Do you regularly compare yourself with others and then find yourself feeling jealous when you don’t measure up?
Constant comparison is unhealthy. It deflates your self-esteem and leads to feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. It also blinds you to your strengths and the many blessings and opportunities in your life.
Whether you like it or not, there will always be people who are smarter, better looking, more popular or more successful than you. How you choose to respond to this will have a huge impact on your self-image and your future success in all areas of life.
The surest way to breed jealousy is to compare. Since jealousy comes from feeling less than another, comparisons only fan the fires. — Dorothy Corkille Briggs.
Don’t Let Comparing Cause You to Quit
Jealousy is paralyzing and will keep you from reaching your full potential. Have you ever given up something you enjoyed because you felt you’d never measure up to what others have already achieved?
It’s easy to forget that you don’t need to be the best in order to enjoy the benefits of pursuing your interests. As Sam Horn said, “If you don’t quit comparing, comparing will cause you to quit.”
Take this blog for example. There are plenty of dating advice websites out there already, so I used to ask myself if there is any point in me creating another one. I wondered, “Does the world really need to hear my take on things?” and “Do I really have anything valuable to say?”
It was only by consciously choosing not to compare myself with others that I liberated myself to take a chance, speak out and potentially have a positive influence on other people’s lives.
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Are You Letting Jealousy Holding You Back?
Jealousy and negative self-talk can make you quit even before you get started. Have you ever talked yourself out of something that could have been fun or a helpful learning experience? Perhaps you thought, “What’s the point? I’ll never be any good anyway.”
Have you ever watched a band perform on stage and wished you could captivate an audience and woo girls in the same way. You think to yourself, “If only I’d learned to play the guitar when I was younger.”
Then self-doubt raises its ugly head and you remind yourself that you’re tone deaf, you have the hand-eye coordination of a muppet, guitar lessons are time consuming and expensive, and besides, it’s too late now anyway. The sad thing is that you’ve probably had many similar experiences throughout your life.
Admire and be Inspired into Taking Action
Do you remember years ago, that guy who had everyone singing along by the fire as he jammed on his guitar? You know, that guy who you couldn’t help feeling envious of when you noticed all the attention he got from the girls. What excuses did you make for not learning to play the guitar back then?
Instead of stewing in jealousy, what if you’d thought, “Good for you,” and used your admiration for his skills as inspiration to learn to play the guitar yourself. You could have even made a start that very night by having him to teach you a few chords.
Where might you be now if instead of stewing in jealousy, you responded by taking positive action?
Granted, not everyone reaches rock star status with thousands of adoring fans, but there is no reason why you couldn’t be that guy strumming your favorite Guns N’ Roses tracks next to the fire and at least feeling like a rock star!
Take Action Now, Before it’s Too Late
The problem is that when we’re consumed with jealousy, we fail to recognize and take advantage of opportunities for learning and growth. We lose sight of the fact that we don’t have to be the best in order to get better and we make excuses or put things off for tomorrow that we could do today.
If you don’t take action today, then ten years from now you will still be thinking, “I wish I had, but it’s too late now.” The saddest thing about this is that one day you might just be right. One day it will be too late.
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Too Shy to Approach?
Here’s another example that most shy guys can relate to. A girl you really like is sitting across the room. You’re too nervous to approach her so you make excuses why the timing isn’t right. Then suddenly out of nowhere some dude walks up to her and starts a conversation. The next thing you know, she is laughing and they are having a great time together.
How do you respond in this situation? You want to kick yourself for having missed your chance and you’re consumed with jealousy, right? You probably think the guy is a jerk and perhaps you even feel some resentment towards the girl for being blind or “too easy.”
Even in uncomfortable situations like these, make a habit of asking yourself what you can learn and what you can do better next time. Acknowledge the guts that this guy demonstrated in approaching and introducing himself. Give him credit for his confident body language or his good sense of style.
The more prepared you are to mentally congratulate people for their accomplishments and for demonstrating the qualities and skills that you aspire to, the more opportunities you give yourself for learning and growth and the more likely you’ll be to follow in their footsteps.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Strengths
You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars. — Gary Allen.
Remember that focusing on others’ strengths sometimes causes us to lose sight of our own. The next time you notice yourself feeling jealous, remember that jealousy blinds you to your own positive qualities, paralyzes you to enact change and hinders you from reaching your full potential.
You can either let jealously get you down and cause you to quit, or you can give credit where it’s due and replace jealousy with admiration. Then let admiration inspire positive action and self-improvement. Instead of being intimidated by other people’s skills, always ask yourself, “What can I learn from this person?”
Arrogance is not the answer either. There is a Hindu proverb that says, “There is nothing noble in feeling superior to another person. True nobility is in being superior to your former self.” The sooner you stop using others as the yardstick for your own worth, the happier and more fulfilled you’ll be and the easier it’ll become to attract quality women into your life.
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