Some of my friends seem to have everything and do it all perfectly. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I am jealous. How can I stop these feelings?
So, your best friend is wildly successful. She is happily married, has four perfect children, an immaculate home, and makes twice your income. You can’t help but wonder what she’s done right, and what you have done wrong. How many times have you measured yourself against someone else? But, what are you really measuring?
One of my most regrettable traits was that I used to compare myself to other women on a regular basis. In my personal journey to alleviate working mother guilt, I have realized just how negative an effect these comparisons can be. My judgments have run the spectrum: I compared myself to other working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, women who are thinner, prettier, younger, and have better clothes. I have spent endless time pondering my neighbors’ decorating styles, my co-worker’s income, or my high school friend’s marital status. Why?
What I have learned over the years is that comparisons are really just glimpses of jealousy. And…. jealousy is just a reflection of one’s own insecurities. To get past these feelings you need to examine what is causing this unwelcome emotion.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Are you disappointed in yourself? Why?
- Did you expect yourself to be more efficient, or better at juggling?
- Why are you feeling competitive vs. celebrating the highs and lows of life with your friends and peers?
- Do you feel you are being judged?
On the flip side, if you are the object of someone else’s envy, you should ask why you need to appear so accomplished, or if something is stopping you from showing your insecurities and faults. None of us are perfect.
Constantly comparing yourself to others is a no-win situation. The effort is time-consuming, and only results in depleting your confidence. If you look hard enough, you will always find someone who seems to do it better, quicker, or more effortlessly than you. Honor your uniqueness and remember you cannot know or understand anyone’s situation, just as no one could possibly know yours. Instead, be confident in your decision to work and keep your focus on having a happy life both at work and at home.