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GREEN-EYED MONSTER

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Comparison is a slippery slope to envy and for the most part, envy wastes energy that could be put towards getting what you want or optimizing what you have.”  – Danielle LaPorte

By our age, most of us have gotten over comparing ourselves to other women and are enjoying what we have and playing to our strengths. But what are we to do when the green-eyed monster strikes anyway? 

Our minds are wired to compare, but negative comparing begins early (especially for girls) and hardly lets up as we get older, unless we work to break the cycle of comparing and competing.

This happened to me recently as I watched a long-time girlfriend pull together her dream, make her “debut” with gorgeous photos, a beautiful website, and wise offerings. I was happy for her success… She’s worked hard for it! And yet, I was terribly envious of her.

I was making myself so miserable, seeing her daily social media posts that, girlfriend or not, I “unfollowed” her. I guiltily spilled my guts to my sweetie who wisely said, “Rather than do that, why don’t you figure out what your envy is all about?” That is exactly the advice I’d give to a friend who shared this dilemma with me. And it was exactly the reminder I needed! 

When envy or jealousy show up, consider them an arrow pointing you in a direction you want to go. Then begin chipping away at the ideas that are holding you back: ideas of who you are, or are not. Begin to imagine all that you’d love to do or be, and what you want to accomplish. Let go of (yes, even still) your parent’s ideas of what you could or should be. Or society’s ideas. Or even your kid’s ideas! Those are their ideas, not yours.

Here is the best way I know to defeat that green-eyed monster: Only compare yourself NOW, to yourself BACK THEN. See how much you’ve learned and grown? See how much experience you’ve gained?

Look at all the wisdom you can share based on your experiences. Look at the acceptance you can give to others and realize how valuable that acceptance can be. Now give yourself that same acceptance.

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you… than you.” – Unknown

XO Donna


12 Comments

  • Reply Taste of France July 5, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Comparison is good when you see somebody succeed and your reaction is, I could do that! Maybe you had never thought of trying, or felt it was out of your league, and seeing another pull it off can motivate you to give it a go.
    But that doesn’t hurt the other person. Where comparison goes wrong is when it involves tearing down the other person. Maybe they didn’t merit their success–they just had the audacity to grab for it. But pointing that out doesn’t make us look good; it makes us look terrible.

    • Reply Donna July 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Great points! As women, I feel we should be happy for any other woman’s success – in that it helps us all. And, especially for a friend! That’s why this was so tough to experience. Thank you for your wise words.
      XO Donna

  • Reply Sue Burpee July 5, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Other peoples success always looks so effortless, doesn’t it? At least to me. Even when I know better. What a wise sweeties you have. Analyzing why the envy exists seems like a good way to deal with it. I must write that down and stick it on my bulletin board so I don’t forget. Thanks for such a thoughtful post, Donna.

    • Reply Donna July 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      You’re so welcome, Sue. Glad you found the post helpful. Thank you for your support!
      XO Donna

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace July 5, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    This is a topic we don’t talk about, much less write publicly about, so thank you! And yes… Your sweetie is a wise man. xoxox, Brenda

    • Reply Donna July 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      It was difficult to admit to myself, and harder still to put out into the world. He is wise. Think I’ll keep him. Thank you, Brenda! XO Donna

  • Reply Beth July 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Donna, thank you for your honesty. I am struggling with this jealousy thing as well. Have a friend I love so much but I am envious of their financial security. Granted, she is totally dependent on her husband financially and he is not the nicest man I know (putting it mildly). Lots of trips, shopping, but a lot of unhappiness and stress as well. I don’t like the feelings of judgment I have towards them, it is ugly. It hurts my heart and my own self esteem. I am praying and working on this. But I am so appreciative of your honesty. I can’t make myself a millionaire but I am incredibly blessed with a good job, a lovely home, wonderful friends and church and good health. I just need to meditate on those things I have worked so hard for as well as the blessings and stop the pity party. Much love.

    • Reply Brenda Coffee July 5, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Beth, Did it ever occur to you that she may be jealous of your blessings? I know a number of very wealthy women who I wouldn’t trade places with for anything. Perhaps you give this one to God and ask for His help. xoxo, Brenda

    • Reply Donna July 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you for your candor, Beth! It’s a tough one to admit… but that’s when the growth happens! And I love that you count your blessings – and you have many! Much love to you, too! XO Donna

  • Reply Barbara Bergin July 5, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Ditto all the above. Wow, what a prescient post. I am often relieved to be 63 years old, and no longer a slave to my looks, and to trying to be attractive to men. I’m happily married and have two grown, successful children. It’s a wonderful, relaxing time of life. Let the young women worry about that stuff. It’s their turn. But despite my numerous accomplishments, I am a victim of jealousy. And I find it every bit as consuming as worrying about how I look. I have recently pursued a hobby, and it has become almost as important as my career as an orthopedic surgeon. I am now a singer-songwriter, performing at live venues in Austin, Texas, and getting ready to release my first CD. But I find myself jealous as hell of other musicians, even those who might be only having the slightest bit more success than I am, which isn’t saying much. I’m jealous of 20 year-olds with even the slightest amount of talent. I find myself following their activity on facebook, and being envious if they get a gig I think I could have had. When they receive accolades, I ask to the air, “What am I? Chopped liver?” This makes no sense. I’m sure any one of them would envy my career and the financial freedom it gives me to pursue my dreams. But does that thought process bring me solace? Not one ounce. I’m sure there are all sorts of psychological reasons for this, and I can name a half dozen right off the cuff. But am I gonna get that figured out…at 63? Not likely.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace July 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Barbara, I love Donna’s reply to you that she just went through this and came out the other side!! And kudos to you for being so honest. It doesn’t matter how accomplished we are, it’s human to have jealousy rear itself… regardless of how old we are. Give it time and perhaps you let those feelings motivate you to step up your game. xoxo, Brenda

  • Reply Donna July 7, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Bah, humbug! Young lady, I’m almost four years older than you and I just went through this and came out the other side! I am really impressed with your new career, and I can’t wait to come see you since I live in Austin, too! We are funny, complicated creatures… but we’re never too old to learn. I predict you’ll outgrow this phase. Thank you so much for writing. XO Donna

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