Envy is defined as “the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.” Even though envy can be destructive, psychologists agree that a little envy can actually be a powerful motivator. If we see someone who is rocking their wedding business, it can inspire us to work harder in order to achieve the same level of success.
Envy becomes unhealthy when it causes us to fixate on the other person. Dwelling on the success of others wastes time and energy that should be going into building our own business. When you add in the fact that negative emotions and self-talk decrease productivity, that little voice in our head becomes our biggest enemy.
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock is aware of the link between social media and depression. What you may not know is that people who use social media to spy on their business colleagues and competitors are more likely to feel depressed or envious than those who compare themselves to social acquaintances and posts they see in passing.
New research shows that Instagram causes even more envy and depression than other social platforms. On Instagram, not only do we compare our everyday lives to someone else’s highly curated photos, but we’re literally looking at their life (or business) through a filter.
Following are 5 tips for banishing the green-eyed monster the next time it comes calling:
Avoid Succumbing to Trash Talk
Sometimes the envy we feel when we read social media posts is completely our own doing. The other person may be publicly celebrating, rather than bragging. It can still be hard to witness someone else’s success when we’re struggling, but knowing their motives are pure, can make it a little harder to bear.
Of course, some people who brag on social media do so with the intention of psyching out their competition. However, their posturing is just as likely to be attention seeking behavior caused by their own insecurities. When we let it get under our skin, we’re wasting time being envious of someone who doesn’t even feel good about their own accomplishments.
If you can't avoid the envy, avoid the one you envy. Click To Tweet By clicking the down arrow in the upper right corner of their posts, you can unfollow them without unfriending them. They’ll never know and you can always peek in on them or pick them back up if you change your mind.
Focus on Yourself
Rather than focusing on what other planners are doing, stay focused on your own path. Avoid changing your course of action just to keep up with what someone else is doing. Click To Tweet
If you feel inadequate, focus on self-improvement. Take a course, hire a business coach, get in shape, or do whatever else you need to do to build your confidence. Write down your goals and create a plan for accomplishing them. Not only will you grow your business, but when you’re busy achieving your goals, you won’t have time to dwell on the success of others.
Recognize Your Unique Gifts
We all have unique talents and personalities. Rather than comparing ourselves to others, we need to recognize our strengths and be grateful for what we do well.
Our envy of other people’s success, comes from our feelings of scarcity. Success doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. There’s plenty to go around. Just because someone else is successful doesn’t mean we can’t be as successful in our own right.
We’re never going to be better than another planner (or even keep up with them) if we try to beat them at their own game. We'll only be successful when we try to be the best version of ourselves. Click To Tweet
Thank God for your blessings, keep a journal, make a list or download a gratitude app. When we're not feeling grateful for the blessings we have, we tend to focus on what we don't have. Click To Tweet When we focus on what we don’t have, we tend to focus on people who have what we want. And, when we’re focused on other people, we’re not focusing on improving ourselves or our business.
No matter how down and out we feel, there’s always something we can be thank for. My planner has a space each day for expressing gratitude, and being the OCD person that I am, I”m compelled to fill in all the blanks. I have to admit there are days when nothing comes quickly to mind, and even my old stand-bys of husband and children don’t fit the bill. But, when I finally identify who or what I’m grateful for that day, I feel an immediate shift in my thinking.
Keep Your Perspective
When you find yourself envying someone else, remember that things aren’t always as they seem. Many times we envy a perceived lifestyle or business success that doesn't really exist. Click To Tweet The mermaid photo used in this post’s thumbnail was taken by my niece, Isabelle Holland. Even in high school, she was an amazing photographer, and this picture has always reminded me of perception vs. reality.
Your perception was probably of a sultry mermaid floating in a turquoise sea. The reality is that my daughter, Jessica, was lying on top of blue doggie waste bags in a few inches of tap water in my mother’s bathtub. Her sultry expression was fueled by impending nausea, and she threw up shortly after the photo shoot ended.
Too sum it all up, we don’t know the struggles that go on behind closed doors. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but more often than not, it’s artificial turf.
Do you struggle with business envy? If so, share it in the comments section, and tell us how you deal with it?