Don't get envious, get inspired

Shakespeare hit the nail on the head when he described envy in Othello as 'the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on'. I can remember forensically analysing every single word in this quote for AS Level English Literature, but it's not until now that I realise just how spot on Shakespeare really was.

In today's comparison culture, it is so easy to become envious of other people. Just a couple of seconds scrolling through social media can often leave us feeling bitter, resentful and jealous of other people's lives. Why is there social life - and love life - so much better than me? Why do people find them so much more attractive and amazing than me? Why do they have so many more followers than me? When it comes to the opportunities for toxic comparison on social media, this list of 'whys' could just go on and on...

I've come to believe that envy - and the bitterness, resentment and anger it typically results in - is perhaps the ugliest of human emotions. It has absolutely no positive purpose whatsoever. All it does is make us angry, unhappy and deeply unfulfilled in our lives. As we rage about the fame and fortune of others, we forget who we are and all the gifts that already exist in our own lives. We loose all sense of perspective and we ultimately loose ourselves. The worst thing is, the people we are envying do not actually have 99% of the things that we believe they do. Social media means that we are constantly comparing other people's filtered, edited and carefully selected highlights reels with our own real, raw and 1000% authentic selves. The result? We compare our real selves with somebody else's 'social media self'! At the end of the day, every single one of us is just a human being. Every single one of us is going through the same things in life - we all grow old, experience suffering, and will ultimately pass away. We must all go to the toilet, go to sleep, go through grief and hardship in life. So the first thing you need to do is stop buying into what you see on social media and start living in the real world once again!

The second thing you need to do is start converting any feelings of envy that you are feeling into inspiration. Here's the thing in 21st century egalitarian society - absolutely anything is possible! That person you envy? You could have and do everything that they have, if you so wanted to! They are, as I say, fundamentally no different to you. They were born and they will die - they are human, just like you! Sure, they may have had a few 'lucky breaks' or whatever, but at the end of the day they are a human being...just like you! Here's what you need to know: if they can do it, then so can you!

Here's the question: are you willing to do whatever it takes to become the person you are envious of? If yes, then what are you waiting for - get busy becoming that person! You CAN do it, so why not? If you're so madly envious, then now is the opportunity to become that person! If, however, you're thinking that 'no', you don't want to do whatever it takes to become that person, then you've got to ask why you are still feeling so envious of them? You COULD be them if you wanted to why are you choosing not to be? Could it be that, at the end of the day, you might well be happy being you? Could it be that, at the end of the day, you haven't lost sight of your authentic self and you haven't lost sight of your own core values?

Here's how I see it. Envy should inspire you to do one of two things

- Work hard and do whatever it takes to achieve what the person you are envious of has achieved (and you can!)

- Stop letting envy ruin your happiness and focus on becoming more authentic, content and fulfilled in your own skin...replacing comparison with contentment, transforming anger into authenticity.

You don't want to be consumed by the green eyed monster. You don't want to be overcome with envy, anger, resentment and bitterness. That's not you. That's not going to increase the quality of your life. So you need to do something with it - you need to transform it into inspiration. Let envy either motivate you to achieve whatever it is you're envious of, or let envy motivate you to let go of comparison and realise that happiness is found when we become content in our own skin.

Whatever you do, don't let the green eyed monster feast on you and steal your soul. Don't fester in your bitterness and resentment. Put down your phone, stop scrolling, and take back your control. You are the one determining and directing your life, not the green eyed monster. Know your worth. And know that you are so much stronger than any emotion or feeling that you experience.

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