The last 10 years of my life have been some of the most fulfilling years of personal growth I have have had in my life. Identifying my own negative thoughts and habits and working to change them has been the biggest part of that. While I wont bore you with all the minutia of details that got me where I am, I will share with you just one element that worked for me. Don’t have envy of others.
It was easy to identify my most toxic trait. It was much harder to fix it. Jealousy and envy are normal emotions that everyone experiences. If you’re not careful, however, jealousy can grow into resentment and bitterness. And those destructive emotions often lead us into a vicious downward spiral. Social media seems to amplify resentment. Spend two minutes scrolling through Facebook and it’s easy to become convinced your friends are happier, healthier, and wealthier than you are. It really does not matter what we covet that others have. This kind of thinking is real drain on your mental and emotional energy. I want to be the best person I can be so I have found 5 things that help.
1. Do not compare yourself to other people.
Drawing comparisons between yourself and other people is like comparing apples and oranges. Your journey is unique and it’s important to honor your individuality. Whenever you catch yourself comparing your life to someone else’s life, remind yourself you’re not in a race. Your job is to do your best with what you’ve been given, regardless of what those around you are doing.
2. Reframe your scarcity mindset.
It’s easy to get caught up into thinking that everything is a once in a lifetime opportunity or that other people’s success means you can’t succeed too. But in reality, very few things in life have a limited supply. One thing that is limited, however, is time. And every minute you waste resenting someone else’s success is 60 seconds you give away.
3. Look at the big picture.
No one has a perfect life. Just because your co-worker earns more money or your neighbor is more attractive, doesn’t mean that person has a charmed life. Rather than staying focused on someone’s good fortune, zoom out and keep things in proper perspective. You don’t know what hardships someone else may be experiencing. Even if an individual doesn’t appear to be struggling on the outside, you have no idea what sort of mental battles that person may be fighting.
4. Don’t judge what’s fair.
Life isn’t always going to seem fair—at least not in the way humans view fairness. Insisting you deserve more and someone else deserves less wastes your time and energy. Accept the things you can’t control and focus on being the best version of yourself, without keeping score.
5. Create your own definition of success.
It’s hard to be resentful of someone when you realize they’re not running the same race as you. In fact, you can celebrate their accomplishments when you view life as an opportunity to cooperate, rather than compete. Keep your eyes on your own path to success. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. Try to become a little better every day and you’ll feel less threatened by other people’s achievements.