She answered with the same questions my brain often screams at me:
“I should be the one recognized for that. How did they get the breaks and I didn’t?”
“I have been saying those things for years. How come I’m not the one who is famous for those ideas?”
These are great questions to ask yourself. Obviously, the person you envy took some steps to market themselves that you either didn’t think of or you avoided. Even if you don’t approve of the steps (you think their methods are a bit shady), they still had the courage to step out into the world in a way you did not.
There is a man that every time I hear his name, my stomach turns. He was able to be recognized as a thought leader in how the brain affects behavior at work in both leaders and employees. I had been working in this area for years before he chose this area of expertise. Although my depth of experience, research and knowledge is much deeper than his, he brilliantly aligned himself with other thought leaders and marketed his work in much more profound ways than I.
So what can my envy teach me?
1. What can I learn from his marketing strategy that I can apply to my plans?
2. What stopped me from playing a bigger game like him? If I am so smart with so much more to say, how can I play at that level too?
3. Have I set the right standards for my own success? Maybe I’m not celebrating what I have created enough. And if I want more, how can I thank my colleague for showing me ways to achieve it instead of just envying his success?
I have always said that if we embrace our emotions, whatever they are, we can learn from them. They are there to teach us and help us make major life decisions. Let your envy open up doors you never saw or were afraid to walk through before.