People who once envied others but changed have these 9 habits in common

Envy can be a powerful emotion, leading us to compare ourselves to others and often leaving us feeling inadequate. I’ve spent a lot of time observing people who once found themselves caught in this cycle of envy, but managed to break free and change their patterns of thought.

In my observations, I’ve realized that these individuals, who have overcome envy, share certain habits. They’ve harnessed their feelings of jealousy and turned it into something productive and positive.

In this article, we’ll delve into the 9 common habits of people who used to be driven by envy but have since evolved. These habits are not only instrumental in overcoming envy but also in fostering personal growth.

1) They practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful antidote to envy. It shifts our focus from what we lack to what we have.

The people I’ve observed who have successfully overcome envy, have made gratitude a daily practice. It’s not just about saying “thank you” more often – although that can certainly help. It’s about genuinely appreciating the good in their lives.

That’s not to say they ignore their problems or stop striving for more. But instead of focusing on what others have that they don’t, they take time each day to celebrate their own achievements and blessings.

This shift in perspective helps them to feel more content and less inclined to compare themselves unfavorably with others.

It’s a simple habit, but one that makes a profound difference in overcoming envy and fostering a healthier outlook on life. And the best part is, anyone can cultivate this habit with a little practice. So why not start today?

2) They turn envy into motivation

I’ve noticed that people who successfully overcome envy often turn their feelings of jealousy into a driving force for self-improvement.

I once had a friend who was consumed with envy over her coworker’s promotion. Instead of letting this negative emotion eat at her, she chose to use it as a motivational tool. She started working harder, seeking new learning opportunities and pushing herself beyond her comfort zone.

Over time, her attitude and work ethic caught the attention of her superiors. She not only earned a promotion herself but also gained a newfound respect for herself and her abilities.

This experience taught her that envy doesn’t have to be destructive. In fact, it can serve as a powerful motivator when channeled in the right direction. It’s all about turning that negative energy into positive actions.

3) They focus on self-improvement

People who have effectively overcome envy often place a strong emphasis on self-improvement. They understand that they can’t control what others have or achieve, but they can control their own actions and attitudes.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who are more focused on self-improvement, rather than comparing themselves to others, tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives.

These individuals channel their energy into developing new skills, learning new things and becoming the best version of themselves. This focus on self-growth helps them to feel more fulfilled, and lessens the need to look at others with envy.

4) They practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is another common habit among people who have successfully overcome envy. Being mindful means being fully present and engaged in the current moment, rather than dwelling on what others have.

By practicing mindfulness, these individuals are able to recognize when feelings of envy start to creep in. Rather than letting these feelings take over, they acknowledge them, understand where they’re coming from, and then let them go.

This conscious awareness and acceptance of their own emotions helps them to control envy before it controls them. It’s a powerful tool for maintaining emotional balance and fostering a positive outlook on life.

5) They foster genuine relationships

One striking habit of people who have overcome envy is their ability to build and maintain authentic relationships. Instead of viewing others as competition, they see them as allies.

They genuinely celebrate the successes of their friends and family, and offer support during tough times. They understand that everyone has their own path, and there’s no need to compare one’s journey with someone else’s.

This authentic connection with others creates a supportive environment, where envy has no place. It’s about lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. This mutual support and respect is a key element in overcoming feelings of envy.

6) They practice self-compassion

A habit that I’ve seen consistently among those who have overcome envy is the practice of self-compassion. This means being kind to themselves during difficult times, understanding that everyone makes mistakes, and acknowledging that no one is perfect.

Instead of beating themselves up over not having what someone else has, they offer themselves grace and understanding. They recognize their own worth and understand that they too are deserving of success and happiness.

This practice of self-compassion goes a long way in combating feelings of envy. By treating themselves with kindness, they are less likely to feel inadequate when comparing themselves to others. It’s a gentle reminder that we all have our own unique strengths and that comparing ourselves to others will only rob us of our joy.

7) They set personal goals

I remember a time when I was consumed by envy. It felt like everyone around me was achieving great things, while I was stuck in a rut. One day, I decided to take control of my life and started setting personal goals.

Setting personal goals allows us to focus on our own growth and progress, rather than comparing ourselves to others. It gives us a sense of direction and purpose.

When I started focusing on my own goals and aspirations, I noticed a significant reduction in feelings of envy. No longer was I preoccupied with what others were doing, but instead, I was excited about my own journey and the progress I was making.

Setting personal goals helped me overcome envy and put me on a path to personal growth and fulfillment. And from my observations, this is a common habit shared by those who have successfully overcome envy.

8) They embrace their uniqueness

Those who have overcome envy understand and embrace their uniqueness. They don’t want to be a copy of someone else; they want to be the best version of themselves.

They recognize that everyone is unique, with their own set of skills, experiences, and talents. Instead of wishing they had what someone else has, they focus on cultivating their own strengths and abilities.

This acceptance and celebration of their own uniqueness helps to dispel feelings of envy. After all, why envy someone else’s life when you can create your own unique path? It’s about embracing who you are and recognizing the value you bring to the table.

9) They practice empathy

Practicing empathy is perhaps the most powerful habit that individuals who’ve overcome envy have in common. They understand that everyone has their own struggles and challenges, even if they aren’t apparent on the surface.

By putting themselves in others’ shoes, they are able to see beyond the surface-level successes that might trigger feelings of envy. This deeper understanding fosters compassion and diminishes the urge to compare themselves unfavorably to others.

Empathy allows them to connect with others on a human level, recognizing that we all have our own journeys and battles to fight. This realization often brings a sense of unity and commonality that leaves little room for envy.

Final thoughts: It’s all about perspective

The journey from envy to contentment is deeply personal and unique for everyone. Yet, amidst the myriad of individual experiences, these nine habits stand out as common threads.

They speak to a shift in perspective, from external comparison to internal growth. From dwelling on what others possess to cherishing what we have. From wishing for someone else’s life to embracing our own uniqueness.

Psychologist Carl Rogers once said, “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” This can be applied to envy as well. The individuals who manage to overcome envy are those who have learned how to change their perspective, their focus, their habits.

Remember, it’s not about eliminating envy overnight. It’s about steady progress and consistent efforts. It’s about catching ourselves when we start to compare and gently guiding our thoughts towards gratitude and self-improvement.

In the end, overcoming envy isn’t just about feeling better. It’s about becoming better. It’s a journey of self-discovery, growth and ultimately, contentment.

Picture of Graeme


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