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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How To Overcome Jealousy for a Happier Life

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How To Overcome Jealousy for a Happier Life

Knowing how to overcome jealousy is really about knowing how to overcome yourself. You may have ideas about who you should be, often based on very high or unrealistic standards that you see others emulating. When you are jealous of others, it’s not because of how much they have. It’s because of how little you perceive yourself to be.

Now, with social media, getting likes and page views is the new gauge for popularity. Are people flocking to your profile? Are you keeping up with Instagram influencers? Are you marketing yourself properly? Do you have a personal brand? Do you have any following? Do you have all the latest things? Are you like your friends?

Are you happy?

Only one of those questions matter—whether you’re happy or not. When you are jealous, it is difficult to let in positive feelings about yourself and life. You play a constant game of comparison with others, and everything becomes about competition.

That leaves you with an ideal of who you can be, rather than feeling good about who you already are. It’s good to always want to better yourself, but there is a limit. There is a point where you have to look at yourself and think you’re enough. Otherwise, you’ll never really “make it.”

Success will always be this elusive thing that you try to grasp when comparing yourself to others. You run a race that isn’t your own, and you let go of the person you are truly meant to be.

The good news is that you can overcome jealousy for a happier life. You can still meet your goals, and accept yourself along the way. You can stop checking for who is checking you out on social media. You can breathe a little. You can learn to say “no.”

You can value others while not wanting to become them. You can choose happiness that is about self-compassion, fulfillment, and purpose, things that lead you away from jealousy—and you can start now.

Here are 5 ways on how you can overcome jealousy and become happier in life.

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1. It’s Not About Keeping up With the Joneses

Appearances are not everything. You don’t have to follow what’s shiny and new. You don’t have to meet others’ expectations of you.

If you don’t want to do something, say “no.” If you don’t want to be something, say “no.” And if you don’t want to just follow another’s example, say, “no.”

You have the power to control your decisions—your destiny.

If someone has everything perfectly together, they may not be all who you think they are. It may be an image or a facade. Because if you look deeper, everyone has flaws. Everyone has things about themselves that they don’t like.

You never know if someone may be looking to you as an example. You might be the person to lead rather than follow. Rather than seeking inspiration, BE the inspiration. That’s a game-changer.

You may fear rejection when you try to become like others. But what if you were comfortable with yourself to a point that others felt they could be comfortable with you too? What if everyone could let their guards down because of you? Maybe everyone’s waiting to relax and be reassured, too.

Comparing yourself to others may be difficult to pull away from at first. Avoid triggers that cause you to compare yourself to others by not looking at someone’s social media or taking a break to work on yourself—avoiding certain people who put you down or doing something spontaneous rather than just following those around you.[1] You can choose your life. You can find happiness.

2. Finding Satisfaction

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel about your life?

If you are on the lower end, you are most susceptible to copying others. You don’t have to prove anyone to anything, though. If you find satisfaction with your life, be proud of it.

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As long as you can find some satisfaction, you can center yourself in what is good and right and find some meaning in everything. You can overcome jealousy towards others and let your ambitions be your own. When you find satisfaction, you find a newfound love of life—and that is happiness.

Being satisfied doesn’t come easily. It’s human nature to always want more—more stuff, more time, more achievements, more money, more more more. Instead, gratitude minimizes envy. Be grateful to be here, and you will see what’s worth it.

Are you prioritizing your life right? If you are feeling dissatisfied, you may have to readjust your value system. It’s not about your reputation. It’s about your realness.

Are you being honest with yourself in what you need? If not, start there. Start with what makes you happy, without having to have a reason for it—without wanting more or thinking about what it can get you. Just fall in love with the life you live. Then, you will be satisfied.

3. Look to Yourself, Not to Others

What if everything you’re doing is actually right? What if you are okay as you are? What if you have nothing to fear?

Uncertainty and desperation are what lead people to copy each other. A lack of confidence keeps people from coming back to themselves and overcoming jealousy. You might find out who you really are, or you might find out who someone else is. You can only choose one person to be—choose you.

It’s not your fault that you may be feeling insecure. If you listen to the small voice within, you may find that self-love is what you need, not societal approval. But it’s easy to mistake the two.

When you feel like you have nothing of worth, you look to others thinking they have more. It’s time to look to the person who knows you best- yourself. And only you can represent yourself.

Jealousy can lead you to look to anyone but you. This can harm relationships, cause tension, and cause added stress—but you have some control.

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Recognize when you are becoming jealous and work on mending the relationship you have with the person because jealousy happens to everyone.[2] You just have to know when it’s happening to you.

Rather than pulling together traits, values, priorities, passions, etc. from another person, pull from within. Your happiness depends on it. So, give up following the crowd because they may be going the wrong direction. It’s time to take a step forward as the real you.

4. Being Your Own Cheerleader

One day, you won’t look back and think, “I’m so happy because of all my energy placed into other people.” Instead, you will look back and think, “I’m so happy because I got to be myself and live a full life.”

When you are your own cheerleader, you are also your own advocate. You speak up for what you need, and you take care of yourself. No one can do it for you.

Sometimes, you may wait for others to validate you before you value yourself. Instead, try to stand tall with what you have, and you will go farther.

When you motivate yourself by healthy means, you rely less on jealousy or competition to fuel you, and this allows you to overcome jealousy. When you get up each morning and decide that life is worth it, that decision changes lives. Perhaps, those whom you look to are looking to you as well. You have to decide that your voice matters.

Positive affirmations are a great way to motivate yourself. For example:

  • I Am Enough
  • I Am Whole
  • I Am Worthy
  • I Am Loved
  • I Am…

Keep going. Keep saying “I am.” That will empower you to no longer need to envy others.

5. Realistic Expectations

Everyone wants to be on top. Everyone also wants the easy way to get there. But there’s a better way than just being like everyone. You don’t have to always have the answers to be authentic. You just have to have realistic goals.

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There’s no easy way to anything, and if there is, it most likely costs too much. When you choose the road best for you, it may be a lonely one.

Your road may be the one less traveled. You may not have much other than your vision of who you want to be. But you know what? You have your own road.

Not everyone ends up doing what they want to do in life; sometimes, envy has a say in that. Sometimes, envy and jealousy rip you from reality. You start diverging from the road meant for you, crossing into the paths of others’. You may get lost there, and before you know it, it’s too late to turn back.

There’s hope, though. You can stay the course and be the person you are meant to be. You can let go of jealousy and that anguish to be someone other than yourself.

There is no perfect person. But there is perfect happiness in being who you are. You can find it by letting it all go. That’s when you know you are enough.

Final Thoughts

“A flower never thinks of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” –Unknown

It’s time to put jealousy behind you. Love yourself, and you will love your life. What do you have to lose?

Find who you are by letting go of others’ expectations. Authentically show up each day and say, “I am here.” Learn how to overcome jealousy, and happiness will come once you do.

More Tips on How to Overcome Jealousy

Featured photo credit: Andrew Le via unsplash.com

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Sarah Browne

Sarah is a speaker, writer and activist

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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