Tag Archives: envy

7 steps to deal with ENVY

A month ago I attended the re-Set Business forum.  One of the panelists was Michael Eisner of the Walt Disney Company offering up his ideas about business, success and excellence. He spoke about the things that could prevent you from achieving your goals.  Eisner mentioned how was how envy was a destructive force in your life. He went onto say experiencing envy was a good cause for reflection.

But, what is envy? According to dictionary.com,

Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another: to feel envy when a friend inherits a fortune.

You know the feeling. You and a co-worker have been working hard all year, but he is the one that gets the end of the year award. Where is your prize?

Or, for the last six months you have been trying to get a job interview at a company you love only to discover, after just a month of job hunting, a friend has been hired at that same company.

You attend a party and another friend always has a crowd of people around them while you stand alone.

You begin to feel that warm feeling inside your chest. Its not a fuzzy or fun feeling. You begin to lick your lips and wonder, “why not me?”. What is wrong with ME? Why do THEY get everything while I’m still in the same place?

Envy. It can creep up on you or fill you up so fast that it takes your breath away. Michael Eisner is right, if you don’t follow the feeling it can lodge in your body and spirit like a tumor growing in it darkness and intensity. Envy conceived as a sin would have you wish that the receivers of the things you covet would experience a downfall or be deprived in some way. This is the dark side of envy- crafting the demise of another.

Is there a bright side? As with all sins/negative feelings they point to a place in you that needs some work. OK, that sucks, but isn’t it better you realize that, then loosen the wheel of the car of your rival? What can be done?

1. Acknowledge envy. The first step in any recovery plan is acknowledging it.

2. Pinpoint the feeling. “I am feeling envious because Susie was promoted and I thought I should had the job”.

3. Face the truth. Susie got the promotion. Maybe it was deserved, or, not. Nonetheless, she has it and you are stuck in the windowless cubicle while Susie moves into the new, but, tiny office with windows.

4. Be a bigger person. You want something and someone else got it. You can badmouth them, not a good idea, or you can walk up to them and give them a heartfelt congratulations.  People are attracted to attractive people. If you are a crank, you better be a damn good productive one, or you will be in cubicle hell for life.

5. Face another truth. Maybe you suck. OK. Too harsh? Face the fact the someone else just did better work, played office politics with skill, or in general, took extra steps to get the job done. Spend some time and evaluate what you did in relation to what the person received. Yes, there are people for whom the sun always shine, angels sing when they walk by and skies are blue. Generally, there is the hard truth to face, they did more. You may have become myopic in your view of the kind of work you were putting in. Or you are doing the same thing over and over.

6. Did you want it? I find I am feeling envious for another’s good fortune when in truth I was not interested in it. There are times, I must admit, I don’t want someone to win until I have. Do you really want what you want? Or, are you just becoming a greedy bastard? Be clear on what you want in life. Do your best to go after it and leave no dead bodies in your wake.

7. Be smarter. Be kinder. Be an attraction magnet by operating at your highest level of being (whatever that is). Make wise choices about what you want in life and realize there is a lot to go around.

How do you deal with envy?


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