At times when I see others excel at something, I can't help but feel envious of their talent.
Photo Credit: Nikki Molina
There is an important difference between jealousy and envy. While jealousy stems from a place of insecurity that one will lose something or someone (for example, fearing that someone else will replace you in a relationship), envy is defined as ‘the desire to have a quality, possession or other desirable attribute belonging to [someone else].”
Lately, the more I become exposed to the ventures and successes of others, the more I find myself becoming envious of their success. It’s not that I have any sort of disdain for their success or wish they did not have it; on the contrary, I tend to be happy for them and proud of their accomplishments.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=”center”] I forget that everyone is human and everyone has weaknesses and failures, even when they seem to be on top of the world. [/vision_pullquote]
However, seeing people, especially those my age (online or in person), excel in something establishes a sense of inadequacy within myself that can be difficult to shake. On one hand, envy can be destructive and toxic, making me feel as though I am not content with what I have, while on the other hand, it can act as a form of motivation to work harder.
The common pattern I’ve noticed in what I tend to be envious of is the ability to manage time, be innovative and creative and generally, get things done and done well. The way I am envious of others is not necessarily harmful to anyone, so is the fact that I feel envious truly that bad?
Whether or not the benefits of my own personal envy outweigh the harm, there are certain ideas I need to consider regardless. For example, I tend to consider accomplished people to be on a level that I cannot reach. I forget that everyone is human and everyone has weaknesses and failures, even when they seem to be on top of the world. Additionally, I need to remember that another person’s skills or prosperity do not take away from my own.
While I know it’s unlikely that I will ever stop being envious at times (as it is human nature and envy is a feeling that is hard to control), I can make sure to avoid feeling less-than because of the success of others—and try to channel envy into motivation to achieve more for myself.