Being jealous is never a welcome feeling, but maybe the only thing worse is acknowledging the truth that you are in fact jealous. It introduces shame into the mix.
You berate yourself as only a stern disciplinarian would. It doesn’t help whatsoever, but the same judgment you reserve for others is now being served to you, by you. It is truly humiliating.
But once you’re done feeling sorry for yourself, the better times come. Now you can do something about it.
I can remember feeling this way as a preteen and wondering why I wasn’t as good as others. At the time, I was convinced that I was insignificant. I’m not sure where I got that idea from but it was a looming specter whenever someone did something that I couldn’t.
I failed to look at what I had in terms of talent and instead chose to gaze at what I lacked. It’s a pretty nasty habit to pick up but it stems from a poor self-image. Everyone has something that they’re good at and it makes them perfect to fulfill certain roles in life.
When you’re looking over your shoulder at someone who does something that you can’t and they’re doing the same thing back at you, no one is taking the opportunity to strengthen their talents and providing maximum value for the human race.
We don’t just fail ourselves. We fail our planet.
We begin to think that we have to do this and learn that in order to feel complete and to accept ourselves. The truth is that you may just be diluting your strengths for other talents that you don’t actually care about.
It definitely seems affirming to look at our weaknesses and to boost them. And in a certain context, that might be true. However, when we do this as a result of feeling insecure rather than adding to the security we already have, the act is coming from an unhealthy place.
Even if we master the things we are insecure at, there will always be things we aren’t good at. Life then becomes a revolving door of sitting on your talents, focusing on lack and missing out on opportunities to excel.
There are moments where we may not even be able to celebrate the success of others because we get so frustrated at our inability to experience success ourselves. We wonder what we’re doing wrong and why things aren’t going our way.
It may stem from trying to succeed at something that isn’t for you and taking your talents for granted as was mentioned earlier. It may stem from the belief that you are incapable or undeserving of success. It may stem from the notion that you are talented enough but for some reason you are being overlooked. It may stem from unrealistic expectations.
Whatever the culprit it, the solution is to value yourself and what you do. If this is not in place, nothing else really matters.
You will put aside your talents just to measure up to people who aren’t your competition. You will not believe that you are capable and deserving of success. You will become preoccupied with people’s judgments. You will break your own heart by forming unrealistic expectations.
How do you come to value yourself? This is a bit tricky, but here are some tips:
1. When your friends tell you something they admire about you, believe them.
2. When you feel inadequate, do not run from the feeling. Instead, allow yourself to feel it but do not believe in whatever thought may pop up. This will help you to siphon the power away from the emotion, which will then siphon the power from the thought.
3. If you do a gratitude journal, write down things you are grateful of about you. If you don’t do a gratitude journal, start one.
4. Question if there was a time in your life that you felt like you had to change who you were in order to be accepted. You could be living through a persona you invented but doesn’t serve you anymore.
This then blocks the real you from shining through, which prevents you from being who you really are and from doing the things you should be doing.
5. Question if there was a time when you started to value recognition from others more than doing the activity itself. As good as success is, it cannot happen unless you genuinely care about what you’re doing.
When you try these on for size, you bring yourself one step closer to reality. Your dependence on others’ approval is diminished. Your appetite for who you really are rather than who you think you should be is dominant. Your desire to be excellent is now based on you and not the expectations of others. This is freedom.
And when you observe the success of others, you’ll genuinely celebrate with them because you know how good a job well done feels, regardless of if the world cares or not.