The Thief of Joy

Jessica Conaway, MS
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Play Therapist

You might be prone to feel jealous of other people’s success and to feel worse about yourself if you suffer from low self-esteem. This is why it’s important to perceive other people’s achievements in a different light. Not only is it unhealthy to let your self-esteem be swayed by what other people are doing, it is also wasteful and unproductive to be jealous of their success.
It’s often times very enlightening to take notice of the success of others – especially individuals with comparable life goals and strengths, at times has left me feeling jealous, and how that in turn lowered my self-esteem. When I compare myself to others who I perceive are more successful, I will also start judging myself, telling myself that I’m not a good at: ___________ fill in the blank. I’ll especially feel deflated if a successful rival is younger than me.
The truth of the matter, though, is that there will always be more successful individuals out there other than me. There isn’t any valid reason as to why this should make me feel down about myself. What is in my control, however, is how I choose to respond to the success of others. I do not have to feel jealous of their success.
You can stop yourself from feeling jealous when you value your good qualities and skills. With a steady feeling of self-worth, and without comparing yourself to anyone else, you are less likely to have your self-esteem impacted by feelings of jealously. Someone may excel in one branch of their life – such as his or her career – that you believe shines a light on your failures. But realistically, he or she may think the same about you, perhaps with respect to your career, or a different area of your life altogether.
The problem underlying feelings of jealously is social comparisons. If you can feel confident about your positive traits just as they are then your self-esteem is less prone to extreme fluctuations. Moreover, it helps to realize that everyone else out there is also like you, trying to develop as a person and achieve his or her goals.
I’ve found that the more compassion I can show myself the easier it is for me to be genuinely happy about the success of others. Being sympathetic to my own struggles as well as appreciative of the positive experience of achievement allows me to be glad that others are successful. It’s a much more productive use of my time to be inspired by success and to reach out to people and ask for advice, tips, and guidance on how to achieve what I want to achieve.
As therapists, we can help you to identify your strengths, therefore building self-confidence. Its our goal for you to value your unique journey and to not get lost in the comparison realm, as we all sometimes do. Please call our office today for your free consultation 407-355-7378.