Transforming envy around work and life
It’s a long weekend here in the United States because we are observing Memorial Day for those service men and women who perished while serving our country. And this is also the unofficial start of Summer.
But right now, everything seems to be going crazy, doesn’t it?
If you’re looking for a job in business, all the news screams about is a “strong job market” even as everyone seems to be getting laid off.
And if you’re an actor or creative, the WGA strike has put a whole lotta stuff on hold and precipitated great change all around. Actors are getting dropped from their reps' rosters, signing on with new representation and the dire warnings of a SAG-AFTRA strike (vote YES if this applies to you!) permeate our airwaves and social media.
So, when there’s a big ol’ s***-show going on, what do you do?
- Hibernate, go on vacation, get lost in their day-to-day lives;
- Say, “to hell with it all” and just hunker down to watch Ted Lasso and Yellowjackets;
- And some people – many of us, I’d wager – start to engage in Compare-Despair behavior, noticing what others are achieving and doing – awesome new job – a new baby – a series regular audition – and feeling desperately unhappy because those amazing things are not happening to us.
On Dictionary.com, it says that “jealousy centers its negative focus on the person who has the thing that you don’t, while envy is more centered on the desire for the thing.”
So, I’m going to go ahead and call this feeling we’re talking about ENVY, that familiar green-eyed monster that derails our ability to bask in the light of others’ successes.
Yuck. What an awful feeling, isn’t it? But… instead of pushing that envy away, what if you were to welcome and examine it?
Your envy is a symptom of you not being, doing or having the thing you want.
So, what is that thing? If you’re not close to it, that’s OK. What matters is that you have a plan to get there and more importantly, that you get to a better feeling place about it.
This is where the 2nd Strategy in my free Dos and Don’ts Guide comes in. It’s all about listing your successes and achievements. On a business resume, these should be quantifiable – use numbers, percentages and so on.
For creatives whose successes might be more amorphous (I got 5 auditions doesn’t usually translate to “I got 5 jobs,” unfortunately), the basic action is the same: make lists of achievements – auditions are getting better (you should be keeping track), callbacks are coming more often, the feedback at workshops is changing from “Try it this way” to “That was perfect, I have no notes.”
Why don’t you do it now? Grab a pen and paper or open a new document. Go ahead.
Here’s the template:
I was feeling ______ (jealous, envious, upset) that _______ (B got a new job while I’ve got way more experience than she does), but now I realize that:
I did/got _____________ (some examples below)
- 50% more sales in the past two quarters than in the previous year;
- Went to a networking event and have lots of interesting new contacts to follow up with;
- New and amazing headshots that I haven’t unveiled to the world or social media yet.
Do you see how this simple action can shift your feelings about everybody else's wins?
You're on your journey, they're on theirs. Maybe B got that new job but now she has to scramble to meet the people you already talk with on a day-to-day basis. We don't ever get to know what's going on with people and everyone is fighting some battle at some point or another.
I know that, to quote Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, “Times is hard,” but you are so much more successful and ahead of the game than you think you are. Even now, in this weird time of flux. If you try the exercise above, please let me know how it goes for you.
With warmest wishes,
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