Why it's OK to be jealous (and how to deal) #motivationmonday
I’ve heard an expression quite often lately. So often, in fact, that it has pretty much become a cliché.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
While I believe that comparison is a fast-track to misery, I also believe that this misery (AKA jealousy) can be a good thing.
Particularly in the fashion world, a world filled with beautiful images and people, it’s easy for the average person to feel like their life (or their body) is lame or inadequate.
Even though I have worked with fashion retouchers, know what models really look like, and have lent influencers samples for social media, I am nonetheless prone to the venom of comparison.
Fundamentally, I think people obtain greatness in one area of their life (or, at least the appearance of it), because they make it a priority. Unfortunately, however, a problem arises when we expect ourselves to obtain the body of our gym rat friend, the cooking skills of our foodie flatmate, and the drawing skills of our art teacher.
In placing these expectations on yourself, it’s understandable to freak out. How will you obtain mastery in so many things? How can you master everything when they mastered one through focus? Upon further reflection, jealousy seems futile when you realize how different your experiences and goals are from that person you envy.
The model? She feels like no one appreciates her intelligence. That foodie friend? She gained weight and doesn’t feel healthy. The drawing teacher? They can’t paint to save their life.
From experience, I have learned that enviable people have made sacrifices you aren’t aware of. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all secretly miserable. Rather, it means that they (warranted or not) can cope with one area of their life faltering a little for the sake of another.
So, you ask, where do we go from here? How can we be honest with others about our flaws? How can we channel our jealousy into something good?
Usually, If I feel jealous, it’s because that person has mastered an area of my life I’ve been neglecting. Before I reach out to the person, I pause, asking myself if what they have in their life is really something I’d want. If it is, I reach out and ask. I ask how they’ve got to where they are.
In doing so, I’ve gained three things: a roadmap to getting what I want, a new friend, and a reality check that no one is perfect! Lately, I’ve been falling down the comparison hole, and reaching out to a fellow human, instead of viewing them so two-dimensionally, has allowed me to feel WAY better in 2018.
In short, the feeling of jealousy sucks. Instead of wallowing in misery, I’ve been viewing it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to not only seek advice and friendship, but also to reevaluate my own life – and what I’m making a priority in it.