When we’re young, we’re taught not to be envious of others, but to appreciate what we already have. But what if that envy could be turned into something good?
It’s important to differentiate the two types of envy. There’s malicious envy which is having destructive feelings towards others. Then there’s benign envy which is what we want to focus on.
Benign envy flips a switch inside you. You see a coworker or a friend getting a promotion and you start thinking to yourself, why isn’t that me? This envy can be used to self-reflect on your current career and access what needs to be done to feel confident. It’s been proven that benign envy leads to increased motivation compared to malicious envy. You should start by asking yourself why you’re envious of them. Is it their work ethic, specific promotion, or something else?
Start by listing what you want out of your career. By seeing the specifics that triggered your envy, you can make a game plan on what to start working on. Certifications, training, networking, you name it. Do you really want your friend’s career path or are you seeking that same success for yourself? Another recent study shows that having jealousy amongst friends can create stronger bonds and motivate you even more. Here’s an article with three other tips on how to use your envy for good.