Jealousy is a scary thing. It makes you feel alone, worthless, undeserving, and overall, just terrible. Almost every human being has to have been jealous of someone at one point in their life right?
I still get jealous of other people, whether it be a negative reaction to their soaring success or a positive one to someone’s genuinity and sincerity. Positive jealousy is the feeling that fuels us to go do some good after watching the other person do it. Negative jealousy causes us to want what the other person has- whether that be their amazing career, fit body, killer dance moves, or a fancy car.
Envy is a whole other emotion- a more corrosive emotion. According to Mel Robbins, there’s a fine line between jealousy and envy. She says that “envy is when you not only want what the other person has, but there’s a part of you that feels they don’t deserve it.”
Sadly, and a bit embarrassingly, I admit that I have been a culprit of feeling envious. When we feel envy, we think that there are only a limited number of possibilities for us to achieve our goals. As a result, when we see someone else achieving that goal, we feel as though they robbed us of our chance. To this, Robbins says that we “are living in conflict with the fundamental laws of the way that the world works.”
It’s mind blowing, yet scary how the human mind works. Our little neurons fire and literally make our whole body function, but our minds are so powerful that we let it trick us into believing that others took away our ambitions by following their own ambitions.
In fact, Stephen Covey also addresses envy in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by talking about what he calls the “Abundance Mentality.” Covey defines the Abundance Mentality as “the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody…. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity” (Covey 220). We have to believe that there is enough for everybody. No one’s success can rob us of ours because there are no limitations on the amount of success that life has to offer. Though difficult at first, we have to eliminate envy and start adopting the Abundance Mentality to lead a content and ambitious life.