Turning away from envy, turning towards admiration, and becoming more confident.
“DID YOU SEE THAT?” “Did you see her?!” “Did you see what she was wearing?” “She’s so loud.” “She’s so full of herself.” “She thinks her kids are perfect.” “She’s ridiculous.” “Did she buy ANOTHER new car?” “Why did they ask her to do that and not me?” “Why did she get the promotion, I’ve been here longer” “He’s way too cute to be with her.” “I’m not jealous, I just don’t like her.”
Honey, check yourself. Mindy, check yourself. Raise a hand if you’ve ever had thoughts like this run through your mind. Ok if your hands still down, this may not be the episode for you. Come back when you’re ready to be honest with yourself. Because you have. We all have. Jealousy, envy, holding a grudge, feeling resentful, judging…. These things come naturally to us, friends. Some of us, a little bit, some of us a whole lot.
A few years ago, I would be happy to sit down with you and have an all out ‘life’s not fair, why are they being treated better, look what she wore’ conversation with you. I’m not proud of it, but I have wasted a fair amount of my adult years being envious of things. Not necessarily tangible things. I could really care less about what kind of car someone drives or bag they carry, I love a nice handbag, but I mean I’m not going to covet your purse. but things like the way they were treated, the success they had, where they had leveled up to in life. I often saw other people’s success as my failure. In a constant competition with people who maybe didn’t even realize we were in a race.
Let me give you an example- I have been in sales with my company for almost 16 years now. When I first started out, I remember going to a yearly awards ceremony in Atlanta and admiring and aspiring to be up on that stage amongst the top earner and recruiters in my company. Seeing what THEY did and trying to beat it consumed me for the first few years of my business. I got into the habit, though, instead of seeing it as motivation every time someone advanced faster or higher than I did- I saw it as competition. And I was losing. When I was losing, I would automatically start to make excuses why that was so- and often they had nothing to do with me working on me. (I was young y’all- we’re talking turn of the century Mindy here, not Mindy 2020) And that- my friends- is where jealousy would sneak in. Spending time rolling around in all that I thought was unfair- “she’s given special treatment’ “I work just as hard, this isn’t fair’ “I deserve that too’ got me absolutely nowhere.
I always want to be a truth teller here. If I’m not honest with you, why the heck am I even doing this thing? I’m still in a business where I’m ranked every year- several categories, top five. Here’s what I’ve learned for sure- being jealous of what someone has has never gotten me closer to where I aspire to be. It’s only by working on myself, for myself, keeping my head down and focusing on what is going to grow my own team that I have ever leveled up.
I’m not here today to make anyone feel shame today, friends. If so, I would be the first one hiding my face when I typed out those statements at the top. What I do hope we can accomplish today is figuring out not just WHY we feel that way, but how we can flip the script in our heads from one of envy to one of more admiration and acceptance of others as well as more admiration and acceptance of ourselves!
I have two kids- Lain is 14, Luke is 11. One thing I hear a lot of around my house is….” That’s not fair” Mostly from little brother- it’s not fair that she has a friend over, it’s not fair that she has a cell phone and I don’t. it’s not fair that she stays up later than me…. I’m sure this sort of thing happens at your house too. Before you feel too badly for Lukey trust me- he has friends over. Just sometimes not at the same time as his sister. He doesn’t have a cell yet because our kids don’t get phones until 6th grade and she stays up later because she’s older. He knows all of this, and yet he’s always hollering that things aren’t fair. I want to tell you today what I tell him– A fair is a place with tickets and rides, not life.
Things won’t ever be fair and equal here on this earth, but instead of begrudging this- I’ve learned to see it as a blessing. No, life’s not fair. If it were, kids wouldn’t get cancer, puppies wouldn’t run away, and I would be able to eat gluten. Life’s not fair, but it can still be good. How can we learn to celebrate someone else accomplishing or being offered something before us? By realizing that our turn is coming, and it’s all in God’s timing, not ours. It’s just not your turn yet.
If it’s meant for you- it will be. If you’re not getting what you want- be sure you’re asking for it! Sell yourself, sister. If you see an opportunity for you to shine somewhere- turn on your light. Maybe they can’t see you. Maybe you’re keeping your greatness too dim! Do you want a chance to be on the board of that club you’re involved in? Throw your hat in the ring! Do you want to move up in title at your office? Go to your boss, tell her why you think you’d be great at a new position. If you don’t, someone else will.
Here’s the deal- no matter what you think people may think of you- it’s highly likely they aren’t really thinking about you at all. You have to show up and show out!
A book I’m reading right now by Gabrielle Bernstein put it like this- When you focus your thoughts and words on lack, judgement, and separation, you feel terrible. Your words can affect your nervous system, your energy, and your entire life experience. When you vibrate on high vibe, loving energy you will receive a high vibe, loving energy.
You cannot be hateful and grateful at the same time. Try it. You literally cannot feel hate and gratitude in the same breath. Choose gratitude. I’m not saying you should quote unquote just be grateful for what you have and settle. I’m saying be grateful for whatever you’re experiencing right now because it is a steppingstone to where you want to be. Be grateful for someone blazing a trail ahead of you and lighting the way. Be grateful to have YOUR body. a body that houses your heart, that keeps you on this earth, that can move and transform into what you want it to feel like, to be like. Not exactly like someone else but admire others.
Y’all, this gal at the gym the other day. If I were not mid elliptical, I would have mowed her down trying to get her arm routine. She had the most beautiful arms I had ever seen. I wasn’t jealous of them at all. I did not feel bad about my arms compared to her arms. I know I could have amazing arms like hers- well maybe not just like hers- but I could up my arm game. I just have to work hard. She was working hard to get what she had. I can do it too.
Don’t envy someone if you could work hard and have what they have. Be inspired instead. Ask them how they did it- no one doing MORE than you will ever criticize you. Remember that. Everyone who has leveled up ahead of me in business- they are so generous in sharing what they got right and what they got wrong to help me grow. I just had to be willing to ask and listen.
What about when someone appears to be doing better than you financially?
Be grateful for financial challenges while others seem to thrive. You’re learning to be economical. You’re learning to value the things you have- to reuse things. To get creative and cook at home. You’ll be so much stronger for going through this. Be intentionally grateful for that. You don’t know the struggle that the one who seems to have it all goes through behind closed doors. They could have been surviving on rice and beans last year- they still could be! They could be in debt up to their eyeballs or they could be financially free- either way, it’s none of your business really. Your business is to better yourself. Sweep your own floors, don’t worry about who they pay to sweep theirs.
Choosing to see joy in little moments throughout the day can put up a wall that won’t let envy sneak in. I want you to try something this week. When things get tough- if you are feeling left behind, forgotten, or lost, repeat this to yourself- I choose to feel joy instead of this. Even if you’re not sure where you’ll muster that joy from. You’ll figure it out, you’ll find it. Think of three things you’re grateful for every morning to start your day in a place of thankfulness. And tell someone- every day this week- one person a day- something you admire about them. When you throw good things out into the world, the world will return good things to you. I’m confident.
Mindy Boyd is writer and podcaster at SheConfidentSite.com. She lives in southern MS with her husband and two kids where she runs a successful skincare and cosmetics business. Find out more about that here on AloetteSouth.com.