I think it’s only natural when we scroll through our social feeds to compare the reality of your own life to the highlight reel on social. It can feel disheartening. I have been writing for quite a while and while I’m super proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve, when I consider the bell curve and that there are so many doing so much better, even when you feel SO happy for them, I think feeling that slight catch of jealousy is natural and human, though admittedly guilt inducing. I am a collaboration over competition, “Gosh, I hope we all make it” girl and I’m always happy to coach, nurture and support folks in my circles.
But some days it’s a little sad like, “When is it going to be my turn?” Which makes me feel crappy all over again because I am so lucky and I am so blessed (in a non-ironic way without the hashtag.) But it’s the blessed that still worries about bills and it’s the blessed that has to be painfully practical and sometimes having to do things the hard way. It feels like waking up with an awkward, unruly mohawk when you see someone with barely a hair out of place like #IWokeUpLikeThis. Struggling somehow feels worse when others make it look effortless.
And some days I feel like I could be doing better and I’m a driven perfectionist and that sometimes brings discontent. My perspective shifted a little bit on this and it’s eased a little in the wee hours of the morning at my desk when I could hear the snoring of my partner over the audio coming through my headphones.
When I’m not writing, I do all sorts of writing adjacent work. I do transcription which I find to be almost meditative and I find as I’m moving through the motions of the keystrokes capturing the audio, I can hear the stirrings of my heart. This is basically how my conversation with me, myself and I went:
Me: Yes, I’m happy others have those shiny, glorious things. Yes, they are so deserving and worked their butts off to get there. I am on my own path and success might look different for me and that’s okay. Doing things differently is just as valid. But yeah, it sucks that I am not where I want to be.
Myself: Let’s get real here though. Have you considered this might be coming from a scarcity mindset? Why does it matter if someone else is more successful? Do you think that in someone having things that you admire that there is less out there for you? Is that a reasonable way to look at things? There are many paths and many voices. This discomfort is coming from focusing on perceived deficit instead of acknowledging the abundance that is available. Focusing on the one thing you don’t have is drawing your eyes from all the things you could have.
I: In how many situations is your jealousy borne from scarcity? The feeling of scarcity of time leading to resentment over how it’s spent, scarcity of money leading to frustration instead of innovation, feeling like there’s not enough love to go around as if its distribution amongst others detracts from what is accessible to me, like an overdrawn bank account. The universe is not broke for love.
I felt CONVICTED.
I used to think mindset was hooey and you might too. But I think there is validity in thinking about where your perceptions and beliefs are coming from and being real about what that is and why that is and to be able to perspective shift to minimize the discomfort of a bad attitude so you can focus on the business of getting sh*t done and finding your joy and loving on your people.
I am reminded there is room at the table for everyone. There has to be. Focusing on gratitude and abundance instead of perceived scarcity is what I need to do and I know that now. When I sat and thought about it I realized that envy came from a place of feeling like there’s less for me.
The reality is there’s just so much abundance. I just need to be open to it and stop getting so wrapped up in the shoulds and what ifs and realize that the way I get where I’m going might look different and I just have have to have faith I’m still heading in the right direction. Thanks for joining me on the journey.