A few months back, my husband and I went to an evening event and instead of getting dressed up, I wore a more casual outfit that I felt really good about. Once we arrived though, that feeling dissipated immediately and the longer we were there, the more critical I became of myself. I examined every other girl around me, kicking myself because their braids were prettier, dresses were cooler, and lipsticks applied expertly. It made me dislike my outfit (and in turn myself) even more. Besides the fact that I looked like a certifiable creep while I stood there silently scrutinizing, I was full-on indulging one of the ugliest qualities there is: jealousy.
When I'm feeling my best and leading a balanced life, I don't let what others are doing impact me in a negative way. It boils down to the fact that when I'm fulfilled, there's less room for insecurities to rear their ugly head. I'm more focused on things that make me happy. But for those times when I'm discouraged or am simply having a bad day, it's easy to get wrapped up in feelings of envy when I start comparing myself to others, particularly online. Whether it's someone else's picture-perfect Pinterest board or amazing vacation photos, I experience pangs of jealousy now and again. However, it's what I do with those feelings that defines me.
I now acknowledge when I'm feeling jealous, and then try to assess what is out of whack in my life that is causing me to pick myself apart so harshly. Have I been feeling bad about not exercising? Or perhaps I'm feeling uninspired with work? Whatever it is, I know that jealousy begins and ends with my own self-worth and happiness. There will always be someone who is smarter, funnier, prettier and more successful than I am, but retaining a sense of positive perspective is the key to my happiness. I try to shift from pinpointing the things that I should be doing better to the things I do well. And somewhere in the process of changing my perspective, I find that my jealousy slowly fades away.