Envy. It usually takes over me when I’m browsing my Instagram feed. Oh their art is absolutely gorgeous: Why I’m not as good as them? Oh they look fabulous: Why I don’t look like them? Oh they are travelling the world: Why I’m sitting on my sofa looking at THEIR travel photographs? Oh they have zillion followers: Why I’m followed only by my mom?
In the worst case scenario it’s the same person being master of art, picture perfect beautiful and travelling on sail boat in the French Riviera. Like honestly, how do they do it? Why does it always seem that other people are making it. While I’m stuck where I am: skill wise, look wise, money wise.
Time to leave the un-attractive self-pity behind. In today’s post I share some tips how handle your envy and how it also can be used as a tool.
When I first start feeling envious in a way that it makes me blue I need to do internal scanning: Am I tired, do I have headache, am I stressed and hungry. We are not always feeling 100%. If I look at the “perfect life” pictures at my 30% I might channel my bad mood into feeling envious.
At that moment my brain tells me that my life sucks and the person who’s picture I’m looking has everything I wanted. Even though that might not be true…
Enviously Yours: What Success Feels Like // Elli Maanpää illustration from 2010
…like the other night I learned that Sara Forsberg – Finnish YouTube sensation – is a TV host not only in several Finnish shows but in UK. Her main career is being a singer-songwriter. On the side she has acted in several films, made an alien language to the Star Wars movie and designed her own clothing line. Not to mention she looks like a goddess and is way younger than me.
So she has quite a repertoire. But I’ve never wanted to be a TV-host or musician. Also I think I’d be confused if I’d be as pretty as her. I don’t actually want her life. So why am I envious of her?
Probably because I’m starting to be frustrated at being “just” a student. I don’t want to be seen as a hobbyist or amateur. I have an impressive study record and portfolio but I need to work on my self-confidence to be proud of what I’ve done.
This is where envy becomes handy. It’s a tool. List all the things the person who you’re envious about has. Find the things that matter to you. Those can become your goals. Envy works as guidepost where to headed next.
As the amazing Sunny Lenarduzzi said on her video “How to like yourself”:
Envy is kind of pointless since you never know the whole picture. It’s easy to think someone else has it easier but that’s not true. We all have our cargos to carry.
Social media is just like any media: it’s biased and branded. Nobody makes vlogs about their days with diarrhoea – and thank god for that.
It’s the best to be you since you know already your strengths and weaknesses. You know how to handle your own s***.
Enviously Yours: All You Need // Elli Maanpää illustration from 2010
BEING HAPPY FOR OTHERS
This can be hard one if you’re unhappy at the moment and you’d rather be happy as the person in the picture you’re looking. But I promise you that if you can feel happy for the others it makes you happier too.
I believe I’m not only me but an atom of the world. I’m part of the whole. So when somebody else in this world gets good news it’s also good news for me. There’s ripples of goodness, lightness and gladness in the universe with every happy encounter. You’ll feel lighter if you accept to receive the happiness of others too.
It’s easy to take for granted all that you already have: being blind of your own success. If you feel that there’s nothing in your own life you are grateful of, ask a person who loves and admires you: what would they do if they would be you for one day?
I asked this from my boyfriend and his answer still makes me smile. He answered “I would first paint and then I would make myself cool clothes”. He made me realize that those are skills I have. I’m actually pretty lucky I can paint beautiful pictures and make myself clothes if I want to. Not everybody can.
Also knowing your core values in life makes everything easier. I’m grateful of my close relationships with friends and family that are drama-free.
Enviously Yours: Two Face // Elli Maanpää illustration from 2010
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” Harold Coffin
GO AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
If you’re like me: the most envious moments come while browsing social media. Sometimes it’s time to shut down the phone and the computer and read a good book instead.
Thank you so much for reading. What are you envious about? Let me know in Instagram or Facebook. See you next Tuesday with a video post about How to self-study art for free. Until then. Inspire and be inspired.
Enviously yours, Elli
P.S. The art work in this post is illustrations I originally did for Satyyri web publications 2010.