Jealousy … A Follow Up

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When I posted about my mini-meltdown the week before last, I didn’t expect that I would get so many heartfelt responses back via comments and emails. Reading about other people’s experiences made me feel a truer sense of community around here. And also, just cheered me up. So, I thought I would share some of my favorites below in hopes that we can all take something positive away from this. Oh, and for those that don’t know, the question I posed was:

Have you ever felt jealous or threatened by another persons success?

Yes! More often than Id like, but Ive been able to use it for great learning opportunities. What could I have done if I was presented the same opportunity (or how did I drop the ball)? How can I kick things up a notch and rock it anyway? What can I be doing better?

-Brenda of Phydeaux

I have never found that anything good has come from comparing my successes to others. I say that because I always feel horrible after and it becomes a really vicious cycle, so much so that I start to focus more on that then what I should be doing to further grow creatively myself. It hurts and its no fun, but Ive done it many many times, and I think everyone has done it at least once. Maybe the thing to remember in all of this is that no matter where we are in regards to success, there is probably someone who is looking at us and thinking that we are doing SO well. And maybe they have those pangs of jealousy towards us…

-Shanon of My Fine Garden

Yes, I often feel threatened by other people’s success. Sometimes, I feel like I am full of talent and ideas, and am waiting for someone to discover me… then I will see someone else who is as equally talented, but has been featured on some fantastic blog, and I become overwhelmed with self doubt and jealousy. Due to the fact that most artist’s online presence dictates their success, I often feel personally offended when other artist’s work is mentioned in an article or on a magazine. I don’t know why I feel this way. Perhaps it is because doing business online lends itself to so much anonymity that it can be difficult to truly understand where your work actually is perceived in this very public online community. Tweets, followers, and friend requests should not dictate someone’s successes and failures. Yet somehow, even after I have given myself a pep talk and convinced myself that it is not cool to be so threatened by other people’s success, I feel that green eyed monster just waiting so tap me on the shoulder…..

-Stacie of Gingiber Snap

Of course Ive felt pangs of jealousy here and there, but most of the time I try to be calm and remind myself that there might not be anything to be jealous of. I dont know the whole story. My version of success in my own life may be entirely different than someone elses success, and just because someone else appears to be successful and happy doesnt mean that what theyre doing would make me similarly happy. We all have to find our own way. It is hard when you see someone who seems to be doing what you want to do, and they seem to have found success with it, or theyve gotten to it first, but that doesnt mean you wont also be successful in your own right in the end.

-Mallory of Miss Malaprop

No, I dont think Ive been jealous or threatened by another persons success. When I see someone that got promoted at my job or a crafty chick making a living of for her indie biz Im like, “what do I have to do to get that?” It make s me work harder and not waste any time to get to the next stepping stone. I do get upset when I see that someones quality of work is less than mine and they are getting all of the props. So I just try to do better at getting my stuff in front of as many eyes as I can. If I do get a funky “˜tude itll only be for a moment and then Ill plan my next step. You cant be a hater. Haters get nowhere.

-Jeanee of Dirty Laundry

“...I don’t think it’s a bad thing to feel jealous or threatened sometimes. It doesn’t mean you’re not happy for the other person (when it’s a friend you’re jealous of) or that you’re bitter/ I think it can also teach you something about what you want and what you think is important. As long it’s not dominating your thought about what you do and who you are, it’s okay, I think.

-Ditte

“In a perfect world I would say, “of course not!” Guess what? We dont live in a perfect world and were not all perfect. Because Im human I have those feelings. Sometimes its so frustrating to see anothers success. But then when I stop and think and calm down I realize that lots of times it because theyre doing something thats working and I need to work on what I do to better it. (thats my nice thought to go along with the crummy thought. lol) So, cut yourself some slack. The feelings are always going to rise to the surface. Question is, what are you doing to do with them? They can sometimes be a positive thing if we channel them wisely (sometimes hard to do)…

-Lori of Waterstone Jewelry

It happens to me a lot but I usually recognize it and redirect it into something positive as quickly as I can. I think it comes with the territory in the creative world, that constant questioning of ones abilities and worth…

-Patrick

Want more? Read twenty plus comments to this question here.

Have any additional thoughts to share?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

—-

Image Credit: Nan Lawon print (originally found on Creature Comforts)

7 comments | Click here to reply

What a wonderful post. Thanks for featuring my comment!

I’d also like to add… when you see someone getting featured or in a magazine doesn’t mean they are all rich and famous now.

I happened to recently meet an artist/indie biz gal that I think is a goddess and we’ve become good friends. She’s featured almost everywhere and has gotten so much press lately, but she’s still broke.

Her business is slowly growing from it, but she’s not going on shopping sprees anytime soon.

Same thing has happened to me. I get a press opportunity and I wait for the Etsy orders to roll in! Uhmmm, not so much. Usually nothing happens 🙁 And when I least expect it I’ll get several sales.

Appreciate each sale, each comment, and each write-up about you. It’s more satisfying to know that someone cares than making millions!

Jeanee | June 29th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

you are right on the dot @jeanee!

sometimes i’m so envious of other shops and their success, i get a bit down on my own work and then nothing gets done. but then i recharge and say to myself, “you’re doing this for you first, and no one else..” and it gets me back to why I wanted to open shop and make things in the first place: for my own enjoyment and satisfaction. and i think that’s always the best advice anyone can give themselves.

and plus, someone else is always going to be more successful than i am, no matter how successful i am, so i just need to be content and be happy that my grass is green. =D

linda | June 29th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I’m so happy you made a part II of this post. This is such a sensitive, intimate and sort of taboo subject, but so real and present… so I’m glad we can talk about it in a mature manner in this amazing platform.

Me personally, I can’t afford to be jealous. It destroys me inside. Every time I sense the feeling coming (because it is only natural) I have to seriously do some sun salutations and tree posses to get rid of the negative energies coming my way. One can say, I am too sensitive to cope with the strong emotions attached to being jealous, so I’ve had to teach myself the hard way over the years to extinguish this feeling from my vocabulary.

Now (here is my confession) I have other vices, like eating too many cupcakes at once, loving unconditionally, and being overly sensitive to criticism and unacceptance. There I said it 🙂

Mayi Carles | June 30th, 2010 at 1:44 am

I must say that jealousy, and envy, play a big part in my life right now. I am trying hard to rid myself of these ugly characteristics, but recognition of it is the first step. It is comforting to know that others are honestly dealing with this as well!

Sarah | June 30th, 2010 at 7:42 am

Thanks so much for your thoughts Jeanee, Linda, Mayi, and Sarah. Jeanee and LInda- I agree with you both that we all need to just be happy with those little victories that happen for each of us. There will always be greener pastures, so we have to focus on what we have. Mayi- I am pretty sensitive too. And I get that destroyed feeling from time to time you were talking about. But once I talk about it I feel a lot better. And Sarah- Absolutely, I think we all have to deal with some form of jealousy every once in a while. You’re certainly not alone. 🙂

papernstitch | June 30th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I keep coming back to thinking about your post, and I’m very impressed by your openness about these altogether uncomfortable feelings.
Its something that comes up for everyone, including me, and your honesty in dealing with it is so refreshing, thanks for the inspiration!

Carole Smith | July 2nd, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I actually simply adore my partner sooo much and thus he is indeed , perfect for me. I appreciate nearly anything about him. The only problem though, is he is friends with too many females and I can’t stand realizing that he’s talking to lots of girls besides me. I hate being jealous. I’m trying to just ignore the jealousy but I can’t. Please help me out. Thanks.

Melissa | February 12th, 2011 at 3:49 am
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