“Jealousy is when you see someone else living up to YOUR potential.”
In my mid-teens, I tried and failed to make several local basketball teams. Friends of mine made those teams. I was jealous, but never admitted it.
That jealousy and sadness was converted into anger and action, and eventually, results.
The quote at top of this article is a great description of what jealousy is.
Jealousy is not just the noticing of other’s accomplishments, but us asking ourselves WHY someone else is doing what we could have done.
The main differentiator in people is not whether or not we feel jealousy. We all feel it.
What separates people is how we answer the question of WHY.
Option 1: Deflection “It’s Not Him/Her that’s so good — It’s Their Situation!”
Andre Rison played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s. He was often touted as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
The only receiver who was head and shoulders above Andre, at least according to popular opinion, was a guy named Jerry Rice.
I read an interview with Andre Rison where he enumerated what made most people consider Jerry Rice better than he.
Rison cited Jerry’s teammates at running back, quarterback, on defense, and Jerry’s coach. Andre conclude that, had he had the same system surrounding him, he would be just as great as Rice.
I’m not arguing whether Andre was accurate or not. Just pointing out that his answer was about the people around Jerry — not Jerry himself — and that he never allowed that Jerry Rice may have just been a better football player than him.
Deflection keeps us in the same spot: denying that what’s happening is happening and never addressing what we won’t admit.
Option 2: Avoidance “They’re NOT Better!”
There’s a Hall Of Fame basketball player named Clyde Drexler.
Clyde was about the same size as, and played the same position as, a guy you’ve heard of named Michael Jordan.
In fact, Clyde’s Portland Trailblazers declined an opportunity to draft Jordan in 1984, in part because of Clyde’s presence on the team.
Clyde’s Blazers met Michael’s Bulls in the 1992 NBA Finals. Jordan won.
That same summer, legend has it, Michael kicked Clyde’s ass all over the gym during practices for the USA “Dream Team” before the legendary squad won the gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics.
I saw an interview featuring Clyde and he was asked about Jordan. Clyde’s assertion is that Jordan just shot the ball more often, thus he scored more points and wasn’t necessarily “better” than he .
Again — not arguing the point; just showing you an example.
Avoidance could also be called “Denial.” We see what’s happening or what happened, but convince ourselves that it’s not happening.
Like Clyde with Michael Jordan, Avoidance looks more and more ridiculous the longer it persists.
Option 3: Victimhood “My Situation Is Just Not Optimal Like Theirs”
I blamed my situation when I was getting cut from those rec league basketball teams.
I wasn’t at the playground as often as the other kids; as a result, I didn’t have relationships with the coaches. I wasn’t “friendly” with the coaches like the other kids, that’s all it was.
I was taller than my peers, so I got pigeonholed into playing roles that I didn’t want, and then failed in those roles. Had I had the right role, everything would have worked out!
This is probably the most pervasive form of jealousy, as it incorporates elements of both Deflection and Avoidance. And, because no two situations are exactly the same — we ALWAYS have this option available to us. Which is why it gets utilized so often.
Option 4: The Face Slap “It’s True — And Needs To Be Addressed
Charles Barkley has a career year in 1993 playing for the Phoenix Suns. He won the NBA’s MVP award and carried his team to the NBA Finals where they met… Charles’ good friend Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
The Bulls won.
Later, Charles told a candid story when asked about that series.
Charles said he was telling his young daughter at the time that he was going to win the NBA championship, because Daddy was the best player in the world — his MVP trophy was proof of this.
When he lost, his daughter asked her father what had happened, with Daddy being the best player in the world and all.
In his best tongue-in-cheek-but-not-really way, Charles tells us what he said.
“I said to her, ‘baby girl, Michael Jordan is just better than me.’”
The least-used response to jealousy, The Face Slap is the “real talk” that most of us, most of the time, need to hear from someone other than ourselves to really allow it to sink in.
The problem is, most of us are too stubborn / emotional / in denial to listen to this need-to-hear talking-to.
It’s those who are most open to hearing it, and most moved to action by it, who make adjustments in life. Everyone else remains stagnant.
The Face Slap is a great barometer of our Mental Toughness.
Speaking of Face Slaps, I wrote some books about Mental Toughness that I combined into the Bulletproof Bundle: my 4 best books on the Mental Game.
You can get the Bulletproof Bundle by ordering your FREE copy The Mirror Of Motivation (it’s part of the Bulletproof Bundle) and checking the “Upgrade” box to get the full Bundle at a special price.
Get it here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/Motivation
You’re Just One Bold Move Away…