Caught a Case of The Jealousies? 4 Ways to Do Something About It

The Jealousies (n). A brilliant term coined by my friends Jamie and Nicole to convey the sentiment of watching someone be or do something you wish you could. Perhaps it's an internal quality, like their charm or joie de virve. Or maybe they wrote a book or ran a marathon; bought a house or started a business. I'm a firm believer that The Jealousies can be a good thing -- envy may be one of the seven deadly sins, but The Jealousies can act as a sign-post to something amazing you're wanting to do or become in your own life. Channeled productively, The Jealousies help us reach new heights and accomplish great things.

You know it when you have it. You itch with simultaneous glee for your friend and a nagging tug in your brain. A tug that is at once hopeful and afraid. A tug that, for many of us, begins to ask the wrong questions.

The Wrong Questions We Often Ask:

  • Can I do that?
  • Am I capable?
  • Do I deserve that level of success?
  • Would I fail if I tried?
  • Will I ever get off my a** and do something about this feeling?

And that's if we're even asking questions. Some of us jump immediately to: 

  • S/he is special. I could never do that.
  • I'm not smart/talented/beautiful enough.
  • I don't have what it takes.
  • I wasn't born with the right set of skills or resources.
  • I could only do that IF....
  • I can only attempt that after achieving a laundry list of other goals first.
  • I'm too lazy.
  • I'm too busy.

Asking "can I do that?" focused questions or immediately shooting ourselves down takes us into an abyss of inaction. It takes your brain down a dead-end road that often ends with "no," "I'm not sure," or "I'll figure it out later."

There's another huge problem with capability-based questions when it comes to your big goals:

Your brain has no effing clue! It has never attempted that goal before! How would your brain, going off your own history, actually know whether you can achieve this new thing or not? That's where the popular saying, "You won't know 'til you try" comes in.

The secret to channelling your Jealousies productively is to ask HOW questions: 

  • How can I make a plan to attempt this goal?
  • How do I want my life to look on the other side?
  • How can I start making room in my schedule?
  • How can I enlist support from my friends and family?
  • How can I start taking baby steps?

1. Get curious: what is it about this person or accomplishment that really gets you excited? Start by entertaining the thought that it's available to you too. The Jealousies are a flashing road marker, pointing you toward something thrilling.

2. Don't dwell in an endless spin-cycle of whether or not you are capable. You are. Flip the switch in your brain from yes or no questions to the much more expansive HOW questions (without getting bogged down by how-related details yet).

3. Get creative! Give your brain the opportunity to brainstorm exciting new possibilities for you, instead of sinking into hypotheticals or your past experiences. Ask creative, open-ended questions like, "How can I write a book and continue working full-time?" or "How can make training for a marathon fun even though I don't really like running?"

4. Get support: An exciting announcement

I'm nervous as all get-out to tell you this, but the Make Sh*t Happen course is launching in TWO weeks. Two weeks!

This is MY big scary goal that I've been working on all summer; it's the first time I've been able to put my 5+ years of Training & Development experience at Google into my own project. I've put together an 8-week course that will help you channel your jealousies productively, taking your massive goal from a "nice idea" to inevitable success, using the framework and coaching strategies that I've applied to every major goal in my own life.

There will only be 36 spots in the pilot class -- I'm keeping it small so that I can go above and beyond for each person and make sure the course is as effective as I'm anticipating it will be. I'm going to email the Make Sh*t Happen early notification list first; they will get the first crack at sign-ups. If there are any spots left, I will then announce that enrollment is open on my Inside Scoop list, then the blog. If you're itching for a spot, make sure you sign-up to be one of the first to know when it opens!

I can't freakin' wait.

What's currently giving you a case of The Jealousies? More importantly, what are you going to do about it?