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This is a tough question to ask ourselves.
As soon as you read that headline – what was your answer? Did a YES or NO automatically pop into your head?
Does other people’s success make you feel bad about yourself?
Perhaps your answer wasn’t that simplistic. Maybe an actual scenario popped into your mind. Something like – ‘I didn’t feel as happy as I should have when such and such get married’.
Whether we like to admit it, sometimes we do feel bad (or sad or perhaps even angry) when we hear about someone else’s success.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons we feel bad about other people’s success (and most importantly what we can do about it).
Fear of being left behind
A friend gets married or has a child, then another, then another and though we are happy for them we having this niggling feeling of being left behind.
Our friend gets a promotion and a substantial pay rise and suddenly we worry that we won’t have the money to live the same sort of lifestyle as them.
Related post – Are You Feeling Left Behind?
Fear of missing out
This one sort of speaks for itself. Everyone had the latest iPhone and you want one. Your friends are off on holiday and you are stuck at home.
Fear of life changing
We worry that our friend getting married or having a baby is going to change things.
You know what – it probably will and that is okay. (More below to help with this one).
It should be me
I’ll use myself as an example for this one. One of my ex-boyfriends went on to travel the world after we broke up. Loving travel the way I do, all I could think was that should be me. I should be out gallivanting around the world. It felt like he was living the life I wanted.
Related post – How to Overcome Feelings of That Should Have Been Me
Lack of abundance
I know single people can sometimes feel this way when someone gets engaged or married. The thinking goes something like this – there’s another person off the market, leaving less for the rest of us.
This feeling is fueled by a lack of abundance belief. It means we believe there isn’t enough to go around and someone just got something that might have come our way.
Jealousy and envy
In a nutshell, we want what someone else is having. We want their success, their lifestyle, their looks, their money or their love life (hell sometimes it’s all of the above).
We look at their lives and feel discontent with our own. We feel resentful that they have so much and we perceive that we have so little.
Did any of these ring a bell?
If they did don’t feel bad, we all have our moments.
Let’s take a look at how we can make those moments a bit easier or have them happen a lot less often (or preferably not at all).
Work on your self-esteem
Most of the situations above can mean that we are feeling vulnerable and need to work on our self-esteem.
We often feel these emotions when we are going through a challenging situation, a time of transition or hardship.
Our partner leaves us, when our best friend is getting married. We get laid off from work as our spouse is receiving a promotion.
There’s no explanation for this, it’s just life and it happens to everyone which means when something wonderful is happening to you, someone else is going through a change of some kind. It’s the big old roller coaster of life with all its joy, triumphs and struggles.
I know life’s roller coaster can sometimes make us feel like puking, rather than throwing our arms up in the air with glee – but imagine if life never changed at all – ever. It would be pretty damn boring and dull.
Feeling vulnerable is when we most need to be kind to ourselves. We need to remember just how wonderful we truly are.
I’ve been inspired by Mel ever since I read her book The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. If you want to know more about Mel your can read my thoughts on her and the book here.
Be grateful for what you do have
Often in our rush to envy someone else’s success, possessions or even luck we totally overlook our own.
The best way to fix this is with gratitude. Take a closer look at what you do have and at the level of success you have already achieved.
We always have a lot more than we realize. Remind yourself of your blessings regularly (daily is good/twice daily even better) and you will feel more fulfilled. Start with the people who you love and adore and that is bound to put a smile on your face.
Focus on achieving your own goals
Often we feel left out, jealous or envious because we aren’t progressing in our own lives (or we are being hard on ourselves and just think we are not progressing – which is often the case).
If you want to stop feeling bad, sad or angry about someone else’s life – get your focus back where it belongs – back on your own life.
I don’t mean this in some ego driven/I’m better than anyone else way. I mean it in a go out and chase your own goals and kick some butt kind of way!
While we’re talking about going after what we want – don’t panic or feel pressured if you don’t know exactly what you want. That’s perfectly okay. You can work that out – you don’t need all of the answers right this second.
In 2018, I’ll be ramping my goal achieving up a notch with the powerful Slay Your Goals Planner.
You can read a recent post on how I crashed and burned with setting my 2017 goals and how I plan on turning that around!
With social media constantly exposing us to what everyone else is doing, we get distracted from what we want to be doing.
I know we love our smartphones but it’s important to take time out from them as well. Plan breaks from social media. I’m not saying give it up for a week (though for some people that might be a good idea). I’m suggesting taking an afternoon off from reading updates.
Give yourself some digital down time to recharge and reflect.
Use jealousy as inspiration
I occasionally feel envious of other bloggers and online business owners. I see how well they are doing and how much further along in their businesses they are.
I get bent out of shape asking – why isn’t that happening for me?
Then I realize the reason is because the successful bloggers are busy producing cool stuff and not worrying about what everyone else is doing. They are getting shit done (which translates to getting stuff finished and out into the world). That’s pretty much the time I get back to work!
There are situations where envy and jealousy can be used for good.
Turn your jealously into inspiration.
This is where we can use the people who have gone before us and succeeded as role models. Successful people are a wonderful chance to learn, improve and grow.
Of course this doesn’t mean copying anyone or trying to be someone you are not. What it does mean is learning from the steps successful people have taken. It means studying their wins and learning from their mistakes. The great part here is that most bloggers write about this anyway, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from them to achieve your own version of success.
Another example here can be relationships and no I don’t recommend that you go out and poach someone else’s partner because you want them for yourself!
What you can do is take a close look at a relationship that you know is working, do some self-reflection on what sort of relationship you want – then start working towards finding the right person for you.
A caveat here – make sure that the person you model is actually successful (or at least the version of success you are seeking) and not just pretending to be. Pick your role models wisely.
Related post – 10 Ways to Use Jealousy to Your Advantage
Celebrate other people’s success
Don’t be intimidated by other people’s success – instead celebrate and shout it from the rooftops.
Celebrate their success because you love or respect them. Celebrate it by sharing the love, whether that be with compliments, praise, support, referrals or just being their number one cheer leader.
One it’s a lovely thing to do for another human soul. Two it will make you feel good. Three it will bring positive energy back in your direction for when you get your opportunity to shine.
Get comfortable with change
I know, I know this can be hard!
Here’s the thing – pushing back against change just makes it harder.
The more you push back the more difficult it gets.
It takes a lot of energy to fight change and let’s face it your energy is precious. Better to get with the program and channel your time and energy into something that matters to you instead of trying to fight change.
Change often gets a bit of a raw deal because we tend to see it as a negative thing. We need to remember that change is all about opportunities. It can mean fabulous opportunities that would never have happened otherwise.
Run your own race
We need to ditch this whole fear of being different thing. Fear of being left behind, fear of missing out – it’s all based on the notion that we all need to do the same thing as everyone else.
Thinking we all need to follow a standard life template or be the same doesn’t allow for us to truly be ourselves. We spend far too much time trying to fit in. We waste too much energy trying to be like everyone else.
This is your race. Your life. This is your creativity, spontaneity, imagination, curiosity, exuberance and magic.
Why would you want to trade that to be like everyone else?
Embrace your life. Embrace who you truly are in all of its glory. Yes even in all of its messy glory!
When we are at peace with who we are we don’t begrudge other people’s success or happiness because we know there is enough love, happiness and success to go around.
How do you counteract moments when someone else’s success makes you feel bad?
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PS: Remember the story about being jealous of my ex because he was travelling. I saved like hell, make sacrifices and went without things, got off the couch and went out and experienced a chunk of our amazing world. Worked a charm!