Many of us were told that envy is an ugly feeling that should be pushed down when it surfaces. Likewise, we commonly associate feelings of jealously with negative desires of greed, lust, and power. But maybe, just maybe, we should take another look.
Lori Gottlieb popularized this idea of following your envy to understand what you want in her 2019 book*. “People are so ashamed of envy, but envy is very healthy in the sense that it tells you what you want. Don’t dwell or bathe in the envy but use it as information to get to know yourself better. What is it that makes you go oh, I wish I had what that person has. What is it that I want? What is this telling me? And what action can I take towards getting this thing I want?”
How can you use it?
First, simply ask yourself: What (or whom) am I jealous of?
Don’t be afraid to dream big, even if it seems impossible to you now.
Second, once you’ve logged some items, see if you can isolate what you want most and then ask yourself 2 follow up questions:
- What might it feel like to have it?
- What might I have to give up if I had it?
And finally, if your answers to the above questions suggest a net value to you, identify small steps you could take to move yourself closer to gaining what you are envious of.
Sure, you can’t change static aspects of yourself, but you may find that there is much in your life that you can change when you let yourself imagine what you want—like where you work, with whom you associate, how you choose to spend your free time, how you react to situations, how you handle money, and more.
Give it a shot! It might help you unlock your next steps.
We hope this helps!
As always, reach out if we can be helpful to you as you continue on the path of igniting exceptional performance at your company.
The HAVEN Team
*Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (New York: Harper, 2019)