The quest for “more” in life has induced envy in millions of humans especially at times when their strive for “more” isn’t producing the results they desire or isn’t producing the results they see in other “lucky” people.
Looking back to the 18th century, countless philosophers have contemplated the nature of envy and all of them from Aristotle to Nietzche came to the conclusion that envy “is a destructive and diseased state of mind that acts like poison in the veins of not only the envier but the envied and society as whole.”
To the envier, envy is evil. This is because the envier views his superiors as enemies rather than focusing on how to improve themselves, they instead focus on the downfall of others. They believe that their happiness increases when the happiness of this who they envy decreases. Also it encourages the envious to believe that what they lack in comparison to others accounts for their relative unhappiness thereby making happiness unreachable.
To the envied, envy is evil for obvious reasons, one of which is that it can damage their reputations, esteem, confidence and well-being. Envy could make the successful question themselves and start to modify their behaviour sometimes in a detrimental way so as to avoid criticism. This does not mean criticism is bad. Sometimes a successful person needs to be criticized and need to change the way they act.
Moreover, a lot of negative feedback from the public is as a result of envy. People will not admit that their criticism are the fruits of envy and sometimes they may not be aware of it themselves.
To the society, envy is evil because it hinders prosperity. Those consumed by envy are less-likely to be great people who help and contribute to the society and world at large.
With all this, here are ways you can control your “Envy” emotions:
1. Free yours from poisonous comparisons
Become your own standards. Learn to appreciate yourself for who you are and not your possessions or achievements. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Focus on your improvement, not others’. Comparing to other people is a lose-lose situation, besides, success is personal.
2. Emulate rather than reply:
It is not bad to look at others for inspiration but the problem is trying to be like them. The internet is full of articles on how Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Tony Robbins became successful and wealthy. That doesn’t mean you must follow their paths or aim for the same goals.
Reacting with emulation rather than envy is to open up to learn from others.
3. Unplug and focus
Social media also has a role to play in this. It can make it seem like everyone else is happy and successful, while you are struggling to keep up.
Do things that will make you happy, like taking a nice bath or drinking tea or going for a bike ride. Take some time to focus on things that make you feel good about yourself.
4. Develop an abundance mentality:
You may feel envious because someone else got the job you wanted or because someone else got the opportunity that you had hoped for. Focusing your mind on the scarcity can really screw with your thoughts, feelings and cause negative emotions.
Rather than envying someone else, focus on yourself. Think steadily on how to continually improve on yourself, on opportunities, new chances and what you can learn from your failures as best you can instead of confining your mind and your life.
5. Know that you are valuable.
You may be envious of an aspect of someone’s life and think you am worthless because you don’t have that one thing.
The truth is that we are all valuable. You may not have everything you want in your life right now, but that does not take away your worth. There is no need to compare yourself to others because you are perfect the way you are. Also knowing that you are valuable improves your esteem.
About Olatorera Consultancy
Olatorera Consultancy is a modernistic venture combining deeply-rooted knowledge on Africa’s culture and challenges plus close relationships with topmost leaders to promote development. We provide consultancy, business development and advisory services to notable companies and high net-worth individuals. We propel companies under our radar to serve their clients more effectively and efficiently using digital resources and modern strategies.