing up our competition so we could survive. Now, it’s not so helpful. Especially since it happens mostly when we’re sitting on the toilet scrolling through Facebook or Insta. Or is that just me? I used to think I was being a better person by stifling my envy. I felt bad for feeling envious, especially of people that I truly cared about.
Remember this scene from Bridesmaids? Gif by #paulapatton
I’ve developed a new relationship with Envy. I treat it as a clue leading me to my deepest desires and limiting beliefs. Stick with me.
Here’s a scenario: So, there you are, legs going numb from sitting on the toilet way longer than necessary, when you see Melissa’s selfie taken from her balcony at her Airbnb in Paris. Your inner dialogue might be something like this. "Oh, good for her. I’m so glad she’s been so successful with her multi-level marketing business. Must be nice to be able to travel like that. Some of us have responsibilities and bills to pay."
Reality check—everyone has responsibilities and bills to pay. Are you bitter because you didn’t get in on that multilevel marketing thing when Melissa asked you five years ago? Ouch. That smarts a little bit doesn’t it? You want to be in Paris on a balcony too.
There it is. We want what someone else has for ourselves—which is the definition of envy.
a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.
desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else).
It’s simpler to hide behind our judgements and lash out than admit the hurt we’re actually feeling. Digging into what we’re really feeing requires being honest, which requires being brave. But here’s where we can use a little magic to work this to our advantage. The only reason any of us would ever feel shitty about another person’s success is if we didn’t think it was possible for ourselves.
If we flip our mindset to use our feelings of envy as clues to discover what we really want, we have the opportunity to uncover any limiting beliefs we have about what is possible for us.
So, the next time you feel the nip of the green monster, pay attention.
Don’t stuff it.
Don’t lash out.
What’s it telling you about something you want for yourself?
Do you think it’s possible for you to have it?
If you think you can’t have it, why not?
Write all the reasons down.
Are they really true?
While yes, you may not be able to jump on a plane today and jet off to Paris, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen. Notice all of your excuses for why it’s not possible for you. I’m often shocked when I catch myself arguing for my limitations.
Those are your limiting beliefs.
Can you let yourself want what you really want? It hurts if we don’t believe it’s possible.
Can you say? "Yes, that is for me." Can you claim it for yourself?
Can you rewrite your story about what is possible for your life?
Treat yourself with care and compassion. Bless your envy. Thank it for showing up to steer you toward your heart’s desire. It takes time, practice and commitment to overcome our limiting beliefs. When we can transcend them, we make the world a bigger place.
"When we have complete and utter faith in the potentials for our own life, the good of others is not perceived as a threat or competition, but as a beautiful example of what’s possible."—Rachelle Reichley, YAY! LiFE!
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