It's not your imagination: Today, it is harder to avoid comparing yourself to others because of social media, globalization and simply more opportunities to look at what people are doing. Entrepreneur Chase Jarvis, author of the new book, Creative Calling, talks about how you can stave, if not conquer compare and despair.
In a recent interview on Brendan O'Meara's Creative NonFiction podcast, Jarvis shared four simple words:
"Create before you consume"
We get more in the arena than in being a spectator
Inspired by a conversation with Everything Is Figureoutable author Marie Forleo, Jarvis says the reason we get jealous is because we want to be doing what other people are doing: Traveling to amazing places, creating great content or influencing the world. But what happens if we takes steps to do those very things before we observe what others are doing? Then, when we see their progress, we understand that we're already moving in that same direction.
For instance, before you start scrolling on your social media timeline, create something - a post, a photograph, a message - and share it with your followers. It can stop the potential cycle of jealousy over others' content and inadequacy over your own capabilities. Instead, you are creating, just as other people are creating, too.
It doesn't matter if it sucks. What matters is that you're in the game.
Use it as a compass
It is equally important to not feel shame or guilt over being jealous. It isn't a bad emotion. It is just an instinctual, gut feeling that points you in the direction you want to go. It is a compass.
My Inc. colleague Sarah Vermunt shared a study that found jealousy can help your career:
In other words, if you can access the yearning, burning desire part of your jealousy, you can use it to motivate you to do better.
Think of the people whose career you're jealous of. That jealousy is telling you something about what you want.
It may be that simple. First, consume before you create, even if it is something small. Second, if you still feel jealousy, it may be worth moving towards whatever that person has within the resources you've got. Chances are, you have your own unique set of resources that would make the person you envy jealous.