Turns out, once you graduate and get into the "real world," you learn a LOT really darn fast. While I've learned a lot about working and personal responsibility, somehow my personal growth has skyrocketed more than anything.
A couple days ago (on my personal blog), I spoke about a friend detoxing. I suppose I'm getting preachy. My intent isn't to tell you how to live your life, but to share some of my epiphanies from this past year. I'll call this "The Life Lessons" series. More specifically, "Ashley's Guide for Young Twenty-Somethings to Grow the F Up." Or maybe, "You Wanna Stop Sucking? Here's How to Grow Past Teen-dom."
Some folks contest that humans are inherently good. I call b.s. Survival of the fittest is ingrained into our DNA, darn it. If we were in The Hunger Games
, this would become quickly apparent. I firmly believe that pure jealousy is something that courses through my veins. I was born this way, baby.
It's difficult being inherently jealous. Whenever anyone wins something, I immediately think, That means they're better than me. This reflects poorly on me because I didn't win.
What happens next? A sense of inferiority that clouds my perspective and makes me bitter.
(Yoda voice) Others' success leads to feelings of inferiority. Inferiority leads to low-self esteem. Low self-esteem leads to bitterness. Bitterness leads to b!tchiness. B!tchiness leads to impaired ability to be productive and keep healthy friendships.
…which leads to the dark side of the force.
Here's the truth, take it or leave it:
Being happy for someone doesn't detract from your own achievement or sense of self-worth.
This has been an excruciatingly long time coming. I used to think holding onto jealousy would be more indulgent. I thought I'd feel better by only being happy for #1 (me).
Fact: You won't feel better.
If someone else achieves something you don't, it doesn't mean you're inferior. It doesn't mean you suck. We grow at different rates. We each have our own journey. "You can't compare someone's highlight reel with your behind-the-scenes." Your time will come - IF you put in the hard work and learn from your experiences, constantly looking for ways to grow from them.
Someone else getting recognized doesn't mean I'm not doing a great job with whatever my personal journey entails. Maybe I'm just not there quite
Understanding that will bring you peace.
Sometimes being happy for someone even helps YOU personally, so you're still getting something from being kind and celebrating others. When you're happy for someone, you're filled with more positivity. Harboring positivity will only foster a positive atmosphere more conducive to productivity (and a healthier mental state to operate in).
All that wasted energy you spend being jealous of someone? You could be funneling that wasted energy into just bettering yourself. Take your feelings of jealousy and funnel that into making your aspirations a reality.
I.e., Do you want to lose weight? Stop being jealous of others. Take that feeling of discontentment. Let that discontentment power you to a plan of action, which will bring results.
If you're jealous, think about why you feel that way. Insecurity? Hmm, what are you insecure about? How can you take that unfavorable situation and flip it for the better?
Sometimes jealousy is a good thing. Sometimes, if you dig deep enough, you can find a way to eliminate negativity or an unhappy situation and plot a way to achieve success and create a situation that breeds positivity.
This, my friends, is a process. But understanding what needs to change and desiring it is steps 1 and 2.
(Picture courtesy of Courtesy of Multiplefacets.net)