Jealousy is a gremlin that hangs around all the great stuff in life. Ahem. Or I should say, it hangs around all the great stuff that we don't have... yet.
It's true. For all of us authors out there, envy lurks around any and all success in writing. However starting now, whenever those little whimpers of envy flutter around another writer's success, I want you to consider them butterflies! That's right, when you feel jealousy, get excited because that's exactly where you're headed, sister!
Jealousy is a big blaring road sign that shows you where you want to go, and these four steps will show you how to get there (and be a lot happier along the way). So let's get started!
1. Take Notes
Envy is specific. You aren’t particularly jealous of your sister who bought a summer cabin by the lake, you’re jealous of a vague acquaintance from high-school who just got a publishing deal. Perhaps jealousy makes you feel left behind, but you’re not. You know exactly what you want. Write down exactly what it is that is, and don’t be surprised if it’s a little different. As you advance on the path you often realize that what you actually want is even more specific than what your friend achieved. Once you do this, you’ve lept ahead because people who write down their goals are 34% more likely to achieve them.
2. Welcome Yourself
When you feel the sting of jealousy, your real fear is that you will never have what that other person has achieved. At a subconscious level you’re cutting yourself off from the possibility of the thing you want. That's why it hurts. Start to counter-act that pain by welcoming yourself in. Make a vision board if you like, or create an affirmation, but do something to let your subconscious know you can reach your goal too. Teach yourself to believe.
3. Ask Why
Behind every achievement is some value or emotion you want to experience. Figure out what that is. Do you want to express all the potential you’ve kept bottled up? Do you want to be recognized for your creativity? Pinpoint the way you want to feel, and start bringing that feeling into your life now.
The thing is, if you don't why you want your specific goal, it might turn out to be pretty disappointing when you actually do get it. However if you start to capitalize on the places in your life where you’re already experiencing this emotion, you’ll build the confidence to magnetize this next logical manifestation of the same thing.
4. Take Action
Focus on the next right action. It doesn't have to be huge. As you make your To Do List about how to advance on your path, you'll realize that's where most of the meaning and fulfillment lies. It really is the journey, not the destination. We don't raise kids just to see them graduate. We don't get married just to have the wedding. And we don't go on vacation just to have a plane ticket. If you don't love the journey, you'll find the destination surprisingly hollow.
When you use these steps to dissipate those uncomfortable envious emotions, you’ll make space for a flood of create energy to flow in. You’ll start to meet new people and new projects will be born. Basically, you’re teaching yourself new emotional habits, and that can start to shift the course of your artistic career.