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How to Stop Feeling Jealous of Other People's Success

April 27, 2018 Sam Woolfe

Feeling jealous of other people's success gets everyone down at one point or another. And if you struggle with low self-esteem, the success of your peers can be devastating. Visit HealthyPlace to learn healthier ways to respond when you feel jealous of other people's success.

You might be prone to feel jealous of other people's success and to feel worse about yourself if you suffer from low self-esteem. This is why it’s important to perceive other people’s achievements in a different light. Not only is it unhealthy to let your self-esteem be swayed by what other people are doing, it is also wasteful and unproductive to be jealous of other people's success.

Why Feeling Jealous of Other People's Success Is Unhealthy

It’s been very enlightening to notice the ways in which the success of others – especially writers like myself ­– has, at times, left me feeling jealous of other people's success and lowered my self-esteem. On social media, I may notice a peer of mine sharing an article they've written that’s been published by a major media outlet that has previously rejected my pitches. I will then start to feel jealous and bitter about this.

When I compare myself to fellow writers who I perceive are more successful, I will also start judging myself, telling myself that I’m not a good writer or that I’m lazy. I’ll especially feel deflated if a successful writer is younger than me.

The truth of the matter, though, is that there will always be more successful writers out there than me. There isn’t any valid reason as to why this should make me feel down about myself. What is in my control, however, is how I choose to respond to the success of others. I do not have to feel jealous of other people's success.

How to Stop Responding with Jealousy to Other People's Success

You can stop yourself from feeling jealous of other people's success when you value your good qualities and skills. With a steady feeling of self-worth, and without comparing yourself to anyone else, you are less likely to have your self-esteem impacted by feeling jealous of other people’s success. Someone may excel in one branch of their life – such as his or her career – that you believe shines a light on your failures. But realistically, he or she may think the same about you, perhaps with respect to your career, or a different area of your life altogether.

The problem underlying feeling jealous of other people's success is social comparisons. If you can feel confident about your positive traits just as they are then your self-esteem is less prone to wild fluctuations. Moreover, it helps to realize that everyone else out there is also like you, trying to develop as a person and achieve his or her goals.

I’ve found that the more compassion I can show myself – in relation to my career, for example – the easier it is for me to be genuinely happy about the success of others. Being sympathetic to my own struggles as well as appreciative of the positive experience of achievement allows me to be glad that others are successful.

Instead of feeding negativity and jealousy of other people's success, I try to feel inspired and motivated to achieve better myself. Rather than seeing how someone published a book that I wish I wrote myself and fall into self-criticism as a result, I think about the steps I could take – like that person did – to realize the potential of my abilities. It’s a much more productive use of my time to be inspired by success and to reach out to people and ask for advice, tips, and guidance on how to achieve what I want to achieve.

Social Media Can Create Jealousy and Lower Self-Esteem

I know that I will often feel worse about myself the more time I spend on social media. This is because social media is designed so that people can advertise their achievements and build themselves as a brand. The Facebook newsfeed is a constant bombardment of other people’s success, with very few updates about the failures and struggles that people also experience. This is very different to how we find out what other people are up to outside of the social media bubble.

An effective way to stop letting success bring you down is simply to spend less time on social media. Some people also discover that cutting it out of their life completely does wonders for their self-esteem, although this might not be necessary (or even practical if, like me, you depend on social media for work and staying in touch with people).

The trick is to build and maintain a healthy opinion of yourself so that whenever you feel jealous of other people's success, it leaves your self-esteem unaffected.

APA Reference
Woolfe, S. (2018, April 27). How to Stop Feeling Jealous of Other People's Success, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2018/04/how-to-stop-letting-the-success-of-others-impact-your-self-esteem



Author: Sam Woolfe

Find Sam on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and on his blog.

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