You know that blogger: she’s got a pro photog for a boyfriend, so he just loves taking amazing photos of her, natch. She’s skinny and beautiful and maybe even rich, and the world’s most prestigious brands are flooding her mailbox with show and party invitations.
You are so envious of her. She has everything.
You hate her. And you want to be her.
Envy is perhaps the most insidious of the seven deadly sins, because it is a bit of a combination of greed, wrath, and lust. You want, want, want, then get angry or feel despondent when you don’t have all those things you want that someone else has. Envy clouds your brain and creates a visage of perfection that simply does not exist.
Don’t be seduced by someone else’s life.
I learned a valuable lesson about envy some years ago. I knew someone who seemed to have the perfect life: handsome husband, fancy vacations, luxury car, the whole nine. I was on the outside looking in, thinking how some people just have all the luck, and why didn’t I? That was, until I found out that her husband had a mistress. And then POOF!—just like that, it was all gone—she had to rebuild her life after he left her for the other woman.
I learned then to be grateful for what I have, not envious of what I don’t. Because often, things are not as rosy as they appear.
Absolution: JUST CHANNEL IT
While envy is generally a negative emotion, it can also be a catalyst for personal momentum and growth. Don’t just sit there seething about your lot in life, take action to change it!
Turn envy into positive action:
- Commit to improving your blog content.
Transform photos by taking a class, or swapping goods or services with an amateur photographer looking to build his or her portfolio. Take an online writing or SEO course. Learn photo editing, or fake it with PicMonkey. Comb Problogger articles for tips and tricks. There are also lots of blog improvement goodies on my Build a Better Blog page. Want to have a kick-ass blog? Start kicking some ass, then!
- Be the best version of you that you can be.
Are you eating clean, exercising, making time to take care of yourself? Never underestimate the power your self-esteem has over every aspect of your life. If you don’t feel good about YOU, it affects everything from relationships, to work, to yes…your blog. Trust me, I know. Kickstart the new you with a Whole30. A year ago this month, I did my first Whole30, and it was an incredible experience! So much so that I’m doing an inaugural #Whole30 right this minute.
- Learn from the person you envy.
We all have challenges and insecurities…even that blogger who seems to have everything. Read interviews about them, or send a request to interview them yourself. Find out: What were their obstacles? How did they overcome them? What advice do they have? Learn from their lessons, follow their advice.
- Realize many “famous” bloggers already had an inside track to the top.
Many either already knew someone in the business, interned or work in the industry themselves, or are ideally-located, geographically (New York, California, or Paris). It’s important that your brain recognizes that some opportunities aren’t truly available to anyone other than that one person. In this post on Everyday Stoic, the author made a great point:
“…it would be foolish to envy someone for gaining something you were never capable of receiving, just as it would be foolish to wish that you had been born at a different time and place.”
So stop thinking that you’re not smart/rich/skinny/cool/beautiful/creative enough. You are. But you are who you are, and they are who they are, and the sooner we all accept that, the more peace we have.
- Focus on someone else.
Think you have it bad? There are people who have serious challenges (not first-world problems like blogging), who could use some help. Get outside of your head and volunteer at a charitable organization—it will make you think twice about what you aren’t or don’t have. When you help others, it feels good for you and them, and you completely forget about focusing on you in the process.