How to Overcome Jealousy
Posted Sept. 16, 2016, 1:08 p.m.
This article originally appeared on Backstage Magazine
Jealousy might feel like something that comes with the territory of being an actor—as if it’s something you’ll always have to feel. But that doesn’t have to be the case. You can go through your entire career without feeling jealous at all, or move through it quickly whenever it does arise.
While jealousy is usually regarded as a “bad” thing, especially because it feels really bad, it’s a natural human emotion that arises whenever you really want something but, for whatever reason, don’t believe you can have it. It can be incredibly painful when left unchecked, though, and it can become harmful to your acting career, eating away at the creative energy you could be using to advance your career and do great work. But the most important reason to shift out of jealousy is that it represents a “wall” inside that stands between you and what you want—whether it be a high-profile role, a contract with a power agent, or a relaxed stage presence.
Here are four steps to transform jealousy into fuel that advances your career:
Get clear about what you’re jealous of
The good news about jealousy is that it’s a very clear indicator of what you want. Jealousy isn’t a wishy-washy feeling—it’s intense and pointed and clear. Acknowledging this clarity is the first step toward using it to your own benefit.
All you have to do is write down exactly what you’re jealous of and be really honest with yourself. If you’re jealous of someone who just booked a major role, is it because they’re going to be famous? Or because they’re going to be well compensated for doing work they love? Or maybe it’s because they’re going to work with artists you’d love to work with. There’s no right or wrong here, just clarity. Writing your answer down brings even greater clarity, and it also makes the next two steps easier.
Get clear about why you feel like you can’t have it
Whenever jealousy is present, it’s because some part of you feels like you can’t have what the other person has, or, at the very least, you’ll have to overcome huge obstacles to get it. So another gift jealousy gives you is the knowledge that you have a block—a negative fear or belief that separates you from what you want.
After getting clear about the specific thing you want, ask yourself, Why does this feel off-limits to me? Write that answer down. You might write something like, “It’s just not in the cards for me,” or “I’m afraid I won’t be good enough.”
Turn it around
Next, take that negative fear or belief and turn it into a positive statement that represents what you’d most like to be true instead—even if it doesn’t feel true right now. “It’s just not in the cards for me” can become “It’s my destiny to star in powerful films that change the world.”
“I’m afraid I won’t be good enough” can become “I trust in my God-given talents.”
Use whatever words feel best to you, as long as they fully collapse the old, negative fear or belief. You can tell whether or not the new positive statement is more powerful than the old by reading them both aloud. When you feel like you have the right new positive statement, reinforce it as often as you can in whatever way feels best.
Check your work
The “test” or marker as to whether or not your jealousy has actually been transformed is when you see others experiencing something you want and feel nothing but happy for them and inspired to achieve the same. Once you’ve passed that test, you come to know the truth that jealousy isn’t a negative emotion you have to deal with forever.
Jealousy is really just misdirected inspiration. And you wouldn’t feel jealous about anything you weren’t actually meant to achieve or experience for yourself.
For more inspiration, I invite you to join my private Facebook Group, TEA House, for daily support and encouragement from me and other like-minded artists.