Envy: A Dangerous Gem
“The feeling of wanting to have what someone else has;
(1) painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”
When left to its own devices, our emotions can run rampant and engulf all of our senses. Self-restraint and resolve typically crumbles and we succumb to a cloud of dark euphoria. Nothing instigates this downward spiral as much as the third deadly sin: envy. The ultimate gateway sin. Coupled with social media as the forefront of communication and a catalyst to our desires for a better life in comparison to the highlight reels of others, the dangers of jealousy are real. So how do we get rid of jealousy? First we must understand why the very feeling leeches onto our hearts.
Jealousy, according to the Cambridge Journals published on the Cambridge University Press, determined that “the neural roots of jealousy are located in the area of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex which is found roughly around the forehead.”(1) This particular region of the brain processes the emotions we conjure. It triggers activity in the amygdala and hypothalamus which, if triggered redundantly, can cause the brain to become dependent on the chemicals released. In essence, it becomes ingrained in us and turns into a habit. A nasty habit of feeling jealous. When we constantly welcome this emotion, the transmitted electrochemical signals passed through the neurons in our brain, become accustom to it. Which can even result to getting an unconscious elated feeling and if left to fester, can lead to an overwhelmingly negative aftermath. This includes manifestations of heightened insecurity that cause anger, gluttony, covetousness, vanity, lust, and sloth.
So how is that we can avoid such an unfortunate debacle?
LET’S GET RID OF JEALOUSY NOW. HERE’S HOW:
To win an internal battle against yourself and be at peace, the first and foremost important step we need to do is to accept the current situation we are in. This is the primary step in how to get rid of jealousy. This allows us to come to terms with any sort of blame, denial, or negative mental image we have that can often be a big benefactor in jealousy. By doing so, we set up the foundation for change. As John Assaraf explains in his program PraxisNow, “Once any image, habit or belief is ingrained in your subconscious brain, you automatically seek out situations and behave in ways that resonate with that ‘internal image.’ If you currently don’t like the results you are witnessing with your weight, job, income or relationships, then you must break the old patterns and old conditioning that’s causing them.”(2)
2. WRITE IT DOWN
Make a list. Physically hand write (or type) what it is that irks you and what makes you jealous. Taking the time to put down on paper to sort your thoughts aide in finding the root of what it is that you are jealous of and understanding why. It also allows you to organize your thoughts and find solutions on how to address those gaps in your life that fuel those envious desires. Writing down also relaxes the mind and as Benjamin Starr indicated in his post How Does the Act of Writing Affect Your Brain, “writing can have similar effects on the mind as meditation. Your breathing slows down and you get into a ‘zone’ where words flow freely from your head. This can make stream of consciousness writing a very effective method for de-stressing.”(3) After all, a calm heart is a clear mind.
3. MAKE A ROAD MAP
Jealousy is fueled by the desire to obtain the unattainable; it is the perpetual gateway to avarice. Once you have a full understanding of what it is that propels your jealousy, whether it’s a materialistic lust; a desire to attain perfection of physical beauty; or a significant financial and status upgrade, make a timeline. Give yourself deadlines on when to achieve what it is that you want to obtain. Jealousy when directed correctly, can be a healthy dosage of ammunition for motivation – so long as it’s aimed to improve your current situation and not sabotage or disrupt someone else’s.
4. DUE DILIGENCE
Once you have made either a rough or detailed outline, do your homework. Do not jump into a project without doing some due diligence. Research what you need (both tangible and intangible) to achieve your goals that were derived from envy. For instance, it is hard to procure a position as a CEO if you do not have an inkling of business structure and management. Chief Executive Officers are well versed in the industry of their company, understand both short and long term growth, as well as what a company needs on a macro and micro-level to succeed (typically skills acquired through an MBA or several years of experience –or both). You cannot become a CEO without first having a good grasp on the qualifications and metrics to secure such a position. This applies to anything you set your sights on.
5. USE IT AS MOTIVATION
In PraxisNow, you learn that “If you do not ‘re-train’ your subconscious brain at the same time you make the decision…you will within very short order return back to your old…patterns.”(2) The moment we have a firm grasp on what makes us jealous, we can take the appropriate measures to change our actions in satisfying the gaps (whether that’s obtaining what we were jealous of or overcoming that feeling and knowing that it was something not worth being envious of). Either way, it is vital to understand that envy is all in the mind. This is extremely important to ensure staying on the path to achieving success and breaking away from spiraling down because of jealousy.
Reprogram the way you view and act when it comes to jealousy on a consistent basis and you will be able to overcome this ill-intended feeling and use envy as a driving force for a more positive and ambitious means. However, be wary of the dosage you allow yourself to divulge for as Edmund Spenser warned, “Foul jealousy! that turnest love divine to joyless dread, and makest the loving heart with hateful thoughts to languish and to pine.”
(1) Hardwired for jealousy: stalker”s brains could be programmed for obsession, new research shows
(2) New Year”s resolutions are a total waste of time (for most people)
(3) How Does the Act of Writing Affect Your Brain?
- Skin Deep – Beauty can be measured in different forms and is merely a small factor in determining who you are.
- 48 Laws of Power – The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is the life book you need to succeed in anything you do.
- Keeping Motivated – Sometimes we hit a wall, but don’t ever forget why you started; always persevere.
- How to Get Lucky – Success is partly luck, and mostly action. In order to get lucky, you have to make yourself available.
- Not All That Glitters is Gold – Social media is everyone’s highlight reel; don’t get stuck in the smoke and mirrors.
Have you ever had a time when you had to get over the jealousy bug? Share your experience and tag us at #conqueringWonderland!
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