There are moments in our lives when we feel uncertain about where we’re at, or our future. We may even have a timeline of where we should be by now and can get disheartened when we haven’t gotten to that goal just yet. It doesn’t help matters when you see people in your life getting the things that you want. Whether it be a promotion, an Apple watch, a trip somewhere exotic, a business deal, a new relationship, a new baby. Whatever it is you want, fill in the blank.
I’m usually that friend who is always happy for my friends when they hit a milestone. Though there has been times that I play the comparison game and ask myself how come I’m not going on a cruise, or how come I can’t finally buy a house, or how come I can’t run that many marathons, or how come I can’t get a second dog? Trust me, I really want a second dog but right now I know I can’t afford it. So instead of throwing myself a pity party, I put my big girl pants on and smile; write a happy congratulatory text to that friend who just built her house, leave a happy comment on that friend’s page who is already on her third baby, call that friend who recently got into a relationship and be truly happy for them. Even though at first I was mad, green with envy and frowning without caring if I form an ugly wrinkle.
I had to fake it ’til I made it. Before I did those things, I made sure to recognize how I was feeling. I hated this feeling because it’s not something I’m familiar with. I wrote in my journal how pissed I was and throwing a fit with words that were just coming out of me. Finally I felt better because I knew I let it out, on paper, it was right there where I could see it. I felt embarrassed writing those things down because I know better, but I’m human. Deep down I know why I feel this way and I needed to work through these negative emotions and finally let them go.
You know how I let them go? By acting in the opposite manner of how I felt.
Faking it and behaving like a good friend should. Then after that, not only did I feel better, I felt like I was letting go of those negative feelings and that anger evaporated. It was unreal! A few weeks later, I no longer felt that way and I actually felt the good feelings I was supposed to have. It was a struggle, believe me, but I worked through it and came out the other side.
This came to mind because yesterday I read this book I recently bought called Write Naked (affiliate link) and it is amazing. The author brought up the whole fake it ’til you make it when dealing with envy and jealousy and she reminded me of how I dealt with it the same way she did. The book even has exercises at the end of each chapter and I’ve been writing them down on my Evernote app. When I’m done reading it, I’m going to do a full book review on it because it is that meaty.
Just think that if you ever find yourself in a negative space, acknowledge what you’re feeling and then act kindly and supportive of others. Because you really don’t know other people’s journeys and what they went through to get there. You’re doing yourself a disservice by comparing your life with theirs. Everything your heart wants will come in due time. Be thankful for what you do have and that alone will make all the difference. In the meantime, don’t envy, but be happy.