I remember many years ago, probably at least over a decade, my great friend Heather and I had an inside joke about being “inspired” by other women doing great things. You know those women who seemed to just seemed to breeze right through the early days of motherhood and still manage to rock their career or personal pursuits. We really weren’t “inspired” – we honestly were falling into the comparison trap and feeling twinges of jealousy!
My friend, Ellen Newhouse would say that jealousy is actually a good thing. I haven’t heard her full explanation, but I can take a stab at perhaps why.
When we feel that little twinge of jealousy, it’s really like a clear mirror for ourselves. We should acknowledge it instead of just trying to bury it or brush it off. What does it say about how we are doing? Are we feeling a little dissatisfied or aimless? Maybe we are feeling like we aren’t fully living into what we were made for, and get jealous when we see someone doing their thing well. We can often think that for whatever reason, it’s just “easier” for them, so therefore they are having what appears to be great success. I’ve come to find out that that is never true. It’s usually just because they chose to risk. To dare. To dream. And then to take the action necessary over and over and over again to get there.To go through the hard parts. They push. And grow.
The same opportunity is open to all of us as well.
So, if we ever feel jealous of someone else’s life or accomplishments, let’s take stock –
Do we want to do the same?
How can we use that discontentment to propel us to action. To be inspired to do something about it.
Usually, when we have our own cups full, we don’t have time to be “jealous” of anyone else.
Another thing to do in addition to copying them is to see how you can join them! How can you be a part of their support team? Their referral network? Usually, we can’t be jealous of things that we identify ourselves with.
I do think in this socially connected day and age where we can see the presentation of someone’s life so easily and frequently, it’s really important to decide for ourselves what we do with it. Best to be inspired. Let them do their thing well. And we do ours. There’s no better way to live.
2 thoughts on “Jealous or Inspired – You Pick!”
Oh my goodness, what a surprise to see my name mentioned in this article! You know how dear jealousy is to my heart! I love the gifts of jealousy! If we don’t judge ourselves when we notice our jealousy….we can do an inquiry and find out what exactly we are wanting by imagining what our friend is experiencing by having whatever it is we are jealous of! Jealousy, unjudged is such a great tool to learn what you do want! YES, I love this topic!
And, I’m so glad that I was able to shed new light on an often and misunderstood emotion!
I still remember the first time I heard you say that jealousy was a good thing. One of my eyebrows likely rose as I cocked my head in question! I’ve probably been pondering it subconsciously the last several years. 😉 Thanks for putting it out there, Ellen! Much love to you! You are one that women can be jealous of/inspired by for sure!