How to use professional envy to your benefit

Unprofessional Behavior
21 Oct 2022

No one is spared this feeling—the green bug or professional envy bites us all. There’s this heavy feeling in our chest and nothing seems harder than to force a smile on our faces at someone we really do not want to smile at. This might happen when a colleague is given an appraisal or promotion, or if they’re given laurels in front of you for something that they’ve done.

We’ve been told all our lives that envy isn’t a good feeling, however, what we don’t understand is that we’re misunderstanding the meaning of envy with the word jealousy. Jealousy and envy are different—not just in terminology, but in meaning and feeling. Jealousy is when you wish the person you are feeling jealous of does not have the appreciation or laurels that they have received. Envy is a tad bit smoother.

Envy is the feeling that even you want to achieve the same things that the person you’re envious of has received as well. Understanding this difference will help anyone learn that there’s more to this feeling than one gives it credit.

You can use professional envy to your benefit, and here’s how.

First, try and find your trigger.

Exactly what is it about your colleague that’s making you feel this way? Is it because they got a raise? Or is it because they were appreciated by your boss in a meeting, in front of several people? Is it because they don’t get nervous when talking to people in a crowd? Or it it because they have a charismatic personality?

Remember that the things you are envious of are things you want for yourself too. You might not want the person to be devoid of such things, but you want them too. Find out what these triggers are, so that you can focus on achieving them in the future

Accept this feeling

It’s as important as figuring out it’s day. The most important step in tackling the green bug is accepting the fact that you are indeed envious. Instead of talking yourself into believing that the person might just have been lucky and that they don’t deserve the applause, admitting to yourself that you are envious will push you a step further in bettering your best.

It’s alright to feel this way. And it’s alright to not feel guilty about the same. Accepting this feeling will help you push forward to developing your own skills.

Look at your own accomplishments

It’s almost natural to believe that we’re no good when we’re envious of the other person. We tend to believe that we do not have anything to be proud of, and that we will never reach their standpoint. It can be a big blow to our self-esteem as well.

But, it’s just as important to look at what you’ve accomplished as well. This is so that you do not lose hope and are aware that you are capable of a great many things. Use your envy to channel this inner motivation in you.

Use it as a chance

You can always view their accomplishments and laurels as a chance or an opportunity to better your best. They’ve achieved so much, but so can you. Now that you’ve seen how it’s done and what can be pushed to, you do not have to stop till you get where you need to be.

It’s always better to view their laurels as a positive opportunity. Just because they’ve done it before doesn’t mean you can’t do it either. You can perhaps, do it better and faster and achieve more. The bar is set, but you can indeed raise it.

Be more affirmative

Try affirming your own abilities and skills when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks. We’re always led to believe that even if we keep the green bug in check, we might still not be entirely happy. It’s important to be aware and confident of your skills.

Evaluate what you are good at and what you need to improve in. Make a list of your skills that you think you need to improve. Learn about others’ plans and make a mental note to better your previous best and set another record, even if one has been set already. There’s always a thousand things that can motivate you, it’s only your job you to find it.

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