Practice: Working with jealousy, FOMO & comparison

Saddy has always had a clear career path - get to partner as fast as possible. A decade later, she began to realize the sacrifices demanded wasn’t worth this chase. She hated missing bedtime with her kids. She hated how stressed she felt. So, she took a career pause, choosing to not take a promotion or a bigger project and spend more time with her family.

A year has passed and she is grateful that she made this decision. Still, she can’t help feeling spikes of jealousy when she scrolls through Linkedin. While she knows that only promotions and good news get shared on Linkedin, she can’t help but feel the sting of FOMO: “So-and-so’s life looks amazing. VP before 40! What am I doing?”

She came to see me with doubts around what to do next. Should she start ramping up slightly? Maybe she should just be grateful for what she currently has? At night, she tosses and turns mulling over these questions constantly - she can’t find peace.

I encourage Saddy to explore what triggers her jealousy. Jealousy, while an uncomfortable feeling, is a powerful emotion and will give you mountains of great information on what’s important to you, what’s important to your ego and what life can look like. When examined with open-minded curiosity, jealousy can be a great compass.

Saddy’s Homework:

Think of a recent scenario that triggered your jealousy. Example: You saw an old colleague spending a weekend at the cottage and thought, “That kinda makes me jealous”. 

    • What image/life did you project? Get as detailed as possible. Pen and paper in hand, list out which items/experiences you wish you could have. 
      • I wish I had a little boat and spent quiet summer mornings fishing.
      • I wish I could look out my window and see a forest of trees and hear birds chirp whenever I open a window or door.
      • I wish I had no neighbours and no lawn to mow.
      • etc.
    • Now, some of those items/experiences will be solely ego driven but I guarantee you, there will be some that your deeper self truly wants and if you did have it in your life, it’d be like the gift that keeps on giving. 

    Do this practice as often as possible. It will help you start seeing patterns and, eventually, build familiarity to distinguish when your ego is driving and when your deeper self is calling.

    The ego-driven desires will get weaker over time. You’ll lose interest in owning a lakehouse with a couple of jet skis. But you won’t lose interest in the image of morning mists stretching over yellow pastures as you walk your kids down the laneway to the bus stop - your attention solely on their voices and the crisp air in your lungs.

    Great resource for learning more about how to learn and grow from examining jealousy:

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