{flickr photo Sudachi}

Something wonderful happened today. I listened as a friend took fear and rose above it, soaring into the wind of success. As I watched from below and admired her beautiful, new wings, I thought about how high up she was and how much I wanted to fly just like her.

But instead of letting her beauty blind me or make me feel inferior on the ground below, it lifted me up. Like a cloud, I floated toward the unknown and let my own spirit grow.

Why Other People’s Success Hurts

In the shadow of someone’s success, you can easily melt into a puddle of “why not me’s” and sense of inferiority.

Success, when it is not our own, can stir up our own feelings of unsought dreams.

But what I learned is that the reason we feel so bad when other people succeed is that we think success is some unattainable light that we don’t deserve or are incapable of reaching.

When I felt the light of a friend’s success, I moved out of the shadow and bathe in her courage. Her courage encouraged me to face my own fears. And as a result, I too, was successful.

Turning Jealousy Into Your Own Success

I am not immune to feeling sparks of envy every once in awhile. But to me, they are like bread crumbs leading toward my best life.

Once in college, I was supremely jealous of a friend when I found out she moved away and went to a school on the mainland. That jealousy gave me the courage to apply for a transfer to a mainland school. If I didn’t do that, I would not be here, living in California, pursuing my dreams.

You can use your jealousy as energy to propel you forward in your own life, if you listen to it instead of try to avoid it.

The next time you start to feel butterflies when someone you know succeeds, write down what about their success makes you envious. Think about an area in your life that you want to improve. Then, use that energy to propel you forward, turning green with envy into green with success.

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