Jealous Much? (You Might Just Be Tired)

(First appeared in WRAL Techwire.)

January is in the books, and I’ve got two cohorts of the most extraordinary women off on the Winter 28 Day Reinvention Road Trip.

At the same time, I’m changing gears a bit and taking time to recharge. And this shift is connected to a comment one of our current cohort travelers made during the kickoff call.

Here’s what she said: 

“I struggle with being envious or jealous of people versus being inspired by them.”  

What an important observation! I’ve been thinking about it all week. And honestly, I know exactly what she’s talking about, and I’ll bet you do, too.

Sometimes instead of feeling inspired and energized when we meet someone who’s “got it goin’ on” we might feel jealous, maybe even envious.

Why does this happen, and how can we nip it in the bud?

Here’s what I’ve noticed. I’m most likely to be envious or jealous when I’m tired, overscheduled, and low on energy.

Why? Because when my energy is low, my capacity to reach higher and want more is also in the tank. The exhausted Jes thinks, “That looks too hard. I’ll never have the time, resources or talent to do that. I can’t achieve what they achieved because I don’t have the energy to go the distance.”

So, again, what can cause us to fall into the trap of jealousy and cynicism vs. inspiration and creativity? Exhaustion.

THE SOLUTION?

Here’s the good news: there’s a solution to this problem: you need to recharge with intention. Instead of ignoring the natural cycles of push and pull – embrace them. After you crest the hill of an important stretch of hard work, let yourself coast a little.

DO NOT take on a bunch of insignificant tasks so that you can maintain your “pace.” If you do, you’re on the fast track to burnout.

Personally, I’m resisting that temptation right now. I just finished the marathon race of launching the program and hosting our annual Summit. I’m as tired as a one-armed paper hanger.

Fortunately, our winter cohort travelers are successfully on the road and there’s a natural ebb to the flow in my schedule. Bottom line, what I do with these next couple of weeks will determine if and where I find inspiration for new and creative projects. I must choose wisely because exhaustion and envy are waiting to step in.

That alone is a pretty good reason to slow down … so I choose to rest. Today, I’m wondering if you know what season you’re in, and if you know when to shift gears?

Look, I don’t have a stick shift, but I know this much: you can’t always be in 5th gear. Sometimes you gotta downshift.

And if it’s time for you to coast a little and recharge your batteries, do it friend. You’re worth it.

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