Have you ever had that not-so-wonderful shade of “green envy” wash over your body?
You know what I mean. It was a time that you noticed you actually felt green with envy, or inadequate or envious because you wanted what someone else had. Now that you’re older, you may have even thought that you grew out of this sort of feeling.
I remember the first time I actually felt envy myself.
I was about five years old and my younger sister got a birthday gift that I really wanted – a baby carriage. I was so uncomfortable with my feelings and didn’t know what to do with them or how to act. It wasn’t a shining moment for me, for sure.
Can envy be a good thing?
That depends. This first example was decades ago. More recently though, I remember another time I felt envious. I was very involved in trying to finish a special needlepoint project that had a timeline.
I went to the needlepoint store to get some guidance about a more complicated stitch in the pattern.
The owner helped me figure it all out. I couldn’t get over how distracted I was by the fact that she made a business out of her lifelong passion of needlepoint. The space was FULL of beautiful threads, patterns and projects. She had surrounded herself with people who loved what she loved. And these ladies enjoyed the social aspect of their time in her store as much as the new skills they acquired. WOW.
Full. Blown. Envy.
While I enjoyed my job, I wasn’t an entrepreneur.
I had always thought I would have owned my own business by this point in my life. I also hadn’t designed my whole career around a passion. Just being in that creative and colorful shop made me giddy with joy and creativity.
I know you ladies who quilt, sew or scrapbook can totally identify with the happiness that comes with being totally surrounded by these hobbies.
As a life coach, I realize now that this feeling of envy can be a valuable tool because it can be a way to shed light on authentic feelings. Sometimes we don’t even know what we want until we see something we really, really want. Then it hits us like a ton of bricks.
The beauty of the realization is that feelings come from thoughts.
I was definitely thinking something that led me to feel envious. I made this needlepoint store mean something – it meant that the owner was living her dream and I wasn’t. And that’s where the magic can happen…if you have the awareness to take a moment and learn from yourself, that is.
Next time you catch yourself feeling green with envy, ask yourself these questions:
Why do I want what they have?
Why do I think this thing would make me happy?
Why don’t I already have this thing in my life?
How would my life be different if I had this thing?
What do I make having or doing this thing mean?
What’s important for me to see about myself right now?
I believe that feeling ENVY provides a unique opportunity to look into your internal “window” to what you really, really want and value.
You may not want the exact thing your envious about, but there’s something about the way you’re thinking about this “thing” that’s creating powerful feelings for you. You owe it to yourself to open that window and listen.