Professional Jealousy: Why you are Green under the veil!

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.

Fulton J. Sheen

www.wikipedia.org

In last 30 years of stirring professional experience, two obliquely interlaced facets of the corporate world have intrigued me the most. One is the vulnerability and the other is jealousy.

Let’s introspect! When your teammate achieves something, why does that make you feel edgy?  It could be anything – his quality, reward, capability, or any other accomplishment. Equally, when he fails, why does that make you feel comforted or ventilated? Why we are habitually troubled with ‘unsettling’ or ‘ugly’ emotions on others’ achievements?  Why we feel conquered when someone has an advantage over us? Why our mind exaggerates the importance of other’s pluses?

Yet, aren’t we wish others to be delighted for us when we do well?

I do recognize that professional jealousy unsurprisingly comes in every profession. But, it cannot become a logical retort to recompense our inadequacies. Much as I hate to acknowledge, I have been to such weird experience myself few years ago. I recall making a sharp remark to the leadership team of a large organization, where ‘dysfunctional fights’ and ‘personal targeting’, appeared to run rampant amidst the apex team. They were sarcastic, condescending, rude and hateful towards each other. I genuinely value existence of ‘mature dissent’ as a professional way of life, but not to the extent of foulest pestilential politics. Yes, more often, the green-eyed monster symptomatically rears its head in so called “evolved” senior professionals.

When your team-mate’s triumph makes you feel sore, do not strain much to justify yourself. It simply means you are jealous. Period!

There are countless reasons to get jealous. In my view, Jealousy stubbles from lack of self-confidence, compromised self–image, fear, uncertainty, and insecurities. In any organization there will be individuals who are jealous of the success achieved by their superiors, colleagues, or subordinates.Jealousy is a clandestinely held feeling. In good conscience, I do not think we have much control over our ‘unsettling’ emotions. It is expected that ‘instinctively’ we do experience such emotions at some point of time. If we desire something and someone else gets it, we become jealous. To be disgruntled with what we already have is the very beginning of bitterness. Desire does give pleasure, but it also nurtures possessiveness and pain. 

Jealousy very often sprouts from the feeling of let down or personal failure. Jealousy echoes comparison. Jealousy is not hard to come by when the mind is obsessed with comparison. If we drop comparison, jealousy disappears. So, one way to evade jealousy is to circumnavigate comparison with others. We all are classically conditioned to equate with each other. Jealousy is the by-product of such conditioning of pejorative evaluations. It is a negative and regressive state of mind. Jealousy suggests disappointment with what you have and greed for what others have. We never ever own up our jealousy. We do not even think of surreptitiously confess it to our own self.

Jealousy is an abrupt reaction. You feel livid. You feel despoiled and yearn retribution. You want to reverse the events or circumstances. You envisage to rheostat the conditions to manoeuvre whatever is necessary for redemption. Jealousy echoes self-doubt or fear. Jealousy has its consequences. It causes agitation, unrest, conflict, struggle, and frustration, ultimately resulting in unhappiness. Jealousy disguises other more beautiful emotions in our life. It flares up obsession, ruins our relations, and plugs our heart with abhorrence. It invades in our private life. In a way, jealousy literally gobbles us.

Unfortunately, our corporate culture is cripplingly founded on acquisitiveness. Where jealousy is encouraged and cherished. Where the competitive spirit is cultivated and propelled from day one. Where an unarticulated imprint that you must do better than others is reiterated persistently.

Stereotypically, jealousy comes with quirks of having what you are wanting.For a professional, there is nothing wrong in striving hard for desired goals and wanting to advance in career, but it is absolutely stupid to be jealous of others for their dreams.Competitiveness seems to be a rich manure for jealousy. It certainly breeds in discontent. I know, It is hard to own up the truth. When we struggle not to be jealous because of our arrogance to pamper the underlying delusion of self that itself is a reflection of jealousy. We fetishize when we are jealous. It makes us deceptive, because we start imagining the unreal. 

Jealousy, like most other emotions, comes from within. What we can control is how we respond to such emotions.  Suppressing disturbing emotions can be difficult, but is often necessary in order to move forward in our life. Its ‘solidity’ is often guarded by deep-seated feelings of attachment, diffidence or ignominy. It is difficult to simply befuddling our mind from such emotions. It rather necessitates a conscious attempt towards addressing our underlying fears and overpowering self-critical thoughts.

Trust me, covetous people are despicable minds. Avoid company of such avaricious colleagues. It is injurious to your own thought processes. They can easily turn you into a green-eyed monster. Just get over it.

Nature has created you as original.

Learn to be the incomparable YOU.

Enjoy your own unrivalled life.

Do what you love the most. The first logical step towards liberating yourself from jealousy is ‘awareness’. Only by evoking understanding of what you are, you actually help transform what you are. If you can’t own up your gaffes and inadequacies, you are bound to be a jealous person. Comparison and jealousy destroy our life as surely as fire burns. Let our unsettling emotions not get the better of us.  It doesn’t come easy. It takes a positive mental make-up and untiring resolve to master the art. Take jealousy as a powerful “internal” emissary. Jealousy confirms your weak-spots and kindles you to embark upon your solitary journey on the path of awakening.

Ignite your spiritual horizon!

You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.-Gary Allan