• Sarah Yoo

How to turn envy into your super-power!

Updated: Aug 28, 2018

Envy is a twosome - it involves you and another person. It's an emotional reaction you have to lacking something that someone else already has. 

It's that feeling you get when you see another woman/man who is super good-looking, in the best relationship and an amazing job who also happens to be the nicest person in the world.

Envy can feel like a real downer yet it's nearly impossible to avoid because it is an inevitable consequence of the comparisons we automatically make when we are with other people.

Did you know that it activates a part of your brain that's involved in processing PHYSICAL PAIN? (Sciencemag.org) No wonder we immediately try to ignore or deny that we are feeling envious! 

I personally get most envious when I see other successful woman entrepreneurs who are earning amazing money while doing what they love and living a lifestyle beyond their wildest imagination.

It especially stings me when they are younger than me, or worse, the same age as me with similar backgrounds.I'm actually GENUINELY happy for them yet there is a part of me that feels so bad about myself because I am nowhere near where she is.I end up asking myself the question, "what on earth have I been doing with my life?" and I don't end up liking the answers.

Contrary to popular belief, envy as an emotion, is not always a bad thing. 

If we can understand why envy is showing up in our lives, it acts as a torch, highlighting our desires right in front of our eyes that otherwise we would have been blind to.

To understand what envy is trying to show us, we need to firstly learn how to deal with it followed by a deeper analysis.

1. Remember - It's a Filtered life.

  • With social media, it's nearly impossible to not engage in the comparison game without feeling terrible about your life. And it's the FREQUENCY that can be a killer!

  • With this in mind, we must remember that what people share online is not the whole picture. Most of the time, people only share the good parts of their lives and this isn't because they are trying to manipulate us into thinking that they are perfect. Most of the times, it's not practical and it's often the last thing on their mind. 

  • For example, when I experience something amazing with Jacob, I often want to share it because I want to share my happiness and I also want it to be an inspiration for some couples. When we are fighting however, I am not thinking about sharing it with other people. I'm focused on sorting it out with Jacob first. Then because of the work that I do, I decide whether or not it will help others. Only then, I'll share the story.

  • So, remember that often times people won't show you their mistakes, weaknesses, difficulties they experience so you might just be comparing yourself to an incomplete image of someone.

TIP - Do a social media/email clean out. Unfollow, unsubscribe and turn off notification of people that trigger you. Even if you look up to them. Just because you unfollow them and don't see their posts every day, it doesn't mean you lose complete access to them. You just get to CHOOSE when you want to consume their stories!

2. Welcome the Envy

  • Don't label your emotions into categories of GOOD and BAD. A lot of people label an emotion as 'bad' and they try to overcome it. The thing is that the more you try and overcome/ignore/avoid an emotion, the more they stick around and often show up in other ways in your life. 

  • All emotions exist to serve us in some way. So, stop demonizing your emotions and rather see them as privileges and GET CURIOUS. 

TIP - Get curious of your emotion by asking yourself one simple question - "How is this happening FOR me?" 

3. Investigate:

  • Envy is often a clue into YOUR OWN desires that are simply projected onto someone else so that you can see it. For example, I have no desire into becoming a better skateboarder, so when I see a great skateboarder, I don't feel envious. But I do feel envious of successful entrepreneurs. It's showing me something. So, dig deeper. 

  • Ask yourself these 3 questions:

Q1. What are you actually envious of? 
  • E.g. I'm envious of a 24 year old, female online entrepreneur who earns 7-figures and lives a location free lifestyle doing the work she loves. So I'm envious of the money she brings AND how she receives that money - which is through her online business of helping others. And I'm also envious of the freedom that she has with it - ability to live where she wants and travel wherever she wants. 

Q2: Are you willing to eat its shit sandwich to create those results in your life?
  • The process it took her to get there - hard-work every day despite not seeing results straight away, giving up the certainty of a stable job, facing rejection, doing uncomfortable sales, people judging you, failing and making mistakes.

  • E.g. Yes, I rather eat this shit sandwich than going through the process of working for someone else and not living the life on my own terms.

Q3: Is achieving that result really aligned with your life right now?
  • E.g. Yes. It wasn't the right time when I was in high school. Or in University. But it immediately became clear after a few years of working in the corporate world. 

By now, either 2 things would have happened:

1. Envy has evaporated because you realized the thing you felt envious of, isn't something that you actually want.

2. You still feel envious. If that's the case, go to the next step.

4. Turn envy into Action

  • You clearly WANT the things that you are envious of. And guess what, you are feeling envious because it is absolutely possible for you to experience the things that you are envious of. 

  • So, get moving on those things that you want. Look at the person that you are envious of and look at the process she/he has used to get there. See where you are on the journey and make a start THERE. Wherever you are. Remember that you won't be able to get to their level in 1 month so have patience and be accepting of exactly where you are. 

Now, it's time to hear from you.

What are you most envious of right now?

What did you come up with with the 3 questions?

And most importantly, what are you going to do with it?