Turn Envy into Empowered
The truth is I have been putting this post off. I have wanted to write it for over a year, but it’s something I hold so near and dear to my heart I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Sometimes you have to put fear aside and just jump in! So here it goes…
Growing up there were two things I really struggled with: self-confidence and jealousy. I have now learned that those two things really go hand in hand. Because I was lacking self-confidence I was really jealous or envious of those who had it. When I saw a woman that I viewed as happy, confident, beautiful, and successful, I would get so incredibly jealous! To put it bluntly it really pissed me off! I would constantly wonder why she had what I wanted. Why did what I want so badly to possess come so easy to her?!? It was a theme that arose amongst numerous journal entries. Being jealous and frustrated is no way to live life! I hate to admit it, but I would think nasty thoughts hoping that others would fail. I don’t know why I thought others had to fail in order for me to be successful. Instead of celebrating the success of others I would secretly hope for them to fail. I KNOW IT’S TERRIBLE!!
I realized I was becoming a monster, so instead of looking outward at what others had, I turned the lens around and looked inward. What was I lacking in my life that made me so envious of what others had? It took years of self-reflection for me to realize something that now seems so simple to me: envy can be used for good rather than evil.
YOU CAN USE ENVY TO EMPOWER YOU.
I realized that instead of WISHING for what others had I could use that to drive me to WORK for what I wanted. I now read about accomplished woman and instead of being jealous or envious of them, I use their stories to grow and learn from. It’s so easy to assume that accomplished people have had things handed to them, that things came easily to them and that they just happened to end up where they are. When in fact, more than likely the opposite is true. They didn’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves wishing they had what others had. They went out and worked for it!
"YOU DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO THE CARDS YOU BELIEVE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH. YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO PLAY THE HELL OUT OF THE ONES YOU'RE HOLDING AND MY DEAR ONE, YOU AND I HAVE BEEN GRANTED A MIGHTY GENEROUS ONE. ". – Cheryl Strayed
One day I sat down and made a list of all the things I was envious of in other people. The things I could not control I crossed out there is no point in wishing for something you can’t have! For example I am 5’6 so if I was jealous of someone that is 5’9, well there isn’t much I can do in that department! Next to the things I couldn’t control I wrote something that I had that I was grateful for. It’s easy to be completely blinded by what others have, what you really want, and forget about what you already have. Starting each and everyday with a grateful heart can really put your life into perspective!
The things I could control I did! It took A LOT of work, but it was completely worth it. I used the list to really work on myself and design a life for myself that I really wanted and could be proud of. I used being envious of others to propel me to work on myself, and became more confident in the process. Am I perfect? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But I have realized that I don’t want to be! (That’s just too much pressure!) I still get pangs of jealousy & envy from time to time, and I am sure that will never completely go away. But, now when I hear about another successful woman or something great happens to someone else I get so excited for that person! I am so incredibly HAPPY to celebrate the successes of other people (especially other women.) As woman we should be supporting one another’s successes rather than tearing each other down!
I honestly want the best for everyone around me. Letting go of the toxic feeling of envy and jealousy and using it to empower me to work for what I want has completely changed my my perspective.
"WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS". – ROBERT INGERSOLL
It’s this concept of being empowered by others that has inspired me to start a new blog series called “Freelancing Females.” It was the feeling of envy that propelled me to start my own company and drove me to really focus on being more creative. I want to use this opportunity to showcase other amazing women that are doing just that. They are taking a risk and designing a life for themselves that they can be proud of. So please stop back on Fridays to read more about incredible women making a living doing what they love! Join me in #turningenvyintoempowered and let's get inspired to go out and work for what we want!