How can envy become destructive to your sense of well being?
Envy – and jealousy – both become destructive when you focus on what you are coveting rather than what you have. It becomes destructive when you realize that, rather than spend time working on making your own life better, you instead, obsess over the life of someone else. It can become a compulsion or obsession to constantly check someone’s social media feed.
Obsession over the life of someone else takes precious time and attention away from tending your own life.
Envy also can lend itself to finding pleasure in another person’s misfortune. And wishing others to fail is certainly a path feeling as if the goodness in the world is something scarce. And hard to obtain.
While envy happens to all of us, the reason it’s listed as one of the seven deadly sins is that it weighs down the soul in such a way that it can feel impossible to find happiness.
So, if you want to know how to stop being envious, you need to understand it’s destructive nature.
You will experience envy at some time in your life. Simply allow yourself to feel that flicker of envy. And then dig into what it really means. And how you can channel it for your own life.
You may be wondering if FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out) is related to envy.
Fear of Missing Out (aka FOMO) is when feeling as if other folks are having awesome and exciting experiences in their lives. And therefore, your life feels lackluster or boring. So, FOMO is related to envy because you, too, want to have those same exciting experiences. You want to travel, go to rock concerts, and eat at fancy restaurants.
Thanks to FOMO, you may also experience jealousy. When you a post on social media of all your friends at a party or event without you? Of course, you feel jealous and left out. Why weren’t you invited, too? It can make you feel depressed and insecure, too.
This is how FOMO, envy, and jealousy are intertwined.
Here’s what you really want to know: how to stop being envious.
One of the things I’ve learned on the path to curating a life that is loving and nourishing is the understanding that all of our emotions are meant to be felt. When you allow yourself to feel them. And move forward in your own life.
The first key to learning how to stop being envious or experiencing any so called emotion is to do just that. Stop, identify it, feel it, and then choose not to wallow in it. With practice, this can happen in a matter of minutes. When you have the ability to stop yourself. And not wallow in envy. You stop yourself before you tumble down the rabbit hole of obsessing over what someone else has.
Once you’ve stopped yourself from wallowing and obsessing, next dig into what the root cause of feeling envious was. I like to begin this with compassion and a gentle inquiry. Ask yourself:
- what does she have that I want?
- why do I really want that?
- and what would that give me?
- how would I feel if I had it?
- what ways can I experience that same emotion?
- where do I have traces of what she has? Present in my life right now?
- how can I work towards getting what it is I want?
Use a mix of curiosity and honesty to discover your answer. Dig into the deeper reasons envy or jealousy may have surfaced. If you’re struggling with that, one of my favorite ways to do this is what I call the “Five Shades of Why”. A way to find both your surface answers. And the deeper ones.
When you get to the truth of what caused the green-eyed monster to surface, you have the key of how to stop being envious.
Once you know why you’re experiencing envy, you can take action from a place of empowerment. And trust me, acting from a place of empowerment trumps reacting out of sheer emotion.