With new social media platforms launching daily and our habitual use of these platforms increasing, it’s become very easy to get down on yourself. I don’t know about you, but between LinkedIn, Instagram & Facebook my inner comparer goes haywire as I judge my life against the highlight reel of everyone else’s life around me. Cue feelings of comparison and jealously.
We all know that comparison & jealously are two very big happiness suckers, but what if we could use them for good?
What if they actually gave us insight into the type of life & career that we most want?
I believe that envy, jealously & comparison can do all of those things! (*Disclaimer – I am not saying that jealousy and comparison are always productive feelings. What I’m saying, is that in some cases, especially when it comes to your career, they can be awesome indicators of what YOU really want.)
When I graduated from Kent State University and took the big leap into the so-called real world, I instantly found myself flooded with a whole lotta job jealously. Everyone from the savvy, non-profit leader I’d ride the elevator with each morning to get to my cubicle, to the dynamo Maxie McCoy, then the Director of Local Levo League who was so clearly living out her passion each day. I wanted what they had more than anything. I wanted to feel their enthusiasm for their roles, have their know-how and in Maxie’s case, I wanted to be working in the industry she was immersed in – kickass career development!
At first, I guilt-tripped myself so hard for feeling the way I did, then a stroke of genius hit me: The reason I was so envious of these particular people in my life was because my jealousy was a reflection of what I really wanted.
These specifics included working for a company that was purpose-driven with a thriving giving initiative and creating a community of like-minded young professionals centered around career development. By identifying what I really wanted by using my jealously as my gps, I was able to bring each of those things into my life in a BIG way. Not long after that I accepted a position with Microsoft as their Community Development Specialist, where everyday I was responsible for finding innovative ways to give back to the community. I also got the balls to finally reach out to the fabulous Maxie McCoy, where I learned about Levo League and became the Local Levo Leader for the Cleveland chapter.
The thing is, without my feelings of envy and comparison, I wouldn’t have been so clear on what I wanted so badly. Now when I can feel jealousy creeping in, I take pause and shift my thinking. Instead of wallowing, I sit down and write out what my feelings are really saying to me. Am I really jealous of my friend’s amazing company culture, or is that something I’d like to spearhead in my own workplace? You get the point.
I encourage you to use your envy as a compass. Let it guide you in the direction that your heart is calling out for you to go.
Tell me in the comments below how jealousy has helped push you towards your dreams!
With so much love & gratitude,