Now Don't That Make Your Brown Eyes Green – how to handle envy

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American author Gore Vidal was a man who knew about ownership of the green-eyed monster within.  He once said “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little” and the painfully honest “It’s not enough to succeed. But for others to fail”.  Ungenerous to a fault but you’ve got to hand it to him for nailing the deep down toxic u-turns our minds take on the highway to enlightenment.

When we appraise other people’s lives, achievements or material trappings in a negative comparison to our own lot we lose 100% of the time.  We instantly diminish ourselves and reduce our lives to a deficit and go to a place of resentment or envy.

So beware – compare and despair.

Comparing yourself to someone and conjuring up jealousy towards them turns out to be an act of self sabotage; a form of personal terrorism, if you like. For no matter how much poison we inwardly direct towards others we ultimately end up drinking it and damaging ourselves. But when we see that envy can be nature’s way of saying “they got what I want” and dump the victim sob of “it’s not fair” we start to use it as a motivational template.

Psychologists and self help gurus are putting a new spin on jealousy and envy and say we should see it as a wake-up call to reality – sign posting what we want, what we value and what we are frightened to lose.

There is no place for envy when one’s self esteem, self love, confidence and happiness levels are high.  You feel no grudge or grump if your cup overfloweth.  And therein lies the rub – how to fill that cup?

I’m here to help.  Here are a few coaching tips to turn the green eyed monster into an angel of deliverance:

  • See envy as a call to arms and as something to action rather than attack. 
  • Ask yourself this – what do they have that I perceive that I don’t and how can I start to create that for me?
  • What is your envy costing you?
  • What is the real fear behind the resentment? Is it true?
  • Don’t beat yourself up (or others!) for feeling jealousy. The question is what are you going to do with that feeling?
  • Stop counting someone else’s blessings and count your own.
  • You don’t know the story behind the objects you desire that others possess.  They may have deep insecurities, a bad upbringing or hang ups just like you. 
  • Have a reality check - do you really want to change your diet drastically, exercise for hours on end, work longer hours, study more or change your lifestyle to get what someone else has got?

And if you are the one everyone is talking about and envying - here is a little thought that might lighten your day: Remember people only rain on your parade because they’re jealous of your sun and tired of their shade.

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