Is someone else getting more attention than you and it's driving you crazy?
Sometimes it can be challenging to watch others finding success in your field while you struggle. Perhaps they started their career after you and are already enjoying compliments, getting great work, and appearing in the limelight. It's interesting when, instead of feeling inspired, we feel envy or jealousy. What a great opportunity for growth! Particularly artists, who are often a 4 in the enneagram, are susceptible to jealousy. I work coaching a lot of artists whose main block is comparing themselves to others. And let me tell you: jealousy has not made any of my clients more talented, more brilliant, funnier, or smarter. BUT…
Envy tells us several things:
It points to something we want. Good to know what you want!
It points to somewhere we can grow. Good to know where you want to grow!
It points to someone we can appreciate and admire. Good to know exactly what you appreciate about them!
It points to somewhere we can have compassion for ourselves for not being "perfect" already. Great!
It points to somewhere we have an attachment to things being other than exactly how they are and helps bring you back into the reality of your situation. Ahhh.
So… top five ways to deal with professional envy are:
Write down what you want, based on what you're envious about. Allow yourself to feel it.
Write down where you'd like to grow. Take an immediate action based on this. Do something in the next five minutes that gets you closer to your goal.
Write down the qualities in them you admire, and then meditate for five minutes, feeling into how you already possess those qualities.
Meditate for another five minutes on compassion for yourself.
So the creativity coaching work that I do is largely based on the work I’ve done to get through the blocks to being a comedian, solo performer, and artist. Here’s a little sample of what I’ve been up to in my creative life. I’ll be performing this show Eat, Pray, Laugh! in San Francisco January 20th, 2010 to April 28th each week with a kirtan leader. You can get tickets here.
Sometimes in my creativity coaching practice, my mind flashes to an image of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It is a pyramid that states what the basic necessities are for people to become self-actualized, i. e., to become our fully-expressed selves. Remembering to care for the foundation of one's pyramid, the first three levels, is pivotal to having the space needed for creativity. I believe that creativity can work inside every stage, but it's hard to
feel excited about cooking a creative meal when you're too tired to
I like to remind myself every day that I need to care for my basic needs so that I can feel free to create from a place of security and not from the place of fear that my needs won't be met. The base biological and physiological needs are: air (breathing!), water, food, shelter, sleep, sex, and warmth. The next level is safety: needs like protection, order, limits, money, and stability. After safety comes the need for belonging and love: affection, partnership, family, community, working with people.
The needs for esteem, meaning, beauty, self-fulfillment, and helping others toward self-fulfillment (transcendence) build upon all those. Covering these needs at each level is really an act of self-love. If you were to design your own personal hierarchy of needs, what would it include?
"Self love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting."