Crisis of conscience

I have been neglecting this blog of late. I keep thinking I should write a post about this blog being a year old (yay!), and all about turning 30 (much less catastrophic than I thought). However, in reality what I do is come home, watch crap tv online and manage another fantastic blog: (http://thefeministbookclubblog.wordpress.com/). Go and check it out, it has lots of interesting articles, written by some excellent writers.

I will post some of my writing on gender here but today I wanted to go back to my self help roots and write honestly about Envy.

Envy: A feeling of discontent or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, percieved qualities, or luck.

I have been feeling envious of those around me and it sucks. It  sucks because on one level I am genuinely happy that my friends have good things in their lives and that those around me are moving forward and creating change in their lives. Feeling envious of what they have or what they are going to do warps my positive feelings. It sucks doubly because in my head, as a Life Coach, I feel I shouldn’t have these feelings of envy and discontent and if I do, I should know how to deal with them. I feel that I am old enough now to know how to solve my emotional problems.

It has taken me a long time to adjust myself to the idea that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others because you are each on your own individual journeys. Even knowing this, it is a challenge to make myself believe it when my inner demons whisper my fears and drown out my rational thoughts. A clear antidote to envy is to think about and write down all the great things, people and experiences that you have in your own life. Research has shown that those that are grateful for what they have in their lives report higher levels of happiness.

Oliver James wrote about Envy in his book ‘Affluenza’ and he argues that we feel most envious when those that we consider similar to ourselves, achieve that which we believe is achievable for ourselves. It is hard to not compare yourself to your friends- you are after all often of a similar age and education and we live in a society where we believe “If I DO this, I’ll HAVE that, then I’ll BE happy.” However this works for some, but not for others and then Envy neatly steps in to compound your feelings of inadequacy. James’ suggestion  

‘above all, be honest with yourself about who and what you envy’  

is how I am going to end this post. As always, I hope that this has been useful for my readers.

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