Everyone Seems To Be Moving Closer to Realizing Their Dreams and Living the “good Life” Except for You – So, What Are You Doing Wrong? Your friend just got a major promotion; your cousin just closed on a beautiful house your coworker got that big bonus and you are happy for them – really you are – you don’t even want exactly what they got because you’re on a totally different path… Still you can’t help but feel a slight pang of envy. Why isn’t it you? Why aren’t things flowing in your life the way you’d like? Here’s why and what to do about it.
First of all, envy is completely and 100% normal. Even if few people like to admit feeling envious, most, if not all of us, have been there. And, just like every other feeling it can be a helpful indicator of what you actually want in your life and can point you in the right direction if you approach it with curiosity and compassion.
Envy arises when you are caught in or envision yourself in someone else’s success. The word “envy” actually comes from the Latin to eye or to see. You see them get the promotion the house, the bonus or whatever and you compare yourself to them and want the feeling you imagine they have.
I used to do this all the time. I would constantly compare myself to everyone. The never-ending loop of questions in my head went something like this – Am I as pretty as her? Am I as smart as her? What does she have that I don’t? Why can’t I do what she’s doing? Why can’t I have a life like hers? And on and on…
Then, after all the questioning and daydreaming about this other person and their success, you feel guilty because you know you “shouldn’t” feel that way. You “should” be happy for them, right?? So, why do you feel so awful?
Well, the reason you feel bad for feeling envious isn’t because you’re a bad person. You feel bad because you are taking your energy and attention away from your own vision and putting it on someone else. You are denying and withholding your attention from yourself and that feels bad because deep down you know you and your vision are worthy of your own energy and attention. In other words, feeling envy is a sign that you want your own success. And, giving yourself your own energy and attention is the only way you will ever actually experience your own well-deserved success.
So, what to do? Stop looking out the window and start looking in the mirror. Instead of longingly peering into the success of others, reflect on what you are thinking and feeling. Put your full attention back on yourself and ask what it is that you really want; how do you want to feel in this situation and beyond; what will make you feel happy and successful.
When you do this, you will transform your feelings of envy into the empowering and liberating feeling of empathy. You will be able to not only whole-heartedly celebrate the success of others’, you will be able to celebrate yourself and your successes as well.