Ahh jealousy. We’ve all felt it. It’s a complex and incredibly uncomfortable emotion that includes feelings of fear, abandonment, loss, anger, betrayal, envy, and humiliation. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that I experience around 5 prangs of jealous every single day whilst simply scrolling through my Instagram feed. All I need to see is one photo of Rosie Huntington Whitely’s glorious legs, or yet another workout video of a glamorous fitness model living in the gym and making me feel like the ultimate couch potato. On your average day I’ll happily hit ‘like’ on said photo, comment something nice and secretly wish I had whatever it is they’re flaunting. And on my ‘off’ days (PMS etc.) I’ll grunt, unfollow the bitch and stare at the floor for 5 minutes whilst angrily munching on popcorn and wondering how much better my quality of life would be if only my waist were 5 inches smaller.
It’s no fun. Not to mention how much more unbearable the feelings of jealousy become when you allow them to dictate (and ruin) your relationships. You’ve probably experienced the classic ‘waiting at home while my boyfriend is out’ scenario, wondering what he’s up to, who he’s with, envisioning him in a strip club whilst staring impatiently at your phone, waiting for him to text and tell you he’s on the way home. Or stalking his ex girlfriends and comparing yourself to them, little by little chipping away at their every feature trying to decide who’s better; showing your friends so they can reassure you with the old ‘Girrrl, she ain’t got shit on you.’ line to momentarily boost your fragile self-esteem.
Recently, I’d noticed that I’d been feeling a little more envious than usual, mainly with regards to my career, my success and feeling like I’m not quite where I ‘should’ be in life (according to my own harsh expectations). So I decided to do a little digging in to exactly what was happening on a psychological level, and what I could do to manage my emotions, let them go and feel more joy. You see, jealousy is rooted in a feeling of inadequacy and fuelled by fear. That inadequacy is exactly what drives the feelings of either wanting what others have, feeling possessive of what we ‘own’, or feeling generally less adequate than others overall.
Welcome folks, to the magical world of Instagram!
A constant display and incessant reminder of what other people have, and what we don’t. Yay! Whether that be their non-stop happiness, toned abs, collection of cars, popularity, ‘perfect’ relationship, their lifestyle or modelling career. Whatever, it all looks so lovely, glossy and unobtainable through our iPhone screens.
So why do we get these feelings? Where does jealousy actually come from? I read somewhere that a study proved how even a 3 month old baby can feel jealous, and since a child so young is incapable of self-awareness, this emotion clearly doesn’t stem from feelings of inadequacy. The answer is that jealousy is in fact an automated response. It’s a survival mechanism rooted deep within our evolutionary past. It’s purpose? To help maintain intimate relationships. It’s a biological response. And while our environment has changed, our physiology hasn’t developed at the same rate. Survival and mating were our primary objectives as primates, we needed food and family, and above all else – we needed to feel protected and safe.
We live in a different world now. The gift of self-awareness allows us to choose our own response and help us to realise that we can control our own thoughts, feelings and emotions. You do not need to be plagued by constant feelings of jealousy, because there is another way! There is a healthier alternative, and a wonderful opportunity for more self-development, and the chance to love ourselves deeply.
Jealousy is a huge relationship killer. Ironically, it’s the insecure amongst us who tend to sabotage relationships by causing them to become unstable, thus feeding the need to feel even more insecure. A shitty viscous cycle. Now because jealousy stems from this feeling of inadequacy, most people turn their discomfort in to acts of anger – trying to control a partner, going through their phone, making accusations without any proof etc. (If there is proof, and said partner is clearly a lying/cheating arse hole then the relationship should be ended there.) But why ruin a perfectly wonderful relationship, all because you’re feeling a little unloved and insecure?
S E L F – S A B O T A G E. The enemy within. What a crafty little bastard. Let’s take control of our thoughts, feelings and emotions in order to create a stress-free life filled with untold joy, self-assurance and LOVE (and very little room for jealousy.)
YOU HAVE SOME CHOICES TO MAKE BABY GIRL
1. Choose to turn your envy into inspo.
If you see something that someone else has, and you want it, and it’s possible for you to go get it, then use it as inspiration. Think about them when you’re setting your goals. BE HAPPY for them that THEY get to enjoy it, and know that there’s plenty to go around. But be realistic, if you’re 5ft 2 and pining over 6ft models wishing you had their height, let it go. Just… its never gonna happen, get yourself a new pair of stilettos and embrace those beautiful little legs yo Momma gave you. Which brings me on to my next point…
2. Choose to be authentic
There’s only one of you – in all of time. In billions and billions of years, in this infinite and vast Universe, there is and has only ever been ONE OF YOU. AND YOU’RE IT. How bloody exciting. Why in God’s name would you want to wander round in this incredibly unique and magical body of yours, wishing you were in someone else’s? Nah. Step in to your power. Be the best version of yourself, and know that it’s more than enough.
3. Choose to be grateful for what you do have.
Guys, what you focus on EXPANDS. If you’re constantly focusing on lack, and what you don’t have – then that’s exactly what you’ll get more of. You’ll live and long and difficult life filled with feelings of insuffiency, frustration and envy. Nooooo thank ya. Obsess over the parts of you that you love, whether that’s your IQ score, your athletic ability, your glorious breasts, cute little toes, singing voice or passion for helping others. Find it, follow it, get really fucking good at it and share it with the world. You have a purpose on this earth and you’re not going to uncover it through tunnel vision focused on everyone else’s authenticity, whilst denying and wasting your own. Pour your positive energy in to what you want to give to the world.
4. Choose to love yourself.
It’s a journey, and it’s not an easy one, but my God is it worth it. Deep self-love begins the moment you accept every single part of yourself, exactly as it is, right in this moment. It takes practice, perseverance and commitment, but it will change your life and your relationships. Feeling insufficient and unloveable will keep you playing small, closing yourself off from opportunities, blocking the flow of creativity and abundance. Self love opens doors, it causes you to vibrate on a higher frequency, attract more of the good stuff and allows you to enjoy the wonders of the Universe. Trust me on this. Self love is the ultimate freedom.