Combating Jealousy in DPT School; Megan Mitchell, SPT
Jealousy is a common emotion, but an undesired one. I don’t feel good about myself when someone tells me about their success and I instantly become overwhelmed with a feeling of jealousy. And I am firm believer that jealousy is not a good motivator.
I don’t believe that we should use those feelings of jealousy to push ourselves to do more and to strive to be more successful. And here’s why: jealousy is an emotion that is experienced when we compare someone’s situation to our own. When we take their success and measure that to our own, and find that theirs measures higher. Jealousy isn’t experienced when we believe that we are doing better. But to do a simple comparison like that is unfair to both ourselves and the other person.
As DPT students we have learned that every patient is unique and that in order to make a comprehensive and effective rehabilitation plan we must take a look at their biology, their psychology, and their social components that are impacting and influencing their life. And this holds true for every single person that we meet, especially our classmates and colleagues.
To operate on jealousy would be to operate on an external locus of control. It causes our motivation and drive to be dependent on the successes of the people we surround ourselves with. Additionally, it causes our happiness to be contingent on the fact that we are doing better than those around us. This obviously does not create a happy or healthy mindset.
One of my favorite quotes is “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Although it is a cliche, I think that it important to always keep in mind.
Someone else’s success says nothing about your own. It is a complete reflection on what they have gone through and what they have achieved.
The other day I was listening to a podcast where the guest, Lolly Daskal (founder and CEO of Lead from Within) discussed her nightly ritual that consisted of thinking about all the great things she had done that day, and then followed by a few things that she could do tomorrow to further her positive impact on the world.
This resonated with me.
As DPT students we are constantly dealing with stress and challenges, and this type of positive self-talk can prove to be very beneficial. I often find myself ignoring all the things I’ve accomplished or done, and instead focus on the things I have yet to do. There are no negative side effects of taking a minute before bed to acknowledge what you’ve done that day, whereas the alternative, of denying yourself that praise, can be costly to your mental health.
I think the second part of the ritual is equally important. We need motivation, and we should push ourselves to do things that help to accomplish our mission. And that motivation should come from ourselves.
Our goals should be set based off of what we’ve done and what we can do, not what someone else has done.
We won’t experience the feeling of jealousy if we’re only comparing our successes to ourselves. And by doing that, we will free our emotions and allow ourselves to be genuinely happy for others successes.