I think there is a reason Mean Girls is a classic to me. Not only do I identify with the heroine being the innocent new girl at school, I also identify with the heroine being the mean girl. I think most people can too.
My career as a teacher had it’s ups and downs. But I’ll never forget teaching for a few years after moving to a new town and new school. The pressure to perform kept me working late. I would be up at school before the sun was out and many times my car was the last in the parking lot when I went home.
I wanted people to know what a great teacher I was, but truth is, I was beating myself up. A year went by and a new school year began. I thought I was the obvious choice for team leader, but a new teacher with less experience was chosen. I am not normally jealous, but my little green monster inside took over pretty darn quick, when I thought I wasn’t getting what I was worth. I am not proud of that.
Competition in the work place is hard. Especially when you’ve been there longer than others, and coworkers who are younger and greener than you get promoted. It’s easy to feel you’ve been passed over. I get it.
But what I also get, is the feeling of inferiority. The feeling that maybe someone else should be doing my job. Maybe I am not the best, maybe I don’t have what it takes. Those thoughts for me, became the foundation of my unhappiness and jealousy at work.
As women, we all know how hard it is to prove ourselves to the world, but the truth is we have a harder time proving ourselves to, well, ourselves. Not believing in who we are is probably the number one reason we become jealous and mean.
Think about it. Would you really care if so and so got promoted over you, if you truly believed in your purpose and that you were meant for greatness? Would you go home after a great day at work upset because you heard someone else got the gig you wanted? Would you feel the need to tear a sister down if you were building yourself up?
Building yourself up does not include thoughts like: “I did a better job than her.” “She shouldn’t be getting the recognition, I should.” Comparing yourself to others is hardly beneficial and it can lead to jealousy. It’s not kind and it’s not fair, to you.
In reality comparing yourself to others is like tearing yourself down. When you forget to build yourself up, it becomes a lot easier to fall into the jealousy trap. If you don’t believe in your value and worth, then you might also be tempted to take pleasure in the failure of others. “I knew it was just a matter of time before she quit.” “She looks like she has it together, but I knew she would fall apart.”
There is a difference between looking up to someone and being inspired by them and looking down on someone because you think you will never be good enough to stand where they stand. You are good enough. You are worth it.
If you understand the root cause of jealousy, you are one step closer to beating it. It’s not just about poor self esteem, you can be confident and still become jealous. It’s not believing in your worth, it’s a lack of knowledge that you are meant for greatness. It’s letting negative thoughts about yourself take control of your behavior. Negative thoughts have no place in your life or at work, if you want to be happy and to beat jealousy. Don’t let negative thoughts about yourself, dictate your thoughts about others.
Don’t give up on yourself. You have what it takes. You can work hard and be encouraging not only to yourself but to your coworkers, even when they get what you’ve been working for. You can be the one who loses well, and wins well. Be kind to yourself and to others.
5 Ways to Stop Jealousy in the Work Place
1. Let any negative thoughts about yourself go. Then let any negative thoughts about coworkers go.
2. Cheer yourself on, work hard for yourself. Before you know it you will be able to cheer others on without even thinking about it. Life becomes exciting when you choose to share in the happiness of others.
3. Recognize that taking pleasure in someone else’s failure does not help you succeed, and can cripple your happiness in the long run.
4. Stop comparing yourself to your coworkers. Realize that when you compare yourself to others, you are really saying that you aren’t good enough.
5. Do not take criticism to heart. Learn from it and let it go.
5 Truths that Will Set You Free to Build Up Yourself and Others
1. You are not the sum of what people think or say about you, you are what you think of yourself.
2. You spend more time thinking about yourself than others do, so what you think about yourself matters more.
3. You have greatness inside of you. You are worth it.
4. Your worth and happiness does not depend on praise or recognition from others.
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