Michaela Schluessel

The Perks of Jealousy

Michaela Schluessel
The Perks of Jealousy

It’s easy to make comparisons and feel jealous. Scroll through social media and you’ll find everyone’s highlight reel that naturally makes us feel that we don’t measure up. Like many people, I struggle with comparing myself to others - particularly in a time when we are constantly faced with curated updates of our peers.

Jealousy is not an easy feeling to deal with. It can make even the best of friends start to resent each other. We all know that the more you allow jealousy to control your thoughts and behaviours, the more isolated you can become. This can be incredibly challenging to deal with, especially when you’re trying to build your own self-confidence.

I know that jealousy is a toxic emotion - and now I’m starting to understand that it can be used as an opportunity to overcome some of our deepest insecurities.

Recently my friend started her own freelance business - it was difficult for me as I’ve been feeling very lost and uncertain about my own professional direction. Seeing her hustle and be so happy at starting her own thing hit me in a deep place where I felt I was lacking. I started comparing myself to her and then others who I perceived as succeeding in their pursuits.

My initial instinct was to shut off from my friends and deal with my issues alone. But being consumed by negative thoughts based on these unrealistic comparisons made me realize I could never get ahead if I was stuck on my perception of what other people are doing. After some time I started reaching out to the people I envied the most - I realized they could provide the clearest guidance in my time of self-doubt.

The only way forward is to turn the comparison inward and focus on the ways we can better ourself each day from the next. Competing with ourself creates a chance to not only improve  our current situation but also open up to support from others.

I’ve learned that we can learn from the people we feel jealous of and turn it into inspiration. Each of us can use these difficult experiences as an opportunity to create our own unique path.

I admit that I still don’t know what my own path looks like, but I know now that it will be something truly authentic to who I am, something incomparable.