Dr. Judith Orloff explains how to Build Self-Esteem in 5 steps:
Comparison can be healthy and neutral when you look at similarities or differences. But when you begin to feel Jealous or Envious, you are judging yourself to be less than others.
The following exercise will help you to turn jealousy and envy around. The more your practice it, the easier it will get.
Stop Comparing, Build Self-Esteem
- Choose a person you feel jealousy or envy toward. Perhaps a coworker your supervisor favors. Or a cocky, well-off relative. Make this person your test case before you go on to transforming these emotions with others.
- Behave differently. Practice dealing with jealousy and envy by mindfully using humility and avoiding comparisons, even if the person irritates you. For instance, rather than automatically bristling or shrinking in your seat when your supervisor praises this co-worker, second her good ideas, a collegial gesture. Try not to feed into feeling “less than.” Instead, as an empowered equal, add your own good ideas, not letting their rapport or your wobbly self-esteem deter you. Although you have the right to be upset about your supervisor’s favoritism, a humble but confident approach will begin to improve things. In that instance and the situation with your well-off relative, practice the commandment “I shall not compare.” Shift your mindset to concentrate on what you do have or what makes you happy. Let that be the tone of your interaction.
- Give to others what you most desire for yourself. If you want your work to be valued, value others’ work. If you want love, give love. If you want a successful career, help another’s career to flourish. What goes around comes around, an energetic dynamic you can mobilize.
- Learn from a rival’s positive points. Get your mind off of what you perceive you lack and towards self-improvement. Yoko Ono says, “Transform jealousy to admiration, and what you admire will become part of your life,” an inspiring credo to live by.
- Wish a rival well. Even if it’s hard to do this, try. It helps you to turn negativity around to something more positive.
Enlisting these methods helps you take your eyes off of other people and back to yourself. The point is to appreciate what you have rather than focus on what you’re lacking. A big part of emotional freedom is developing self-compassion rather than beating yourself up. Praise yourself. Gain self-esteem from your efforts to deal with jealousy or envy positively. Showing humility and avoiding comparisons lets you build self-esteem. It fosters a loving versus defensive posture in relationships.