Ep #21: Jealousy
Posted on September 4, 2014
Thanks to another great listener email, this week we are going to discuss the topic of jealousy. Sam wrote in asking about how to deal with this negative emotion that drains us and adds to self doubt.
Jealousy is a natural emotion that is hardwired into us from birth. It can come up in relationships with our partner or with complete strangers. Fortunately, we have the ability to control our thoughts, which in turn controls our emotions.
On this episode of The Life Coach School, we analyze why people feel jealous in different situations (some valid, and others simply created by our thinking). Tune in for some solid tips and techniques that will make the problem of handling the emotion of jealousy much easier. Don’t miss my mindset hacks you can start using today to get you started!
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why we experience feelings of jealousy when someone else succeeds.
- How the mindset of scarcity can create feelings of jealousy.
- What it means to be competitive and in which situations it is OK to let your competitive nature run wild.
- Why you should only compare yourself to you and no one else.
- Important questions to ask yourself.
- How to not be jealous.
Featured on the show
Welcome to The Life Coach School podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hi everybody, welcome to the podcast. I'm really stoke that you're here. Hey, I just want to say I really appreciate all of you who are going over to the site and commenting and telling me how much you're enjoying the podcast. It makes it so much more fun when I go to sit down and record it to know that you're all listening and that really matters to you. I'm thrilled that you're enjoying it. Some of you said you're addicted to it. I don't know, that's a good addiction I guess.
Anyway, thank you so much and thank you so much for all the reviews. I know for me, I listen to a lot of podcast. I love listening to them in my car and I know that it's difficult for me to like get back to my computer, look them up and write a review, but I really do try and do that because I know that everyone's doing their podcast for free. So many of you have honored me with that as well so I really, really do appreciate it.
I just want to give you a little update on what I've been doing. We just sold out Life Coach School Training, so we're going to be doing the Weight Coach Training coming up. If you're interested in that, head on over the Life Coach School and we will get you hook up with that. I've also been working a lot with my coaches on helping them build their businesses and working on their marketing.
That's what I've been up to and I've been enjoying every single second of it, also planning the Mastermind Weekend we're going to have next year in March, securing all of the beautiful venues that we're going to have for that. Summer's over, kids are back at school, I hope you guys are all settled in.
Today, I'm going to talk to you about jealousy and the reason I'm going to talk to you about jealousy is because Sam asked me to. Sam sent me an e-mail and I want to read you the e-mail and then we're going to talk about jealousy today because I think it's something that a lot of people are working on.
Let me start by reading Sam's e-mail. He says, "Hey, Brooke, first off, thanks for the great series of podcast you're putting on. I listen to them religiously and I listen to some more than once just today, just the tools. I also recommended it to my wife, she's also a fan now, thank you." Well, thank you Sam. I appreciate it.
He has a question on a topic, "I don't believe I've heard you addressed in any of the 18 episode so far. My question is how to handle the emotion of jealousy?" It's a negative emotion, it's not useful many times and only drains and adds to self-doubt and goes a negative spiral that is self-defeating.
For me, it comes in two forms. Number one, jealousy of those who are ahead of you. Let me give you an example, so it's easy to relate. Imagine there was this other life coach who started her podcast in 2006, she does similar stuff to what you do. She's super successful, she's transformed her business into a coaching brand, etc., etc. Let's make it even better, this other woman is only 27 years old, by now, her brand is turned into a multimillion dollar successful business, etc.
''When such a scenario happens to me, I can't help but feel jealous. I try to calm myself down by reminding myself that we had different starting points, so then, being ahead of me is okay. They started in this business before me. This perspective somewhat works for me, Brooke, how you do handle this? What mindsets or perspective do you bring to deal with this emotion?"
The second type of jealousy is of those who are at your level or even below. It comes as a result of me being super competitive, something I can't change unfortunately. Again, let me give you an example so it's easier to relate.
Imagine a new person comes on iTunes with a podcast that is very similar to yours, after you have put out successful 18 episodes, she starts tomorrow. She puts out a series of episodes, she gets lucky or knew how to market the product, etc. For me, when something like this happens, I get an initial bite or blow of jealousy. Why I would ask? I work harder and longer to get where I am, and here is this person getting to my level right away. This type of jealousy, I still don't know how to handle it.
'I try to remind myself that we had different situations, the person got where I am, that doesn't mean we'll end up in the same place. It doesn't resonate well with me yet, any thoughts on what perspectives or mindsets would be helpful here are appreciated. Thanks again for all the great you're doing, Sam.
Sam, first of all, you know I have to call you out because you said here that you're a very competitive person and you can't change. I just have to point out that of course, you can change if you want to. You don't want to change and that's cool by me, I'm a very competitive person too. You should see me on the sidelines at the soccer field with my 14 year old or my 13 year old playing soccer. It might as well be the world cup, but that's a whole another podcast.
Let's stick with this one and let's talk about jealousy. Ever since I got your e-mail, I've been thinking a lot about it, and one of the things that I thought was so interesting was that I don't really feel jealous ever. I feel a lot of other negative emotions, don't get me wrong but jealous just isn't one that I feel, and so I started thinking about it.
I think part of the reason I don't feel jealous is my husband isn't flirting with other women, I think that would make me feel very jealous. I think he was interested in other women, that would probably do it for me, I'm not saying it wouldn't but he's not like that at all, so I don't have jealousy in that area.
I'm never jealous of someone else's success and I think that I used to feel, actually a lot of jealousy and it was never about someone else's success the way you brought it up here, but I used to be jealous like of other women who were really thin. Any woman that was thinner than me, I was jealous of and any woman that I thought was beautiful.
When I was young, and I'm talking about in my 20's, I would deal with jealousy and I would deal with jealousy with boyfriends that cheated on me with other women, I really feel jealous about that. When it comes to the examples that you brought up here when it comes to other podcasters or other women who are in business or even men who are in business in the same space as I am, I really genuinely don't feel jealous.
I started thinking about why. What is the reason I don't feel jealous and Sam does? Because it's definitely one of those emotions that is built in, it's hard wired into us, I mean, even little children get jealous, right? It's not something that hasn't been around, it's something that we have when we're very young.
I really wanted to define it in a way that helped us understand it, so I want you to know I spent a lot of time preparing for this podcast because I really wanted to understand it in a way that would be useful to both of us, me when I'm teaching it and you when you're feeling it. Because jealousy does not feel good and it does not serve us.
Here's what I came up with. What is jealousy? Here's what I wrote, when someone else wins, gets what you want or has what you want, when you believe you can't have it or something equal or better. I think the word "competition" is a good word for us to use there because I think it's competition but feeling like when someone wins that you're jealous of their trophy, you're jealous of them winning the game. They now have something that you believe you can't have. They're in some way winning and you are losing.
I think for me, when it comes to business, I don't feel that way. I don't feel like when someone has a really successful podcast or someone has a really successful business that they're winning and I'm losing. I think there's plenty of time for everybody to win and I'm really not just saying that I really do believe that. I wanted to think about your mind for a while, Sam and think what you must be thinking that you don't think that way, right?
Here's what I came up with. I think jealousy comes from scarcity, from the idea that one person gets the price and there's only one price. I think that's why, like with my husband, if my husband was flirting with someone else or I thought he was interested in another woman, I think I would felt jealous and in that situation because he is my prize, right? He's the only prize and I think I would feel if someone else "want him or got him," I think I would feel like "Yeah, there is only one of him and I'm never going to get him back." I think I would feel jealous in that situation.
That's not to say that I would feel jealous long term because here's the truth, and if I step back and think about it, if my husband was interested in another woman, if my husband wanted to be with another woman, then he wouldn't be the same man I know and love now. Right?
One of the reasons why I love Chris so much is because he is so into me, so if he was into someone else, he wouldn't be in the same space. I wouldn't be connected to him in the same way, so I hope that make sense. I think the examples that you've given, you've created the scenario where there is only one price that if someone's ahead of the game and they're getting there faster or it's taken them less time to get what you have that somehow you're going to get less. Right? I think that that comes from a place of scarcity, a place of believing that there's a limited price or that if someone gets it and gets more of it than you do or gets there faster, that in some way, they're better.
Now, stay with me on this because I want to give you an example of how this happen with me. When I was younger, I told you before, I used to be very jealous of thin people. I though thin people, I had it all figured out, right? I thought that they had happiness and they had everything that anyone could ever want in the world. I always used to think it was weird when thin people would be talking about anything other than how thin they were.
I always felt like "Wow, shouldn't we just be talking about your body right now? Because that's what I'm obsessed with. I'm obsessed with why you're so thin and how amazing your body is." Of course, that's not what they were thinking about at all that I was very jealous of them.
One of the people that I used to be quite jealous of is Whitney Houston and I used to think about because she's so thin and so talented and I used to think "Wow, if I could only be Whitney Houston. If I could only be that thin, I would be so happy. She's so much happier than I am," right? I used to believe that so deeply that her thinness brought her happiness, right? I think that's what we do when we become jealous of other people. We see their success whatever version of success we're creating in our minds of them.
For example Sam, when you have someone that comes up in your business that does better than you, what you're thinking about them whether it's based on reality or not is that they have it better than you, that they're winning and you're not or they're winning more than you are, that they have it better. If you had what they have as fast as they have it, you would be happier. They are happier because of what they have, so like really think about your thoughts there that somehow because they got it sooner or because they got more, that they're in a better place. Right?
You look at really successful people and one of the ways that you can look at it is you can say, "Okay, I have a goal of say, making a million dollars in a year." Okay? Say, that's your goal in your business and you see someone, and you've been working on it for about five years and someone comes up and they make a million dollars their first year in business, and you've already been working on it. Right?
What you're thinking when you're thinking about them is that they did it better. They got it faster so therefore, it's better, so therefore, they win in some way and that their life is somehow better because of it. If you had done that instead of the way you're doing it, you would be happier and you would be better.
Can you see it? Can you see how what you make it mean when someone else does something, is what's making you feel so terrible. Now, you say you're a competitive person which means you like to ... I mean, let me just explain to you how competitive I am so you know that I'm on your page, okay? If we're playing a game, a board game, if we're playing Taboo, Monopoly ... sorry, Candy Land, I am going to win. I don't care if you're five years old, I don't care if you've never played the game before. I will win this game. Okay?
I really am competitive. I love, love, love to win and here's the truth, I love to play with competitive people. I don't want to play game with someone who doesn't care if they lose. What do you mean, you don't care if you lose? That is not how I like to play games. I like to play games with people that want to win and of course, my whole family is very, very competitive. It's like battle's on and I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way, but when you get into trouble is when you apply that competitiveness where you start competing against other people in your industry or other people in your life and different situations, maybe even different careers.
I've watched people compete when it comes to what car they have, how well their kids do in school, all that kind of competitiveness and then they have jealousy when they're not the one winning. That gets you into big trouble. If you're really competitive, you can use that to your benefit by competing with yourself.
I will tell you, when you're a competitive person and you compete with your own results and you want your results to be better than they were, that can be super exciting. Noticing, when you're working towards something, do you think that when you get to a certain point that you're better than someone else, right? Does it work both ways? Do you think they're jealous of you? Right? Or when you don't succeed, are you going into that space where you think they're better than you? Okay?
That's that battle in between those two things. Now, where that comes from is a place of insecurity and scarcity. It's the belief that you're not going to get yours or that you should've already gotten yours or they shouldn't have gotten theirs yet. Right? Those are all just thoughts.
I want to remind you, right? All the work we've been doing in this podcast is about remembering that our thoughts create our feelings. The reason we feel jealous is because we're having a thought. Now, competitive or not, you can choose what you want to think when someone else succeeds. What you're making it mean is that it's somehow depletes you when they are successful. When you compare yourself to them, you're using that comparison as a way to beat yourself down and my guess would be that that's a pattern for you and that you could probably see it in other areas of your life where you use evidence. You're looking for evidence to feel badly. Okay?
Here's an example, I have a friend and we talk about money all the time because we both love money. We talk about our relationship with money and how we feel about it and how we attract it into our lives. I was talking to him one day about lottery winners and I was telling him how I love to watch people win the lottery. I love it when they have a video on them and I love to think about what they must have been feeling when they found out they won a hundred million dollars. I love to talk about people and what they must be feeling when they win a hundred million dollars and what thoughts must be going on in their mind and how they're creating the scenario in their brain.
The truth is, they've studied lottery winners and they have studied that they're not any happier years later than they were before they won the lottery, so I know, I hear you. I just love the idea of that moment when someone is told they just won a hundred million dollars. I think that feeling of adrenaline, that feeling of excitement, I just think it's amazing and I love to know like what are they going to buy? What are they thinking about? What are they going to do with that money?
I'm so happy for people when they won the lottery. My friend was saying to me "I'm pissed off when people win the lottery. I don't want them to win a hundred million dollars because it means I didn't win a hundred million dollars." I'm like "You didn't buy a lottery ticket." Of course, you didn't win a hundred million dollars.
Why does their winning have to create any kind of negative emotion? Sam, I want to offer this to you in terms of other people's success. Here's what I love, like there's a guy, his name is John Lee Dumas who does a podcast and he's of course, amazing. He's like number one podcast and he does five or seven podcast a week, right? He just rocks out on podcast, so he's just been so successful because he works his butt off and he has his income report on his website and he makes I think like $285,000 a month which I can't even tell you how excited I was when I saw that that's how much money he made per month. I was seriously so happy for him.
Him and his girlfriend did this business together and they're like the coolest people ever and they're making $285,000 per month. I was just so thrilled for them and so excited thinking about them. I'm so inspired by his success and his example of what is possible and his ability to work his ever living butt off, and to show me what one person is capable of doing in such a short amount of time, that I don't feel one drop of jealousy. I feel a hundred percent in, I think about him all the time.
He inspires me, he doesn't even mean to, right? He's not like on his podcast trying to say, "Hey, I want to inspire you." Right? He's just doing his thing in the world and showing up and rocking it out and I love that for him. I've watched him, he talks a lot about his teachers like Pat Flynn is one his teachers. He learned so much from Pat Flynn and he looks up to him so much and now, he surpassed him in terms of how much money he's making.
I think it's so funny because Pat is so excited for him, right? Here, he thought him the stuff and now, he's so excited for him because he's doing so well and it's inspiring and encouraging to everyone around him. I think it's a choice. When it comes to these examples that you've given here, I think they're absolutely optional to feel jealous here or not.
You can choose to look at someone else's success and see what's possible and find that belief within yourself of what might be possible for you. I mean, don't you like to think about the idea that you can make $285,000 a month? Like some guy is doing that, and it's amazing to me. I love it, right? I think it's incredible to think of that possibility, and when you look at other people and they get somewhere so much faster than where you got, then you can think about "Wow, I could've gotten here faster, maybe. Had I done it that way? I wonder what I could do to get even faster." That's what I think being competitive can be. It can make you better.
If you know your competition and your mind is you, right? Then you can go, okay, you can look to someone else for inspiration and then you can ask yourself, "Can I do this work faster than I did it last year?" And kind of put yourself up against yourself when it comes to what you're creating and what you're doing in your life.
I really think that every time you look at someone's success, just notice what thoughts go through your mind. Are you coming from a place of insecurity and scarcity and are you seeing that there's limited success in the world and that when they get some, you get less or do you think that success beget success and the more success people there are, the more successful there are? There's that energy that can really bring us all together.
I'll tell you, when I first was writing my first book which is called "If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight?" I remember thinking like "Who needs another weight loss book?" This is ridiculous. I'm, you know, "This is not going to be successful. I was coming from a place of tremendous scarcity," right? I was thinking that every book on the subject had already been written, except I knew that mine hadn't been written because I had read them all and it hadn't been written.
I remember really tapping into that abundant mentality and believing that everybody can get some. Everybody can give some, right? I have something to say in a way that nobody else could have possibly said it this way because nobody's me and someone, somewhere, might benefit from the way I say it, right? And there's enough room for all of us on the shelves at Amazon and there truly is enough room for all of us.
I don't need the whole ocean, right? I just need my people and I've been building on that abundant mentality since that time. When you look at people around you who are doing really well, you can say, well, they may have gotten here fast but they're not going to get to the destination as fast as I am or we're not even going to same destination. Notice how you feel when you say that, notice where you're coming from. Do you want to come from a place of rock on with your bad self? Good for you. Good for you for kicking ass.
I want to know everything about you, I want to know how you did it and I want to be on the same page and it doesn't mean that you won't compete with them and that you won't collaborate with them, but it also doesn't mean that you can't win and they can win too. Just because someone else is winning doesn't mean you're losing and in fact, I like to think like what if we're all on the same team when it comes to our work, right?
We're all headed to our own specific destiny and those of us who are showing up and working hard and supporting each other will all go there together, right? I want to offer this to you Sam, not as like "Hey, don't be jealous with other people, it's not right. That's ridiculous, right? You're going to have thoughts that are going to create jealousy for you. There's no problem with that, but it is a choice, right? It's a choice that you may not be making consciously but it's a choice you're making that's creating you to feel like crap.
I want you to think about this, let's back up and go to the model, okay? Remember, our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings drive our actions. I want you to think about Sam, when you are thinking about this person that is more successful, faster than you are, right? Or even they're just more successful, let's say they started sooner and they have this multimillion dollar business and they're more successful than you, and when you're thinking about them, you're thinking something pretty negative that's causing you to feel jealous. They're ahead of me, right? They're better than me. They did it better so they therefore have it better than I do, and that creates this feeling of jealousy.
Now, remember, you’re feeling of jealousy is going to fuel your actions. Now, what do you do when you feel jealous? Does it make you work better? Really think about this, you guys. Does it make you work harder and more creatively and more in your space or does it cause you to feel defeated and make you want to give up, and make you want to quit, and make you want to switch careers, and male you want to do something else? Really think about that. Is jealousy which is optional, feeling that is serving you? Right?
The thoughts are going to come, they're going to appear and your choice is whether you're going to entertain them and look for evidence and try and justify them. When the thought comes "Oh, they have it better than me because they got more money faster or they're business was more successful than mine in a shorter period of time." Are you going to buy into that belief or are you going to say "Good for them" for what they got? "I'm going to get mine and I'm getting mine in the exact amount of time that I meant to get it, and can I step up and be more of who I am and can I be inspired by their example of what is possible?
I will promise you, if you do that work, it will take effort because you are in the mode right now Sam of going straight to jealousy, right? Which makes you feel less man. If you make the effort to notice when that appears, a notice when you're buying into that thought, and notice what you're doing what you're doing when you're buying into the thought in dealing jealousy, then you can make a decision that you want to focus on a different way of thinking. That you want to focus on your journey being you and you competing against the best in you, and evolving into the person you're supposed to be.
Everything you do and every place you are is exactly right and on time. No one else is better than you because they've made more money than you or they're more successful than you, I promise you that. You can use them as inspiration to become more of who you are and I would highly encourage you to do that, anytime you think you feel jealous.
I want to end with kind of giving something you can write down and think about, okay? First and foremost, when you feel jealous, make sure you recognize it, right? Make sure you get a hold of it before you react to it before it affects you in any kind of negative action, reaction or inaction way.
Find the thought causing it and notice that underlying insecurity in yourself where that thought is coming from, and make a decision of whether you want to keep thinking that thought. Then you can decide what you want to believe instead. Here are some things that I do since you ask me about my own mindset that I want to share with you. I always make an effort to make peace with what is, and this is something that I really have learned to apply to my life because it has brought me so much peace and relief.
If someone out is a multimillionaire and a quarter of the time that it took me to do that same thing, then I know that all is right with the universe. That's exactly what was meant to happen, and I believe that. I wrote a book called, you know, "It Was Always Meant to Happen That Way" and I really do believe that and so, making peace with what is that's all is right with the world. Everything happens for me. Right?
If somebody else is more successful than me, meaning they make more money than me, that's for me. How is that for me? Can you see how you just flip that around in your mind? It really can work if you can get yourself to believe in that way. I will tell you, it takes some effort, you have to practice knowing that I can create whatever I want in my life and what I meant to create in my life keeps me focused on my life. Right?
Other people's lives are exactly the journey that they're meant to have, and my journey is this one. If I want what someone else has, right? I can create it. I know I can, and if I want to, I believe that that is ... I believe that our desires and our wants are kind of our map to our destiny and so really paying attention to something I really want and why I want it is really, really important.
I focus on the world being abundant, I think we can all get ours. I think the only reason we don't get what we want is because we believe we can't have it. Nothing will convince me that I can't have everything I meant to have and I believe that I meant to have wonderful amazing things in my life. I also believe that what I give to the world is what I meant to get too. That feeling of giving, and giving, and giving what I have to the world and not putting my hand ... my wrist up and looking up my watch and asking where mine is. Right? Because mine is in the giving and really focusing on that.
Then I use other people's success as an evidence of what is possible in the world. I use them as my inspiration. I don't use them as a way to feel bad about myself and then another exercise that you can do that might be really helpful is to ask yourself these questions, first of all, "What do I have?" I love this question.
What do I have? Am I doing everything I can to create the results I want? Do I believe in myself and my goals? Can I use other people to inspire me and multiply my abundance mentality? I'm going to read it one more time. Sam, the next time you feel jealous, I want you to ask yourself "What do I have? Am I doing everything I can to create the results I want? Do I believe in myself and my goals? Can I use other people to inspire me and multiply my abundance mentality?"
I'm looking forward Sam to reading your comments on this post. I'm so thankful that you sent me that e-mail. I think this is a great topic that will lots of people who feel just the way you do, and I'm challenging you to step up to the next level of abundance in your thinking.
Have a wonderful week everybody, I'll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.
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