How to overcome envy and jealousy

Warren Buffet once quoted “It is not greed that drives the world, but envy.” True isn’t it? Let us first understand, what is ‘envy’ and ‘jealousy’? Both of these emotions have different meaning.

What is Envy?

It is an emotion that focuses more on the things that you do not possess. For example, if you desire a particular thing and you see some of your friend, colleague or any of your family members possessing that particular thing, then you tend to envy that person and equally blame the situation for being so unfair.

What is Jealousy?

Jealousy is a feeling of loss, when something you are attached to emotionally is sensed or threatened to be taken away from you, you feel hurt and tend to get angered.

Difference between Envy and Jealousy:

When you see someone having the thing that you wanted the most makes you envious. This envious feeling of not having the most desired thing can then spiral into the feelings of unworthiness and inferiority complex. This might result into justifying the act of being envious (self- pity, blaming the situation etc.) instead of using it as a motivational force to grow and achieve more. If we observe closely, the feeling of being envious has its roots planted deep in the feeling of fear. This feeling of fear makes you feel powerless, weak and less- than. This fear is correctly tapped by the advertisers to lurk in your subconscious minds and make you compete with others subconsciously. You fall prey for these tricks by spending money on the product range to keep up according to the set growing trends.  The negative energy that revolves around the emotion of envy takes birth due to the comparisons that take place between people of the same background and people belonging to the close-knit society.

Whereas, jealousy is associated as a negative emotion and a bad trait one can possess. The emotion of jealousy is often related to the negative action which is triggered within someone such as revenge and bitterness. Let us consider the classic example of a romantic scenario, where the other half gets jealous when his/her partner talks to someone else. Another example would be if you see your colleague get more appreciation than you despite of you working harder, it might make you jealous. Jealousy is an emotion that can make an individual act spontaneously or make a decision without thinking about the consequences and then later regretting for the action or decision made. Jealousy can also make one bitter and cold while on the other hand, the feeling of jealousy can fuel and trigger one to become determined and get what he/she wants.

Ways to Use Envy to Your Advantage:

When the feeling of envy grips you, simply ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Can I learn anything from this person’s success?
  2. What is stopping me from achieving what they have achieved? What is hindering my thoughts of thinking big?
  3. Are the standards that I have set to achieve success right? Have I appreciated and celebrated my achievements or have I dismissed milestones?
  4. Am I not getting recognition because I am so busy envying others rather than appreciating them for their success and learning from the same?

Ways to Use Jealousy to Your Advantage:

Whenever you feel jealous, simply decide whether you want to embrace this feeling and grow above it or let the jealousy overpower you and hinder your growth

Instead of feeling jealous of what others have that you don’t; focus on working towards getting what you desire.

Do not compromise or settle for less:

Jealousy is a way of looking at the brighter side and challenging yourself to empower and rise.

Remember, the key that would open the doors to success is the key of accepting and embracing the negative emotions and using them to improve and grow.

Jean Vanier stated that, “envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.” Thus, you need to understand that it is you acknowledging other’s fortunes instead of your own. Hence, being prosperous is the best cure of envy as it gives you an opportunity to change your life and motivates you to grow. If you strongly feel the emotion of envy and jealousy, you must re-evaluate your life and use this feeling as a motivational force that drives you towards success and which helps you achieve your dreams rather than feeling powerless about it.

Ultimately both envy and jealousy are illusions. When all are part of the same consciousness enacting different role plays, how can the question of separation arise?  One needs to see others as an extension of themselves and rejoice in their success and be compassionate in other times.

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