One thing that I’ve always really struggled with is a tendency to be jealous and insecure. But recently I’ve been getting over jealousy and insecurity. Let me tell you how.
The Opposite of Confidence
Remember that time you felt so awkward that you wanted to crawl into a hole? I’ve got a few of them! Like there was that time my toddler swung my black, lacy panties through the church staff meeting and a group of business men! Or that other spectacular moment I asked Average Advocate followers this big ask, and they didn’t respond? Or when I fumbled through that whole speech I didn’t prepare well? Or when I had to have that one confrontation with someone I lead and they freaked out and tried to take down our non-profit?
Ugh. In those moments I felt the opposite of confidence.
Like you, I’m human. I am a human woman. Weirdly, it surprises some people, but I struggle with confidence too! Confidence isn’t exactly easy to develop. It usually takes lot of failure and awkward, unsure moments to grow it.
As you probably know, being without confidence is kinda the essence of insecurity. And jealousy and competition are some of the symptoms of this insecurity (shame, pride and defensiveness are some other symptoms). For many women, insecurities are often tied-up in attractiveness and how good of a mama they are. (Check out Brene Brown’s research if you want to learn more about shame and insecurity for women). My insecurity has always strongest when it comes to my success having a platform as a writer, leader and speaker.
Often I would get discouraged with my influence or lack of it. I’ve never been famous. I’ve never grown anything to a tipping point or at a rapid rate. Taking trainings, being coached and implementing marketing guru’s guidance never got me too far and I’ve often still felt like a fake (check out Impostor Syndrome: Fraud).
In fact, sometimes I would feel so stuck, I would be hijacked for months at a time. I would frequently have to take breaks from social media. Sometimes I could feel it pulling out the worst in me, making me feel hopeless and gross. (When is it time to take breaks from social media? Check out 6 Questions to Help World Changers Know When They Should and Shouldn’t Unplug.) Then, in my discouragement, I would get defensive and jealous. Naturally, I wouldn’t really want to invest in others unless there was a return in investment (example, if I share their content, they share my content). As if there isn’t enough internet space for all of us! Or I seemed to believe that cheering on someone else’s success would mean I wasn’t valuable. Neither of these equations are true.
Despite years of trying, though, my lack of confidence and the jealousy that stemmed from it hasn’t been something easily beat. Speaking truth, using affirmations, praying for my heart to change–they’ve helped. But last year I started doing something that began changing my heart attitude and mindset exponentially. Ready for it? I started going out of my way to intentionally promote others.
I am part of a community called Hope*Writers. I began to care about the people I met there. Not because I know most of them, but we are in the same boat together. I could see myself in those just starting. I wanted to encourage them out as much as possible. Most of these writers were like me, needing people to believe in them. For someone to say that their writing mattered enough to share. Embracing the concept of do unto others as you would want done for you, I intentionally began sharing what these writers had written. I’d put them in my social media stories throughout the week with the tag, #CommunityOverCompetition. I would message them and tell them I was cheering for them. When I remembered, I would put them in my highlights for the month and say a little prayer of blessing over them and their writing journey.
Honestly, I haven’t heard back from most of these shares or promotions of others, but I wasn’t expecting to (this time). In fact, releasing that expectation has been part of the process.
This is How I Began Overcoming Jealousy
Through my practice of #CommunityOverCompetition I have seen a huge shift in me. I have stopped feeling so competitive and jealous inside. I’ve become a lot more content with where I am. Even if I am connecting with fewer readers than I would like–I know I am still encouraging others. I find meaning in this because I know this makes a difference to these writers. In fact, I am even becoming more confident because I am confident in this as a purpose in and of itself.
So now you know how I have been getting over jealousy and it’s pretty simple. In my faith, we call this loving others as you love yourself. In psychology we call this opposite action. It wasn’t enough to pray change or speak forth the change I wanted (though I have no doubt those have been part of it). But the missing element was action. Doing the opposite of what seemed like it would soothe my competitive, jealous spirit has had a transforming affect. In promoting others, cheering them on, and encouraging other’s success hard core I’ve become changed.
I am so grateful to become a little more fully alive by killing jealousy and with it, some of my insecurities.
What If You Don’t Care About Being Famous?
I realize many of you don’t care about being an influencer or building a platform as a writer. But I’m pretty sure this still works in your own areas of jealousy and insecurity. I’ve used this method before in personal jealousies (like that extra pretty, girl who had it altogether). I’ve seen it work in ministries and businesses. I’ve used it as an establishing principle in the non-profits I’ve started. Giving and cheering on other’s success is vital if you want to overcome these hindrances and grow in confidence.
How about this? Where you are jealous, just try encouraging and promoting whatever/whomever you are jealous of for a few months. Then get back to me with the story. I am pretty sure it will be cool.
Pursuing Confidence is Vital For World Changers
Getting over insecurities is actually foundational if you want to be a world changer. Without confidence, it is virtually impossible to step into action or your best fit to make a difference. You might make some progress, but the insecurities will always be there, pulling you down. Like I said earlier, I’ve been hijacked for so long because of my insecurities. Don’t let that happen to you.
Walk in grace, though. Jealousy and insecurity doesn’t just magically disapparate because you want it to (that was for all my HP fans out there!). It is a process. But what I am discovering is that there are ways to make that process go faster. My challenge to you is to take a next step and move forward. If you aren’t sure exactly what that step is, check out the questions at the end of this article.
If we want to be fully alive and be effective changemakers, getting over jealousy and insecurity needs to become a priority. Because confidence is one of the three secrets to making a difference in the world.
Cultivate these things: confidence, context and cause. These truths will empower you to transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary.
Make sure you sign up for the Average Advocate Table for the other posts in this series.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What’s one thing you wish you were a little more confident in?
- Are there specific people or things that trigger you to be jealous?
- Can you identify any specific fears or prideful beliefs that might be driving this jealousy or insecurity?
- What truths are you speaking into those?
- What opposite actions can you move forward in?
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