So you’re melting in the heat, thinking about your to-do list, and a friend turns up and tells you she’s just signed a three book deal.
How do you feel? Pleased, yes of course, next a massive wave of jealousy followed by a brief wave of self-doubt. My advice, chocolate! It’s not just good for a dementors attack.
This scenerio not an uncommon phenomenon in my life. In the writing community, I have often been the bridesmaid, but never the bride. I am fond of an American Comedy called The Middle; my favourite character is Sue Heck. She tries and fails, but that doesn’t stop her putting all her effort into every project. If you are a person who gives your best, you understand why jealousy is fleeting. I’ve never regretted putting all my effort into a project, and if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, you know you gave it a shot. Strangely, I have often found that unexpected opportunities are the reward.
And when confronted with someone else’s success at nine in the morning, when you know you’re doing your best on your projects you discover that jealousy is a GOOD thing. I remember being told jealousy becomes problematic when we act out in jealousy, or we wallow in it. I admitted my feelings, ate some chocolate, had a cup of tea and then pulled out my latest to do list with a critical eye. By 12:30 all negative feelings had gone and like Baldrick ‘I had a plan.’ In fact, I had lots of plans. One of which is to blog more regularly *waves hello*.
Imagine if J.K. Rowling had said to herself, “J.R.R. Tolkien already wrote a whole bunch of wizard-y books, years ago, and he’s a much better writer than me. He already has masses of adoring fans. I have none. Jill Murphy set her school for witches in a boarding school; I’ll better not do the same. 12 publishers have rejected my manuscript for Harry Potter. I’ll just quit now.”
We need to take the fear and negativity out of the word JEALOUSY and focus on the power it has to motivate, inspire and act as a call to action. There is no faster or clearer tool for showing you exactly what you want. When you feel jealous of someone that is a clear indication that something missing in your life that has yet to be fulfilled.
Take a moment to look at your achievements; you tend to forget your moments of awesomeness when feeling jealous. Already I’m feeling less like a failure.
Next look at any limitations you have, lack of cash, time or energy. Is there any way round these problems?
What is it that I think I’m missing? Write it done and then work on an action plan. Now I’m feeling motivated. So be like a dog, live in the moment!
The people you feel envious of are people who are getting things done and working hard. I dislike the attitude that they have been given something you haven’t. If my mate turned up and told me that someone had given her an enormous wad of cash for doing nothing – I can understand the logic. But all writers know the work that goes into writing the novel. Instead of associating their success with things they’ve been given that you haven’t, associate it with a level of work, drive and talent. Next, throw yourself into your action plan.