Empowering Women 101: Turning Jealousy into Inspiration

The word “hater” is often overused today in our society. You may remember my post on this very topic a few months back (If not, read it here: https://themusingsofmegan.com/2014/08/03/the-term-i-wish-everyone-would-stop-using )

Despite it being overused, I do believe that the behavior that the word “hater” is used to describe is a very real thing. Heck, you’ve probably done it yourself. If you’ve ever been jealous subconciously of someone else–for their appearance, their achievements, and overall success, you might be a “hater”. Or at the very least, you might have “hated”.

It starts oftentimes in high school. For me, it started with a crush. The boy you daydream about in algebra, the one you sneakily go out of your way to pass in the halls is seen with the new girl with the cute dress. And her shoes are cute too. It’s just not fair. So you secretly hate her, even though it’s not her that you hate.

This behavior goes on beyond high school and well into your adult life. The fact is, it’s almost a natural reaction it seems, to automatically develop a disdain for those we find more successful. It stems from anger, which stems from jealousy over what is perceived as a superiority in another person. It could be why we’ve been told to take such an attitude (when confronted with it) as a compliment.

Despite the term “hater” being overused, I think there is something we can do to turn this negative energy into something positive. And the most logical and profitable one I can think of is to turn it into inspiration. Below are four tips that have worked for me in the past in making this a reality.

1. Recognize

The first step in any issue you must overcome is recognizing the reality of it. Just like someone with an addiction, you have to admit it’s a problem before you can do anything to fix it. If you’ve ever been jealous and harbored those negative feelings, there’s nothing to be ashamed of in recognizing that you’ve done it. It’s OK. Once you know and admit it, you can go about changing it.

2. Don’t hate, celebrate

Why did Susie’s article get published and I was turned down? While life isn’t always fair, the first reaction shouldn’t be to find fault in that person to make yourself feel better. Because let’s face the truth (Remember, recognize!) Maybe that person’s work was just better than yours. Suck it up. Try again. Don’t give up. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Tyra Banks was turned down by several agencies before she ever graced the cover of any magazine. You get the picture. Keep trying, and don’t harbor jealousy for someone who got what they wanted or worked for. It doesn’t make a difference when it comes to YOUR life.

3. Stop competing

It seems, especially with the prevalence of social media, that our lives have become one big competition. Who has the most exciting life? Who went to the coolest bar with the coolest people? Who’s selfie got the most “likes”? Who has the most “friends”? Who’s getting married and having babies and who’s traveling the world and who’s sitting at home eating ice cream with a cookie? Stop.

Competition gets YOU nowhere. So, you have more followers on Twitter than that girl. It doesn’t matter, because someone else will have more. All your friends are getting married? Cool, you might not be personally ready yet. And for the love of God, you are not less of a person if the selfie you took has less likes than someone else. In order to be successful, you need to make your own goals and outline your own timeline. Comparing yourself to someone else won’t help you, because you’ll end up disappointed. It’s a fine line from being inspired by someone to being jealous and competitive so be careful.

4. Focus

After you stop comparing your ab muscles to the girl next to you at the gym, you can make a goal for yourself. You shouldn’t focus on what people think or say, or what someone else is doing. Really, just shift your focus to yourself and what you want. When you do that, you’ll be a lot happier.

So, there you have it. Let go of negativity, be inspired, and do you. Share your own experiences or tips below.

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