Battling Envy


Okay, I admit – I get envious.

Even a “spiritual giant” like myself (oops, I almost spit out my coffee there) sees what other people has and wishes he had what they had. In fact, that happened this morning to me. WTF, Pauly? (That is how I refer to myself when I am finger-wagging in the mirror).

Intellectually we know that being envious is a waste of time and energy.

But why do we still feel like we’re too busy taking other people’s inventory and stock and ignoring our own?

Why do we feel either we want that other person to fail (shades of Schadenfreude) or to sit and wallow in our own toxic thoughts?

Part of it is the old lizard brain at work – psychologically, we self-evaluate, and so we see what others have, compete with them, and make the adjustments so that we ourselves can improve.

So healthy competition or inspiration / motivation are great – they can lead up to upleveling ourselves and improving ourselves.

But when you get where I was this morning, that demotivates. That gets the defenses up. That brings a low-level response.

So what do we do?

Well, luckily I do my daily GRATITUDE. Instead of counting someone else’s blessings, I take stock of what I am grateful for, and what I have to offer.

Why is his hair blue in the reflection?

Take that, jerk envy.

That switches things up.

What I also think about when I feel envious of someone’s accomplishments or traits or whatnot: that is not my journey.

If someone has one million followers, then that’s their journey. Perhaps I am not ready to take on a following now or ever. And she is. Congratulations to her!

If someone has a book deal and I don’t, then that’s their journey. They busted their butt off to get that deal and that’s the door that has opened up for them. Yay!

Doesn’t that feel better now?

If someone is so frickin’ zen all the time while I see myself getting riled up about something, then that their journey. They may have been a hothead before, and have now found what it takes to be in a place of peace. Applause!

It’s all about mindset.

And when I can make that switch, that turn, then I am in a better place. I am more functional. I don’t have a weight on me. I am not thinking about what I don’t have, but on what I do have. I also have to remember that there are people who may look at me with envy.

It’s not a competition – with others, at least.

So if this is you – look at gratitude. Look at what makes YOU so amazing and unique. Ask others what you bring to the table (you’ll be surprised at their answers!) Smile. Take an action that takes you closer to your goals. Eat some biscotti.

You’re worth the freedom of toxic thinking.

Seriously. It’s good for what ails ya.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. It happens to all of us. We tend to also think people have it more together than we do but thats all bullshit (pardon my french) Comparison is the thief of joy right? Also I dont trust people who are zen all the time with the exception the Dalai lama or Thich Nhat Hanh.

    1. Paul S says:

      Ha ha I don’t trust them either! I love seeing people have their struggles because that is where the growth is, right? And you are right – we DO think people have their shit together (pardon my Canadian French) and really…we all have our issues. But that’s okay. We’re human. We have choice in how we feel. Thank you for this, my friend!

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