jealousyLike many other people who made resolutions at the beginning of the year, I resolved to lose some weight. I began January 6 with a weight loss program which is very practical – eating lots of protein, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, drink lots of water, and walk 10K steps a day. I’ve been working really hard at it and was somewhat pleased with the results so far.

That is, until I read the member forum and saw this post:

I lost another pound today – that’s 7 in seven days woo hoo! So happy!   The weight is practically falling off!”

And here I am, following the program to a T, haven’t cheated with so much as an extra almond, measuring every single thing I put in my mouth, and walking every day even when it was freezing outside. Let’s just say the weight is not FALLING off but I was motivated by the 1.5 lb loss I had this week until, like I said, I read that post.  It’s enough to make me want to …. eat a big fat cookie.

But here’s the thing. I know in my head that I shouldn’t compare myself to others because there are a lot of variables that I don’t know anything about. Some people have a genetic disposition to losing weight quicker. Some people are much more active, drink more water, the list goes on. But my heart wants to point my finger and say “See, I tried and it’s not working now get me some bbq chips stat.”

Ok so maybe I’m a little jealous, or envious, or whatever you call that crappy feeling you get when you see others experiencing something YOU want to experience.

I’m kidding (sort of) but it’s analogous to how we can get caught up in this type of thinking when it comes to our businesses.  It’s too easy to get sucked into thinking we are ‘less than’ because we see someone who seems to be successful, read all of the testimonials proclaiming how great they are, the videos about how they are making money hand over fist, life is great, no worries, no problems, it’s all blue skies and onion rings.. and then try to compare ourselves to them.

But it’s unrealistic to look at someone who’s doing really really well and beat yourself up because you aren’t at their level.

Steven Furtick (follow him on Twitter) hit a bullseye with “One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” Because that’s what we are seeing most of the time – we see their big wins and successful launches. But what we don’t see is their day to day struggle, their big mistakes, and perhaps the five other failed and costly launches they had to endure before they got it right.

I say this with love ~

You need to run your own race. Think about it – we are all on the same journey, but are just at different points in that journey. – Tweet That!

Here’s 5 tips for when you feel like everyone else has the brass ring but you:

1. Acknowledge your feelings and let that move you into improvement

While coaching a client, she asked me point blank, “So and so says she made thousands of dollars in passive income via affiliate sales. That’s insane!  I made a big zero last year – maybe she’s lying? Or maybe I’m a loser! What am I doing wrong?”

Here’s my answer, “Here’s the thing… it’s a numbers game. The bigger the list and the more focused the niche, the more affiliate sales you will get. It’s hard to make thousands when your list is 100 people and you are only sending one promotion a month for a $50 product.”  My homework for her was to start ramping up her list building efforts, poll her list to see what types of products they are interested in, and find some great products to promote.

Of course it may take a while to build up to thousands of dollars in affiliate income, but at least she has a plan for how SHE is going to do it and no longer has to feel like she has to compare.

2. Be grateful for what you already have going on

Diana Pemberton-Sikes said it really well in her blog post titled The Insecurity Ripple: “Quit focusing on the things that make you feel “less than” and start zeroing in on the things that make you feel “more than.”

What I got from her post is that there may be things others do better than you, but there are also many, many things that you do that ONLY YOU can do. Don’t believe me? Get out a pen and paper and write down all the things you bring to the table – the fact that you speak another language, you have a special skillset, years of industry expertise, trained up on a certain software… You’d be surprised at how many things you do really well!

Not only that, but look at what you have going on right now that’s working well. For example, maybe you don’t make 6 figures yet, but you may have great clients, a really good balance of working hours, lots of fun opportunities, a supportive husband, and complete freedom and flexibility with how you run your business. Priceless!

3. Celebrate their successes

When good things happen to other people, it’s easy to get jealous which leads to self-pity (read the part about the bbq chips). But haven’t you noticed that the virtual assistant community is the most non-competitive industry you’ve ever been a part of?  I bet every single one of you has helped another VA in some way, either by sending a referral without reciprocation, attending your colleague’s webinar just to give moral support, or just lending another VA a shoulder to lean or an ear to bend.

Simply put, helping others just feels good. And when you help others or celebrate in their successes, you are sending a very clear and positive message to the universe what you want.

4. Put things into perspective

Seth Godin (follow him on Twitter) calls the internet the “envy amplifier” and he’s right.  Basically, we all have our own filter of what we share and what we choose not to share to the point of creating what looks like a curated life. (Look at anyone’s Facebook timeline and you’ll see what I mean.)

Here’s a short story… when the family and I went to Italy a few years ago, I shared pics of us sightseeing, works of art, great food.. but I didn’t share the fight that me and the husband got into during our first day in Rome. After traveling all night we ventured out into the city in the morning and got lost. We were tired, hungry, it started to rain, and we couldn’t figure out that damn map! Let’s just say we snapped at each other. Loudly.

That’s not to say we all lie on our Facebook feed or are fake, it’s just human nature because of our own filtering process. Trust me, everyone goes through rough times. And I mean every one. And no one ever sees the whole picture.

5. Celebrate the possibilities

When you see good things happen to other people, instead of getting jealous, try to see the possibilities. It’s sort of like the lottery – someone has to win it, why can’t it be you? Ok, that’s a stretch. When I see someone break through to the next level or launch a program with an awesome marketing strategy, I study it, model it, and then apply it to my own business. There is so much that we can learn from successes! The simple fact that they did it means WE can do it too.

As one of my favorites Marie Forleo (who admitted that even she feels envy at times!) says: “Don’t hide your envy, ride your envy – from “she has what I want” to “I’ll have what she’s having.”

I want to hear from you – how do you deal with the green-eyed monster? Tell me in the comments below, I promise to reply to each and every one 🙂