Last updated on January 23rd, 2019 at 10:40 am
When we sit down to really think about what dreams we hope to accomplish, our thoughts are about how to achieve them. Something we don’t think about is how our own process might affect those around us.
Sometimes we inspire others to dream big.
But I never considered that chasing my dreams would make people jealous.
noun, plural jealousies
1. jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.
Jealousy is normal. At times even natural. And often inevitable.
But I’ve found it’s the quickest way to feel bad about yourself.
It’s intertwined with our self-esteem. We grow up wanting to be anything we’re not. Skinny. Tan. Long glossy hair. We want the man, the kids, the cars, the house.
But when we start to want what someone else has, we get into a dangerous grey area where we will never ever be good enough. Dream jealousy is a waste of our own potential.
It’s a black hole that you can’t possibly feed enough.
When other women accomplish things, it doesn’t mean you’re missing out. It’s a common misconception that if another person HAS something, it means we MISSED it.
As if it should have been ours.
I’ve had people that were jealous of my painting ability, that had never truly tried to paint. By “trying” I mean actually taking the time to learn and practice and move from beginner to intermediate. Dream chasing takes an immense amount of time.
If you see someone accomplish something, you may not know how many years they struggled to get there.
Before I got pregnant, seeing other moms and kids made my heart hurt. But I didn’t want their baby. I wanted mine. It made no sense to be jealous. They had their path to motherhood. Mine looked different.
When I was newly divorced, it was the adorned wedding ring finger that would get me. I loved my wedding ring. So much. People have suggested other ways I could wear it, but I really can’t bring myself to wear it at all. For me it’s a symbol of a failed marriage and I can’t/won’t rewrite that.
Maybe one day my son will want it. But if I was jealous of everyone with a wedding ring, I’d have no time in my day for truly important things.
Jealousy only happens when we feel we aren’t good enough.
I felt like I had failed at marriage. So wedding rings were a trigger. Jealousy is a base emotion and it’s easy to slide into it. If you can recognize it in yourself, you can diffuse it.
When you practice counting your own blessings, you don’t need what others have.
If you’re coveting another woman’s features or body, learn to focus on what makes you wonderful. Who you are inside as well as out.
If you’re feeling not-pretty-enough on the outside, be the kind of person that’s pretty on the inside. Don’t be ugly to others.
What can you do if you dream chase and find people are jealous? Be as kind as you can.
They’re battling their own insecurities. If it’s bad enough to threaten a friendship, consider whether it’s a worthwhile friendship. When people don’t want to reciprocate a friendship but they want you have, it’s time to reassess.
Going after your dreams is like any life process. You get to see who’s really there for you.
You see who’s really happy for and with you.
Those that support you are worth their weight in gold.
A final disclaimer: if you find yourself feeling jealous of me, my weight loss, my family, my career…
Please know that I’ve worked very hard for each. I’ve had many difficult days that I try not to focus on. Many tears have been shed over the years. If I make this all look easy, please know that it is not easy in the slightest.
Deep down, I’m just like you.
I just get up each day and TRY to make incremental progress towards my dreams. You can too.
I know you can.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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