Have you ever found yourself comparing your financial position to someone else’s? Wondering what someone else makes, the value of their home, or the amount of their investments?
If you have, you may have experienced “financial envy.” Envy is a two-person emotion, and jealousy is a three-person emotion. Amy is envious of something Betty has; but Mark is jealous of Cynthia’s relationship with Dana, her assistant.
Financial envy may not necessarily be a sign that you are lacking something, but rather, that you may need to change your perspective. In today’s social media world, it’s easy to be envious of clothes, cars, and other material items. We are inundated with images of others having great times and luxurious possessions. We tend to forget how much we don’t know about others’ lives. All that glitters is not gold. You have strengths they don’t – that’s the nature of things. And life is about more than money.
Money is important, no question. And I’d be the last person to say you should be content with where you are financially, if you want to improve your position. By all means, set goals, make plans, if that is important to you. But first, take stock of what you have and what you can be thankful for. This financial journey is a process and a path; you must find your own road to travel.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
Here are some ideas:
• Tend Your Own Garden – You won’t create your own garden if you spend your time focused on your neighbor’s yard. Plant your own seeds, water them, tend them. Love them, watch them grow, and by all means, if you have weeds, pull them!
• Embrace Your Own Path – Maybe your life has been rocky at times. We’ve all made mistakes, hit roadblocks and speedbumps, and experienced financial issues. Your path is your own, it’s unique, and everything you’ve experienced has helped make you who you are today. And it has prepared you for your further travels – your story has more chapters to come. Write them with conviction, gusto, and love.
• Don’t Beat Yourself Up – Embrace who you are and where you are at right now, and if you want to change anything, devise a strategy to do so.
• Go “Dark” If You Need To – If you find yourself experiencing financial envy from social media, you might want to consider turning off your social media and the “financial pornography” networks for a while.
• Practice Gratitude – Take stock of your life, and you may be surprised to see how much you have be grateful for right now.
When you compare yourself with others, to your detriment, you are giving away your power. Take it back. Forge your own path. Strike out in a new direction if it feels right, but do it from a place of strength, gratitude, and love.
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Until next Wednesday –