Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taming That Green-Eyed Monster

I get jealous all the time. I keep it to myself, pretty much. Snarky, resentful, critical, looking down my nose. Gets me nowhere. All the energy I spend being jealous of somebody else's success and recognition weighs me down, and I know it. I feel guilty (a little bit). I justify it (a lot). When I'm tired enough of it, I do something about it.

I ask myself "What does that person have that I want?" That's usually what it is. They have more time to make art. They have a tidy studio. Or a roomy studio. Or a better haircut. They are getting more recognition. They're selling more work, for better money. They do better marketing. They have admirers. It doesn't help to analyze WHY I want what they have. I don't have to explain my own wants. To myself. That gets a tad circular, if you know what I mean.

And then I get determined. That energy that was sucked up and stagnant becomes free and alive again. Ok, am I willing to do what I would have to do to get what they have (or what I perceive they have -- I mean, I've had a fan or two and some of them are pretty darned unpredictable, so, be careful what you wish for). Am I willing to make less money and make more art? Am I willing to clean my studio? Am I willing to market myself, make better quality stuff? Am I willing to spend the next two or three years moving toward my own vision of smart and cool? Sometimes the answer is no, but at least the focus is back on me, where I have choices and control over how I do my thing.

And then I can wish them well. Send them a mental bouquet of congratulatory roses. Visualize them napping in the arms of their muse. Maybe even contact them, link to them, mention them in a positive way to a friend, invite them to the next gathering.

And then, finally, it's time to visualize ME napping in the arms of MY muse. Wake up refreshed, and get back to work on my own thing.


  1. Well said Mary! I can certainly relate to the Why Not Me? sentiments from time to time. I agree that doing the work and having determination is powerful. Thanks for sharing! You awesome beadwork :-)

  2. Great post, I thought I was the only one that thought that way. Sorry to anyone that takes that personally.
    As I was temping the other day I was reading someone's key to business success book. In it, the head of a company came into their board meeting and had everyone bow their heads in a moment of silence. When the minute was up he said that was for our competition, because we are going to become number 1.
    Whenever I feel over looked, I remember that story and bow my head for a moment of silence......

  3. Hey thanks for weighing in! Everybody gets jeaous at some point, I realized -- it's how you deal with it that makes it a positive or a dud eh?

  4. I can so relate to your message. It is sometime difficult to force yourself to do the things you must to succeed. Just joining BJP was a big step for me. Putting my work out there for others to critique was really hard for me. Do I regret it? Not for a heartbeat.
    By putting myself out on that limb, I have been able to share in other people's work and the reasons behind it.
    I have learned so much in the past nine months, and not all of it was about beading. Jealousy, when taken to extremes is not healthy, but if you learn from it, it's not all bad either.

  5. Arline, you said: "Jealousy, when taken to extremes is not healthy, but if you learn from it, it's not all bad either."

    Well said! 8-)

  6. Sometimes I feel this way. It usually only lasts as long as the question "do I want to be me or her" and I really want to be me and have my own voice as little as it may be. My dogs and my grandkids love me, and my sisters think whatever I make is great. They are all biased but but who cares about that? What I really find is that seeing how well others work or how organized they can be shows me how I can improve if I'm willing to work at it.

  7. Cool post, great perspective. Wishing you a nap with your muse, I prefer to drink with mine ;-)

  8. Don't feel bad, Anne Lamott has made a career (quite successful one at that) of revealing her jealousy in the books she writes. So I say go with it. Make some pins that anounce it to the world, "your damn straight I am jealous", let's bring it out of the closet.
    Jenny (ladybugcircus)


Thanks for your comment! It will be reviewed and posted ASAP.