Feeling Envious? Make It Work For You

If you let them, feelings of envy can spur you to action instead of leaving you feeling down.We all feel envious now and then. Maybe you hear about a coworker’s promotion or something great that a friend is doing, and your gut twists a little inside.

“I wish I could do that,” you think wistfully.

And you almost certainly can. After all, if the other person can do it, it’s proof that it’s possible. It’s probably even likely that you can get what you want.

If you let them, those feelings of envy can spur you to action instead.

Take those feelings as a sign

Envious feelings can be a sign that there’s something you’d like to go after. It may not be exactly what the other person is doing or has gotten, but it’s often something related.

Those feelings of envy can help you to figure out what you really want.

Figuring it out

Suppose a coworker gets promoted to a different job. You may not want that exact type of job, but you do want more responsibility or a change of pace. Once you’re aware of that, you can take steps to make it a reality.

Or suppose the neighbor gets a brand new sports car and you can’t figure out why you’re envious. After some reflection, you might realize that you are happy with your current car, but you’re craving a little more excitement in your life, or just something that’s shiny and new.

In that case you could change up your routine a little or make it a point to go out to a new restaurant or museum, and feel better in the process.

Identify your options and take action

Envy doesn’t always have to signal a big life change or a major goal; it can point to something simple too. Once you’ve noticed that you’re feeling envious, identify your options and determine how you want to proceed.

Finally, if you find yourself falling back to the status quo, you can mentally prompt yourself to move forward or jump out of your rut by recalling those feelings of envy. You can take action, and turn those envious feelings into progress.