Certified relationship coach and speaker Val Baldwin stopped by to share her advice for getting through an incredibly painful emotion called jealousy:
"Jealousy is a natural, normal emotion that most people feel from time to time. Maybe it's seeing the brand new car in the neighbor's driveway, or your friend or cousin who always looks better than you, or your co-worker who gets all the best assignments. Be aware that jealousy can destroy your relationships and yourself. The important thing is to first realize when you're feeling this emotion and then do something about it or it will slowly eat away at you. Here`s what you can do to overcome it.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. Jealousy typically stems from feeling inadequate or having low self-esteem. There will always be people who are more accomplished and successful than you are. If you constantly compare yourself to others, you`ll continue to tear yourself down and jealousy will flare up. Remember that you were created as a very unique and special person with talents and strengths all your own. Love the fact that you`re special. What is in store for you and your life isn't the same as for someone else. So you don`t have to feel bad that you don`t have all the qualities, features, money, or anything else that someone else has. Your journey is just that - yours. Stop comparing and start doing more things that you love and that help you feel good about yourself.
Stop worrying about you all the time. Find a way to be a blessing to someone else. When you change your focus away from yourself, all of a sudden your self-image improves. You get to experience the feeling of satisfaction that only comes when you`re a blessing to someone else. Your priorities start changing, and one day you realize that the things that used to make you so jealous and crazy, don`t bother you so much anymore.
Stop wanting what other people have if you`re not willing to go through what they did to get it. For instance, when you see a person who is physically fit and looks positively great, it`s easy to feel really jealous. But are you willing to work out every day? Are you willing to eat healthy and look for ways to be healthy? You don`t know the circumstances or the years of effort and sacrifice that went into what seems so easy to someone else. We only see the best that that person has produced. It`s not a fair comparison. As yourself what positive and productive thing YOU could be doing right now instead of feeling jealous and spending your time feeling miserable?
Be grateful for what you do have. Instead of looking externally to what others have and your perception that you are lacking something, look around at the blessings you do have in life. People who are happy, have meaning in their lives, and are content with themselves, are rarely jealous of other people. They already value and are thankful for what they have and do not resent the good fortune of others.
Change the way you think. Breaking free from jealousy starts with your thoughts. When you change the way you think, you change the way you feel and act. To help you do this, make a list of what negative effects jealousy is having on your life and a second list of what you are grateful for and your unique talents and strengths. This will make it clear that your negative feelings of jealousy are not worth it and you have much to be grateful for. Once you let those jealous feelings go, you will finally learn to love your own life and can be happy for other's success."
Find more from Val at valbaldwin.com.