It is so easy to find yourself slipping into a state of envy when you get around other successful people.
They say that you are the average of the five people you are around most. I think we have all heard that and understand the concept. Maybe you have given thought to the concept and have tried to up the level of the people you are hanging around.
Then you start hanging with people who have more success than you, at whatever level. This is not just financial, but the concept we are discussing really plays out when it is financial.
Maybe they are accustomed to dining at fine restaurants or staying at five star hotels. They wear nice clothes and recommend that you visit their personal shopper at Nordstrom. They drive nice cars and are members at the fancy country club.
It is easy to dip your toes in the water and then run right back out to your comfort zone. Back to your “normal” where you are doing ok. Not great, but ok.
It is easy to feel a sense of envy when you see your peers doing well.
At the same time, it is perhaps easier to feel that sense of envy when you do not know the other person very well or at all.
Have you ever watched a person younger than you drive up in a very expensive car, or see a huge mansion and wonder how they can afford that?
Even worse, have you ever looked at someone you consider to be your competition and felt that sense of envy as you convinced yourself that everything just came easy to them?
Well, let’s put our foot down and end that negative mindset!
First of all, I find myself having those envious thoughts from time to time. I run with some very influential and wealthy individuals. Many of them have more and make more than I do! So of course I understand the thoughts that can creep into your head.
At the same time, I realize that I may be the subject of other’s envious thoughts as well. Have you ever considered that other people, regardless of where you are in business or life, actually look at you and wish that they could have what you have? That should make you feel a little better right there. Every single one of you have been on the other side of someone else’s envy.
Whenever I feel envious of someone or something, I work myself through several key points. This may be something you do in the moment, or, you may want to hold that thought until you can spend some time working through it and clearing your mindset of the negativity and potential roadblocks.
Here are four truths I use to work through envious thoughts in my mind…
- You are made safe by your thoughts.
Your thoughts are a part of a defense mechanism. They keep you safe. Hopefully you do not regularly have thoughts about cutting yourself or jumping in front of a moving car. Sometimes your thoughts scare you and you work to push them down so that you feel safe again. Sometimes you think about leaving an abusive relationship. Sometimes you think about opening a second location or expanding your business.
Sometimes you think that people do not deserve what they have or that they must have cheated to get there. These thoughts make you feel safe. They assure you that you are ok and that you are just a victim of circumstance.
I do not allow my thoughts to keep me wrapped up in a nice bubble. That’s why I am a risk taker. I demand that my thoughts be used to propel me to new levels. I demand that my thoughts push the limits and require me to think and innovate to accomplish new goals.
Once I understand this, I realize that envious thoughts are designed to make me feel safe. Well, safe is for swimming in the ocean or flying on a plane. Not for making millions in business! I reject the notion of envious thoughts just to make myself feel safe. Spend a day with me, I bet you won’t feel at all safe!!!
- Their success is either proof that you can or proof that you can’t.
When you see someone else who has found success, that is a clear sign that whatever it is, can be accomplished. It is proof that it can be done. Now, what we don’t know is HOW they did it. But, rather than be envious, I realize that their success is PROOF that I can do it too. The only question that remains to be answered, which I seek out relentlessly, is HOW did they do it.
Maybe I can’t do that. But I would never know if I was just frozen in a state of envy!
- It is ok to CHOOSE NOT to do something. As long as you are ok with your outcome and do not begrudge others.
Look, you do not have to do everything. You do not have to work 60 to 80 hours a week like I do. But if you don’t, then you cannot begrudge what I have and say that I cheated or that I was lucky.
I choose not to do a lot of things. I like spending time with family more than most things. I also like playing golf more than a lot of other things.
Before you get envious, you should realize that that other person may be working 100 hours a week or living a life that you simply would not enjoy. Maybe they have a ridiculously nice car, but hate their spouse. No way I would trade my life for that!
- Your mindset can be changed by association or implementation.
When I fall into an envious mindset I realize that I can change that in an instant via association or implementation.
Get around people that support you. Stay away, far away, from other Debbie Downers who agree that anyone who found success must have cheated their way there.
Also get strong on your disciplines. Be mindful of your mindset. Control your thoughts and do not allow yourself to be envious. Use their success to drive your success.
In the BDC we are not envious. We realize there is enough resources in the universe for us all to be rich in finances, relationships and health!