Have you ever felt envy, anger and jealousy overtake you when someone else is seen to be more successful ? I had this feeling today. A friend, who also happens to be a colleague, closed a fantastic deal which made the company a lot of money, really helped out his client and earned him praise and appreciation from our management and his peers.
I had been trying to close a similar deal about a year ago and had failed, taking on some great learnings about how to improve the process and my own actions in the post-failure self debrief that I always do. My colleague’s success today, however, really made me mad. I resented his success, was suspicious of his methodology, questioned his character and motivation in my own mind. I had him judged, tried and metaphorically executed for daring to be both brilliant and successful.
I knew that my reaction was wrong. My coach training as well as my own gut instinct told me that my reaction had everything to do with myself and very little with the beautiful success of my friend and colleague.
The reason is very simple, envy is generated due to a lack of action on the part of the envious. Our own lack of movement and thus a form of shame having ourselves not completed the action we are envious of allows us in the short term to take cover in jealousy, resentment, and blame. This in itself is a supremely negative emotion, it does us no good at all. Blaming the outside offers a zero respite from the bad feeling within us. The way ahead is to truly focus on celebrating the success of those who we are envious of. Shake their hand, thank them for their brilliant effort and truly rejoice in their achievement. Sharing this celebration really allows us to be happy in our own right. It also terminates the negative feelings that being envious brings to the fore. In a way we are at one with the success and part of the positive vibe that goes with it.
Additionally it is a great wake up call. It is a way of realizing deep down inside that an action needs to be taken. We are really only envious because we have not been able to do what others may have done. So why not really focus on what we can do ? Why not learn from the success of others and create a game plan for a similar success, on our own terms.
Action creates both self growth and increases self esteem. Intention allows a build up of expectation, which without an action is a frustrating misuse of our energy. Plan and act, do something that makes an impact. Share the success of others and they will do the same. Act yourself so you can create your own success story and place envy where it truly belongs, in the garbage bin of regret and missed opportunities.