I am a specialist who works with those who are frustrated with their bodies and their relationship with food (those who binge or restrict or purge in any way). As you can imagine, in my conversations with clients, the topic of feeling envious of the seeming ease and comfort that others feel in their bodies and with food and then consequently feeling guilty/shameful for feeling envious, comes up daily.
As such, I have, from my own recovery process and countless hours with clients, devised a quick little tool to shift those icky, jealous feelings and the underlying needs that triggered them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you’ll never, ever again start to feel those stirrings of “Why them and not me!?” around those people/places/things that we would like for ourselves or conversely, “Why me and not them!!!?” around those things that we’d really have preferred not to have experienced in our brief but action-packed lives.
What I am saying though is you can very quickly step free of those thoughts, in seconds actually, when you just follow this simple little tool that I often share with clients in our work together.
I encourage you to print this article out and carry it with you for the next week, and any time you find yourself starting to feel “less than” someone else or insecure or envious of their success or appearance, etc., pull this little gem out. Read it over, answer the questions, and watch how quickly you start to feel grounded and directed to move forward in your life rather than run to food to cope and get stuck berating your body and feeling worse than ever.
Step 1: Notice that you are comparing yourself to someone else or feeling envious / jealous of what they have (the bod, the job, the partner, the house…) or what they seem to not have (ie. no stress about food, no body image crap, no messed up self-esteem, etc.).
Step 2: Tell yourself, “I am feeling envious of X because I feel that there is something lacking in me. There is something I judge about myself or that I am not content with in myself or in my life. I know this because if I were truly content in myself/my life, I wouldn’t feel at all envious or threatened by someone else’s success/good fortune.”
Step 3: Ask yourself, “In what way do I believe that I am not my best self or not doing my best in a certain area of my life?”
Step 4: Ask yourself, “What would need to happen/what would I need to do in order to feel I am truly doing my best/being my best self in that area?”
Step 5: Ask yourself, “What action can I take to begin to make that a reality?”
Step 6: Ask yourself, “If I really felt that I was doing my best in this area/being my best self, how would my judgement/jealousy/envy towards this person change?”
Feel the release within as you sidestep the comparison game. Feel yourself letting go of the scarcity mentality (ie. If they have it, that means I can’t have it. / There isn’t enough to go around). And watch yourself feel more peaceful and grounded instantly and even, in a very short time of practicing this tool, be genuinely able to celebrate the successes and beauty of others.
If you ask yourself, “What action can I take to make being my best self a reality?” and you draw a blank, that’s the time to reach out for a little help. You can do it. You just need a tool and some structure to help you take the steps you need to take. (Here’s where we CEDRIC therapists come in handy!)
But you’ll find that even if this is the case and you do draw a blank in the moment, you’ll still feel much more peaceful and relaxed after running through these questions, because you’re not going to be stuck in your mind in that old co-dependent head space of believing that that person’s success or ease in life is in any way reflecting on you, about you, or holding you back from having exactly what you want in life.
This puts the power for having what you want in your life squarely in your hands, and that is a very exciting prospect.
So, in using this tool just a few times, you’ll clearly see that the experience of feeling jealous or envious of someone is really and truly not about the other person at all. It’s about what you’re telling yourself you can’t have, do, or be.
Follow these simple steps and see how quickly you can unhook yourself from jealousy, envy, and insecurity that otherwise would have kept you stuck feeling small and crappy and needing food to cope.
And if you want some help to move past this stressor even faster, send me an email, and in a few sessions, you’ll be seeing yourself and the situation more clearly and feeling truly free from the grip of the green-eyed monster.