“What am I doing wrong?” This nagging question echoed persistently in my mind. A recent revelation about a friend’s thriving business left me pondering. Their numbers dwarfed mine in every aspect.
“My newsletter had tens of thousands of subscribers. His had a hundred thousand. My podcast got thousands of downloads. His got millions.”
Comparing our material possessions exacerbated the situation. He flaunted a larger house, a swankier car, seemingly more success. But this fixation on his apparent triumphs was eroding my contentment, albeit temporarily. I realized I was ensnared by envy.
However, this wasn’t an isolated incident. I found myself repeatedly ensnared in the same trap. Hence, I devised a straightforward mental framework to extricate myself whenever these feelings resurfaced.
In these moments of envy, I uttered a concise two-word mantra to myself: “Don’t compare.”
The simplicity of this phrase belies its effectiveness. It draws from principles of psychology and emotional intelligence, offering a means to navigate and manage emotions effectively.
“Why is this phrase so effective? And how can it help you manage your feelings and emotions, when you start to feed the envy animal? Here’s a breakdown.”
Decades of scholarly research underscore the potential benefits of self-talk, the internal dialogue shaping one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions. The key lies in fostering a positive self-narrative.
While critical self-talk may be inevitable, its duration is within our control. By infusing positivity into our inner dialogue, we can reshape our perceptions and responses. This shift in mindset is crucial, a concept I refer to as the blue dolphin rule.
The mantra “don’t compare” proves invaluable in curbing envy. It serves as a poignant reminder:
“No matter how good things are going, there will always be someone who ‘appears’ to be doing better.”
These appearances can be deceptive, concealing unseen challenges and adversities. Moreover, others’ achievements hold no sway over our happiness.
In tandem with this mantra, I employ a two-pronged framework:
- Define success.
It is incumbent upon us to delineate our own metrics of success, independent of others’ benchmarks.
By discerning our goals and priorities, we avoid the perennial pursuit of others’ ideals. This pursuit not only breeds dissatisfaction but also tempts us to compromise our values.
- Strive to be the best you can be.
Embrace your uniqueness; it sets you apart.
Your distinct strengths, experiences, and style are your assets. Embrace them wholeheartedly, for they attract those aligned with your vision.
In essence, the next time envy rears its head, remember the tenets of positive self-talk and affirm to yourself:
This practice not only propels you towards your vision of success but also cultivates enduring happiness along the way.