Productive ways to deal with professional jealousy

By Andrea Ok. Leigh5 minute Learn

We’ve all felt it. That twinge, that pit within the backside of your abdomen. That feeling that somebody has one thing—a professional accomplishment, well being, cash, physique, magnificence, household, expertise, or one thing else—that you just so desperately need, perhaps even want. Jealousy.

Jealousy isn’t a discovered feeling, both—it’s pure. You’ll be able to in all probability bear in mind feeling jealous even in early childhood. Perhaps it was the particular person with the brilliant colourful backpack in elementary faculty or the star athlete in highschool, or maybe it was your colleague who simply obtained their second promotion. It’s a sense that you just don’t outgrow or mature out of, however why you are feeling it and the way might change.

Jealousy is usually thought-about a unfavourable emotion. Speaking about jealous emotions can really feel shameful. The sensation is usually related with helplessness and powerlessness. And social media definitely isn’t serving to us really feel much less jealous. Personally, I’ve not too long ago come to phrases with jealously and spoke about my expertise feeling, and overcoming, it on the Swing Shift podcast.

The actual motive we don’t speak about jealousy is that this (onerous reality alert): Understanding our jealousy requires us to determine and grow to be deeply related with our personal core values and strengths. Stated otherwise, we push our emotions of jealousy deep down, as a result of the actual work—connecting with ourselves—is difficult. Perhaps it’s simpler to make pals with jealousy.

Nonetheless, jealousy holds us again. It closes doorways after we want each single door to be open.

Simply after leaving my 10-year profession at Amazon to keep dwelling and take care of my children (a seven-year-old and five-year-old twins on the time), I met Lauren, one other mom, on the varsity playground. Lauren had additionally not too long ago left a high-powered profession in tech and relocated to Seattle from the Bay Space. She was lovely and attractive. Her kids have been good. She was witty and sensible, and everybody all the time appeared to need to discuss to her.

Most significantly, Lauren appeared utterly safe in her resolution to depart the workforce.

I, alternatively, was in an insecure part of my life. I used to be struggling from the lack of an id that was beforehand related with my job and paycheck. I used to be having fun with my household, however I used to be crumbling beneath the strain of staying dwelling with three children. My twins have been nonetheless dwelling all day, and I felt drained, out of form, and harried.

I couldn’t put my finger on what, particularly, I used to be jealous of. However I knew I wished to be extra like Lauren. So, I did what any regular girl would do.

I utterly averted her.

I didn’t dislike her. She was a stunning girl. I simply didn’t like how I felt once I was round her. So, I closed the door on her.

This conduct is common. When confronted with jealousy, we frequently keep away from our deepest needs and fears. We minimize ourselves off from alternative and motion and as an alternative have interaction in a vicious unfavourable self-talk cycle:

  • Jealousy and disgrace: Disgrace on me for feeling jealous.
  • Unfavourable self-talk: Why can’t I be extra assured and put collectively?
  • Low confidence and feeling overwhelmed: I’ll by no means be adequate.
  • Concern and paralysis: I can’t.

When Lauren and I lastly did join at a college occasion months later, we fell deep into dialog and found we had masses in frequent, each professionally and personally. I lastly obtained the braveness to ask her how she felt about her resolution to depart the workforce. Tossing her pretty and clean caramel-colored hair again, and with a mischievous gleam in her eye, she confided, “I test the job postings on daily basis and query my resolution to depart my profession.” She too felt unsure generally. Realizing that profoundly modified my perspective.

I used to be offended with myself for avoiding her. I had missed a chance not solely to have a wealthy friendship but in addition to profit professionally from an essential particular person within the trade.

We’re fast to really feel jealous, and jealousy is definitely regular. Nonetheless, as an alternative of feeling disgrace and repressing our emotions of envy, we may as an alternative ask ourselves the onerous questions.

  • Is that this one thing that I deeply need, and is it constant with my values and strengths?
  • Is it potential for me to work for this and obtain it?

In the event you’re evaluating your self towards a marathon runner, and also you don’t like to run, or your private home to an inside designer’s work, but you couldn’t care much less about inside design, then you have to let it go. In the event you do care deeply about it, and you’re keen to work for it, that’s one other story. Set your jealousy apart and ask questions so you can also make a personalised plan.

I understand this doesn’t apply precisely to each state of affairs. Perhaps you envy the good friend with a home full of youngsters or the good friend who lives alone. Or perhaps you envy somebody with higher well being or fewer tasks. Nonetheless, there could also be a method to get one step nearer to what’s driving your envy.

Listed here are 5 steps to making jealousy be just right for you:

  1. Know and be pleased about your self. Get intimate with your core values, strengths, and items. That is the onerous half. Make lists, use an internet device, or take a workshop. Discover ways to expertise gratitude for your self and what you convey to the desk.
  2. Study your emotions. Study your emotions of jealousy. Is that this one thing I care deeply about? Is it one thing I may work for or get nearer to?
  3. Focus by yourself journey. You’re by no means behind by yourself path.
  4. Be curious. If what another person has is one thing you care deeply about, and also you’re keen to work for it, ask questions to study their journey.
  5. Make or revisit your plan to your personal private journey.

Have in mind (particularly in case your jealousy is the spawn of social media) that behind the scenes, it’s not all fairly photos. As Steven Furtick famously tweeted, “One motive we battle w/insecurity: we’re evaluating our behind the scenes with everybody else’s spotlight reel.”

Emotions of jealously and envy are solely human, however they don’t have to be debilitating. Ultimately, all of it boils down to how to face them and develop as a person.


Andrea K. Leigh is the vice chairman of technique at Ideoclick.