Last week, I talked with a freind who has been very successful in business. Years of 80-hour work weeks, losing sleep, missing out on family time and delaying gratification on all fronts have resulted in her dreams becoming reality.
Most of her colleagues are celebrating with her, but some of them have begun to treat her differently. On the surface, they smile and cheer her on. But now and then, through a word or a look, something different shines through. It's called the green monster.
The green monster is real, but we can triumph over it by remembering these things.
1. We get what we give. If our attitude is one of envy toward others, that same attitude will eventually be visited upon us. The world has a way of giving us what we give to it, and when we choose to exude bitterness and jealousy, we not only project negativity into the world, but we also cause negativity to be reflected back to us.
2. We can choose to appreciate what we receive when others succeed. With rare exception, there will always be others who get more recognition than we do for doing the same things we are doing. Read any magazine or watch any television show and there is example after example of great stories of triumph in business against the odds. Those stories should inspire us and we should be thankful for the examples of the marvelous things we can accomplish when we decide that defeat is not an option.
3. Comparing ourselves to others wastes our gifts. I spoke with a person last month who said, "I want to be where 'such and such a' business is right now." She forgot that her business started last year, while "such and such a" had been in business for 5 years and had very different gifts and talents than she did.
It's easy to look at someone from the outside and draw conclusions about how and why they are where they are. Of course, the real story may be quite different, and if given the option of going through what they went through to have what they have, we might very well say, "No thank you." Using valuable energy to compare ourselves to others rather than to do our best to accomplish all we can with what we have is such a waste.
It's natural to want the best for ourselves. It's disappointing when we work hard and things don't seem to happen fast enough. But if we don't check our egos and quickly remember that our journey is uniquely ours, the green monster will eventually destroy our confidence, come out of the shadows and consume us.
What do you think? Have you successfully fought off the green monster?