How to stop being jealous

Growing up, I was very competitive. While I loved my friends and wanted what was best for them (and helped them achieve their goals as much as I could), I also wanted to be the best.

You know how it goes… “I’m happy for every achievement you have, as long as your achievements are not greater than mine.” The ugly truth.

Over time, of course, I learned to work with these little demons of mine and stop comparing myself to others (which is, let’s face it, the main cause of jealousy). That is a big task, and it can take years of practice to master. I am reminded of that reality every time I feel that knot in my stomach when someone else just happens to stumble into success… and I still seem to be here slaving away with seemingly zero results.

But, like you, I don’t like being jealous. I never wanted to be jealous in the first place. It’s just this ugly feeling that creeps into my soul and shows up in the worst circumstances – the times when I want to be there for my friends and be truly happy for them.

Fortunately, I’ve found a system that works for me when I find myself in the throes of jealousy – it might work for you too.

Before you roll up your sleeves, here are two things you should understand about jealousy first:

1. Your friend has probably worked a lot harder than you think. Chances are, they didn’t just stumble into success half-assing their work. They worked their butt off. Maybe even more so than you.

2. You are jealous because you compare yourself with others. You compare yourself with others because you’re insecure and have the self-defeating belief that by being “better” than those around you (by what standards, anyway?) you will command more respect, appreciation, and acceptance. Chances are, once you finally do get ahead, you will realize what an empty illusion this is. But, for now, it seems very hard to shake.

Now that you understand what jealousy is made of, click play on the video below to learn what you can do to let go of your jealousy and be truly happy for your friends.

Jealousy is a nasty little demon… but when you understand why it happens and take the right steps, you can successfully let go of these feelings and get back to your cheery old self.

Do you struggle with jealousy? What do you do to help yourself let go of it?

Eliminate negative emotions from your life

I am a student of life.

There is something to learn in everything that happens to me. Sometimes it’s a lesson in gratitude and joy; other times in humility and introspection. As the roller coaster goes up and down, I try to stay on my toes and be receptive to the lessons hidden behind every moment.

Last week, life delivered another lesson. Someone said something that upset me. I tried to shake it off and be zen, but it didn’t work. It stayed with me. Like a mosquito bite, I kept wanting to itch it, but I didn’t want to engage in negativity. I wanted to just let it go.

Well, as it turns out, there is one step you always need to take in the process of letting go. Press play on the video below to learn all about what it is and how to use it.

This was the perfect lesson because I realized I was missing an important step in the process of letting go. The beauty of this is that, had I not let my ego take over and prevent me from allowing myself to feel these negative emotions, I would have never discovered just how important this exercise really is.

I can’t think of anything more human than simply allowing yourself to feel the emotions that come over you. It’s also the best self-discovery handbook you can have.

So, next time you’re feeling sad, angry, or upset, allow yourself to feel it. Punch a pillow, cry, or write it out. Once you exhaust the feeling, you will find there is nothing there but forgiveness and a fresh start.

Now it’s your turn… how do you let go of negative emotions?

5 essential things you need to learn in your 20s

This is a two-part series. To read the first part, click here.

Last week I wrote a post about what to stop doing in your 20s: waste time and pretend these years “don’t really count”.

Here’s the truth: everything counts. Every single second of every day counts. What counts most is the present moment. NOW.

It doesn’t matter what plans you’ve made for the future, or what happened to you in the past. Sure, you can prepare yourself for a better future, and you can learn from the lessons of the past. But the most important thing in this journey called life is to enjoy every single step of it. Basically, you need to make the most out of your now, every day of your life.

Now that you know what not to do in your 20s (throw them out the window), let’s talk about what you must do in your 20s. More specifically, let’s talk about what you really need to learn during this fateful decade. The sooner you learn these things, the better your life will be, and the more you’ll be able to make the most out of everything you’ve got.

Ready? Click on the video below to learn the 5 essential things you simply must learn in your 20s (and remember, the sooner, the better!)

 

 

Before you leave, I want to hear from you!

What is the most important lessons you have learned in your 20s or that you think young people should learn in their 20s?

For the fellow gen Y-ers out there: What are you going to make your “theme” this decade? What lesson are you going to absolutely make sure you learn?

This is a two-part series. To read the first part, click here.

How a freak-out led to an unexpected realization

I always carry around a thumbdrive. On it I save PDF’s I downloaded during my lunch break that I want to read later.

Every day when I leave work, I grab my thumbdrive from my computer, and plug it into my laptop on my train ride to write.

Yesterday I was late to the train. I grabbed my drive in a hurry and stuffed it in my coat pocket.

When I got to the train, pulled out the laptop, and searched my pockets, I gasped…

You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength - Marcus AureliusI couldn’t find it anymore!

A million thoughts raced through my head…

What if it just fell out of my coat pocket when I pulled out my phone?

Did I have everything backed up for my website?

What other important stuff was on there that I hadn’t backed up?

Darn it, I knew I shouldn’t have put it into my coat pocket!

Some more negative than others…

I’m such a loser, I always do these kinds of things!

I lose everything!

We were, in the meantime, already at the next stop. After this stop, the train was going to turn into an express for half an hour.

Buh-bye thumb drive, and important work. Hello sad, sad Laura.

In a frenzy, I packed up my laptop and jumped out of the train. I stood on the platform for a minute, then slapped myself sane, and jumped back into the train, realizing that going back to look for it would mean losing the next train and having to wait for an hour.

Not worth it.

I decided I would just have to remember all that I had written. Hey, maybe it would come out better the second time.

Back into the train I go.

A minute after I sat down, while scurrying through my pockets one last time, my hand finally touched the holy grail flash drive. I released a deep breath, and looked around in amusement. Had anyone else noticed what a goofball I had been?

I thought I would be embarrassed, but what I really wanted was to share my hilarious and exciting adventure with the people around.

Around me, everyone is minding their own business, on their smartphones, with headphones in their ears… it was a gloomy bunch. They apparently hadn’t noticed a thing.

As the controller (who had witnessed my entire “adventure” with a stern look on his face) passed by to check our tickets, I attempted to lighten up the mood night by telling him, in a happy chirpy voice, that I apologize for jumping on and off the train like that, but y’know, I had just lost my thumbdrive, and thought I had lost important stuff… but I found it! (cue big grin).

No muscle moved on his face. He didn’t stop or even acknowledge the fact that I was talking to him. He just checked my ticket and moved on. While I was still speaking.

Wait, what? Mister, come back, I wasn’t done, and I wanted a smile!

I felt pretty bad for a second or two, I gotta admit.

Everyone around me had this grim look on their face, they were all looking into their phones.

Did I miss the zombie apocalypse?

Maybe it was the lingering feeling of amusement over my freak-out, but I didn’t stick too long with self-defeating thoughts. Another feeling came over me, one that was so much stronger.

I started feeling sorry for them, in a genuinely caring and compassionate way.

All of these people weren’t ignoring me because I’m such a wacky gal and I have so many issues my “crazy!” neon sign is constantly on. They were sad and gloomy because they had so many problems that they had trouble dealing with. On their faces I read weariness, physical, yes, but especially spiritual. There was no smile, no radiance, no joy going around.

I wanted to pick everyone up, shake them by their shoulders, and give them a pep talk. I wanted to tell them that problems can be turned into opportunities, and that if they want to be happy they must turn them into opportunities for growth. I wanted to show them how they can be happy right now.

But I didn’t do that. I didn’t do it, probably because it is a whole new level of crazy I haven’t worked my way up to yet.

Instead, I put out all of the positive energy in the room that I could. And I wished each of them, deep in my heart, a world of happiness, and the courage to take their problems and turn them into opportunities. I prayed that they get the foresight necessary to believe in themselves, and seek to constantly improve. I hoped that they stumble upon the right person, or the right book, or the right resource at the right time, and start turning their lives around. And I wished each and every one of them the happiest life they can make for themselves.

I wish I could have talked to all those people, to show them how amazing they truly are, to remind them that they only live once and that they must make every moment matter.

I wish I had had the chance to prod them to dig deep into their souls and remove their self-defeating beliefs, and the opportunity to help them see what a world of opportunity they have waiting for them, if only they reach out for it.

Instead of making a clown out of myself in a train car, I am passing this along: When you’re feeling sad and weary, look around and see how many other people are feeling the same way. And remember that we all make that choice.

Most importantly, we can live in the moment, and accept things as they are. We can let go of anger and fear and realize that the moment we are still upset over has passed long ago.

As difficult as that may be to accept, we are the ones keeping ourselves upset, sad, and weary.

Did you ever have an apparently insignificant moment that turned your awareness from yourself to others? Share your story!