Be honest. You get jealous sometimes.
Okay, me too.
By definition, jealousy is resentment for another person’s success, a bitter envious feeling. It’s not the most glamorous or commendable emotion, but let’s just go ahead and admit that we all feel jealous sometimes.
Maybe you’re jealous of your brother who just made a radical career change. Meanwhile, you hate your job.
Maybe you’re jealous of your coworker’s kickass attention-getting presentation. Especially when you feel like nobody even notices your work.
Maybe you’re jealous of your friend who finally found the guts to quit her job and start her own business. Ballsy.
There are probably some people you love/hate because they’re doing super cool shit, and why the hell can’t you do that, too? Am I right?
There’s an uncomfortable dissonance in yearning deeply for something, but not allowing yourself to go after it. It’s a pretty crappy feeling.
But what if you could turn your jealousy into a tool? What if you could use this negative emotion to your benefit? Make it a teacher?
There’s a part of jealousy that makes this possible. Ahem, not the part that makes you want to throat punch your colleague in the middle of a meeting, or “accidentally” spill your hot coffee on them (that’s the unhealthy part). I’m talking about the desire part.
Think of the people whose career you’re jealous of. Make a list if you want. Go ahead, nobody’s watching.
Now, what is your jealousy trying to tell you? What is it exactly that you want? There’s probably a particular thing about each person you listed that really gets your jealousy jacked up.
Maybe someone you’re jealous of seems like they’re having way too much fun to be earning so much money (perhaps that tells you that you want to have more fun at work…or make more money). Maybe another person you’re jealous of is really good at something you struggle with (perhaps that tells you that you want to master that particular skill). See where I’m going with this?
Jealousy isn’t really about the other person. It’s about you.
You don’t have to let your jealousy get the best of you. Let it teach you something about your own desire and suddenly it becomes a tool. It can help you notice what you want. Once you’re clear on that, it’s up to you to find the guts to go out there and get it.
Published at Inc.