When the green-eyed monster rears its head, we usually think it’s a bad thing. Jealousy is typically seen as a negative. It means you are immature, self-centered, unappreciative of what you have. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing all the time–it might help you grow!

1. It guides you.

Let’s say you’re jealous of your friend’s promotion. Maybe that’s an indication that you also want to pursue a higher level position, but it took your jealousy to make you see that. There are all sorts of things that we discover about ourselves based on our emotions. Sometimes it takes a certain kind of feeling to make you realize what you wanted all along.

2. You’ll work harder.

Since jealousy can make you realize what you want, it’ll also act as a great motivator. In order to get what you want, you’ll work extra hard. Anytime you feel like giving up or slacking off, jealousy will be there to get you back on track to getting what you want. It’s like dangling a prize just out of your reach; eventually you’ll reach it, as long as you keep following after.

3. It will remind you of past desires.

Often, we forget about the dreams of our past. If you’re ever feeling a twinge of envy at someone else’s accomplishments, it can remind of you of a long-forgotten desire. The fact that you have feelings about it at all might be an indicator that it’s time to revisit that dream. Take it as a good opportunity to reminisce and make that dream finally come true.

4. It might surprise you.

Being jealous might teach you a thing or two about yourself. If you get jealous about something that you’ve never been interested in, that can be an indicator that you should look into it. I remember in elementary school being jealous that my friend could shoot a free throw, even though I had never shown any interest in basketball at all. I promptly joined a local team and had my dad set up a basketball hoop in my back yard. You never know what a little jealousy might reveal about yourself.

5. It can serve as a goal.

Everyone works harder when there’s something to gain from it. Channel that jealousy into an attainable goal. This can be great motivation to get you what you want.

6. It’s humbling.

The level of envy you feel might take you by surprise. If that’s the case, it might be time to reevaluate your feelings and aspirations. If you’ve worked hard and gotten to where you wanted to get, then why are you jealous? That emotion might serve as a good reminder to be thankful for what you do have.

7. You can channel it into a positive emotion.

If you’re jealous of a friend’s accomplishment, you’re obviously impressed by it. Try taking that jealousy and turning it into pride for your friend for achieving something great. It’s funny how quickly you can channel your feelings into different emotions if you just put your mind to it.

8. You’ll be grateful.

Jealousy means you’re an ambitious person, and that’s good. If you envy what others have or accomplish, then you’ll always be striving for more. Count your lucky stars that you’re such a go-getter.

9. You’re human.

Jealousy is one of the most common emotions out there. While it might seem negative to some people, feeling jealous means that you’re connected to those around you and that you have the capacity to have strong emotional feelings about something. It’s completely natural to feel jealous, so use that to your advantage when you can, and remember that everyone feels envy at some point too.

Featured photo credit: Reach Out/stuartpilbrow via flickr.com

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