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The lessons that envy can teach us

Envy creates distance between people and sets up feelings of inadequacy. The antidote is to find ways to applaud success.

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The lessons that envy can teach us

We all experience feelings of envy once in a while and recently, while glancing through my Linkedin thread, I spotted a recruitment advertisement that made me sit up in full alert. It was a really excellent advert that expertly shone a light on the company and crisply described the position and person they were seeking. Looking at it I instantly felt a twinge of envy and then, as a result, I slipped into comparing our own recruitment challenges to their apparent ease. 

But envy is an emotion I dislike because it creates distance between people and sets up feelings of inadequacy. It sets us on a path of thinking that they have something we don’t have and they are better, or more successful than us. These feelings are unhealthy because success is a personal journey we take and in business especially, if we allow ourselves to feel envious, our resulting inadequacy we will mean that we endlessly flop from one strategy to another, chasing what others are doing, rather than confidently staying true to our own path. A far better response is to acknowledge the brilliance of the other, and then move in to uncover the gems in their success that you can use for yourself.

So, once the immediate flash of emotions had dimmed a bit I reminded myself that this was a perfect opportunity to ask myself that all important question – what can we learn from this? This question forced me to assess a situation calmly and without self-judgement. As I analysed what they had done I was able to admire and applaud their talent.  As I delved deeper, I uncovered where we differed in our approach and our circumstances, which allowed me to identify what we could learn from them that could add value to our own business.

The end result was that I could genuinely congratulate them whilst feeling more confident in our own work and delighted to have learnt new ways to enhance our own recruitment.

By taking a calm, measured look we can train ourselves to learn and grow in an empowered, confident manner. So, my experience is that the question “what can we learn from this” is one of the most powerful tools we have: No matter the circumstance, good or bad, it raises our thinking and helps us in a non-judgmental way to expand our understanding of the world.

Wishing you a fantastic week and do let me know how you tackle envy and if this powerful question could work for you.