The Root of Envy and How to Cut it Immediately

How to Move Beyond Envy

It’s hard to feed an ungrateful wolf – it never seems enough. – Lesya Li

As we go through life, many things come our way. We take the high roads, we take the low roads, we take the paths less traveled. Every now and then when our focus gets blurry, we look to the left, then we look to the right and… we compare.

We see other people going through life passing us by in “better” cars, having better relationships, kids, jobs, traveling adventures, opportunities and a bundle of astonishing achievements… Granted, we don’t see the whole story behind the facade of someone else’s “perfect” life. What we keep telling ourselves are the stories why we don’t have what they have, or even worse, why we don’t deserve to have better things in our lives. It’s hard to feed an ungrateful wolf – it never seems enough.

We go through Facebook updates and wonder even more how come that our friends seem to have more blessings, more joy, more fun… they seem to have it all. That awful feeling with a hot flush of jealousy overtakes our minds and souls and drifts us further away from focusing on the good that we already have in life.

We seem to forget all at once that gratitude is the antidote to envy. It’s easy to forget it while we are in a slump of envy, but it’s essential to remember when we are taking action to get out.

Who Told You That You Cannot Have What You Want?

First of all, who told you that you cannot have what you want? Sure you can. It’s just a matter of time, structured plan, enthusiasm and determination to always go an extra mile.

Let’s face it, we all equally have 24 hours… the way we spend them is completely up to us.

Therefore, we can equally sit there doing nothing, thinking how come that others have everything (while they are actually working their tails off to get it) or… we can roll up our sleeves and get aligned with our goals.

Why Do We Envy Others?

envy quotes

Think about how many movies, books and things would have seized to exist if it wasn’t for envy! Such a never resting story we all feel part of once in a while.

Why is it that some of us feel dreadful when we see exciting things happen to other people? Does it mean that people who envy are malicious, evil and bad? No, I don’t believe so.

What I know is that when we are taken over by envy we feel inferior to someone else’s accomplishments parading before our eyes. We feel frustrated. And then a tiny voice in your mind starts coming up with lies why you cannot have what they or why you don’t deserve it or why you will never get what you want.

Stop engaging with that negative self-talk. Stop listening to those lies. Will it ever make you feel better if you beat yourself up all the time? No. All the fear and stories you come up with (why you cannot have what you want) are nothing more than limiting beliefs that can be changed by actions if you really choose to CHANGE your life for the better. If you really choose change, you will be too excited and busy doing your thing instead of envying someone else’s accomplishments.

Domino Effect of Inferiority Straight From the Past

Have you ever reflected on where our beliefs derive from? Ultimately they come from two destinations: from the past when we throw ourselves off the cliff into a chasm of memories (past experiences) and from the outside surroundings when we encounter anchors that trigger our memories. We pick up those signals and they trigger thoughts on something that has great meaning and importance to us.

For instance, I might not have been aware that I had problems with my self-esteem in the past. But seeing a perfect body on Sports Illustrated might just tap and remind me that looking good and feeling good means a lot to me… And when I don’t feel particularly good about myself – I go and compare. That creates not only a reminder that I am not in that peachy state of feeling good”, but also that someone is already there while I’m sitting here sobbing.

We don’t feel envy all the time. We feel envy when something presses on the wound that we have, begging us to pay attention to it.

When we constantly feel inferior we tend to envy things that we tell ourselves we cannot do, have or achieve. What I am talking about is our false beliefs that whatever we do is not good enough and definitely not as great as someone else whom you compare yourself to.

Take a better look at the meaning of envy. What does it mean? What does it want you to switch your attention to?

Now  let’s take a moment and get more insight on envy and what it really means.

What to Do With Envy?

grateful quotes

There are two things we can do with envy. We can either suppress it, pressing it down-down-down till it contaminates us inside out changing nothing. Or we might as well use it as a motivational force that indicates on those areas and things in our lives that need some adjustments and major changes.

In the next post, we will expand the subject and talk more closely about overcoming envy.
Today, just think about the message of envy. What areas in your life does envy try to make you pay attention to? Think about it.

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. – Pema Chodron

Photo by louobedlam
Lesya Li

Lesya Li

Founder, Head of Content at HavingTime
Lesya is a curious storyteller, a chronic insomniac, avid book reader, psychology nerd, and the founder of havingtime – a digital magazine and a worldwide movement rooted in impactful storytelling and mindfulness. Stay in touch with Lesya via Twitter and Instagram.
Lesya Li
Lesya Li
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