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How to Channel Your Envy

How to transform your reaction into intentional action in the new year

We all feel envious sometimes. It’s normal.

If you ever find yourself thinking:

I want that. You don’t deserve it.

I want that. What’s wrong with me that I don’t have that?

I want that. Why can’t you (to others) provide that for me?

Know that we all react. We’re human. It’s okay.

Just know this. We don’t have to let our first reaction dictate our next thought. You can turn your next thoughts into "I want that. Thanks for giving me inspiration."

the big wave

It’s good to be surrounded by people who inspire you to be your best self. In her book Never Enough, author Jennifer Wallace writes about an analogy of a surfer waiting for the big wave. Why do surfers wait for the big one? Wouldn’t it be easier if they just rode the small ones? The surfer waits because she values the challenge it represents. It is only against the big waves that she can realize the true limits of her capacities.

A quote that says "It's only against the big waves that she can realize the true limits of her capacities..." on a background of a woman surfing a big wave.

getting curious

Sometimes our envy can be surprising, too. We can ask ourselves “I didn’t think I cared about that this much. Does it really matter to me?” Maybe the envy is about someone’s fancy clothes or the size of their house. Or maybe you feel envious about a spot on the varsity soccer team. Whatever that is, pause. When you pause to really ask yourself, do I truly value that? Sometimes that answer might be a no. Or maybe parts of it matter and parts of it you don’t really care for. Envy, if channeled correctly is a great prompt for us to get curious about what we want and value.

And other times, it brings great inspiration! Seeing others gives us ingredients to blend our own ideas with sprinkles from others to create something of our own. People in the creative world draw inspiration from their surroundings all the time.

It’s not a bad thing to be surrounded by people that make us curious, inspire us, and give us a healthy nudge.

enough goodness for all

Remember, though, it doesn’t have to be you against someone else. You can cheer on others while cheering yourself on too. Achieving joy and success is not a zero-sum game.

There’s enough goodness to go around for us all, so let’s ride some big waves with kindness in the new year!

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