Posts Tagged ‘jealousy’

Healing the Twin Tortures of Jealousy and Resentment

Friday, July 6th, 2007
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How can I let go of resentment towards my mother for being thin and lose weight myself?

I wanted to answer this question because, even if weight is not everyone’s issue, resentment and jealousy torture most of us at one time or another.

Jealousy is an indicator that we believe someone else has something that we cannot attain. We may experience jealousy about someone’s looks, their financial status, their popularity/success, or their personal life. But it all comes down to the belief that we can’t have what they have.

Why would we believe this unless we didn’t think we were equally deserving? So jealousy helps us recognize that we are feeling unworthy in some way.

The question changes from, “How do I get what so-and-so has?” to “How do I get that I am worthy?” What I talk about in my book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, is that we won’t necessarily wake up one morning with a belief in our own worthiness. Like any other belief, it takes repetition and practice to “get it.”

So how do you let go of resentment towards your mother for being thin and lose weight yourself? How do you get that you are worthy of having the body you desire?
Before eating or before opportunities to exercise, you ask what I believe is the most healing question you can pose:

“If I knew my worthiness in this moment, what would I do?”

Whether we want to lose weight or experience more love, success, or happiness, I recommend asking yourself this question at least ten times a day every day. You will find that as your sense of self-worth grows, you will suffer less from jealousy and resentment.

Visit for more on how to live an extraordinary life, view Jane Straus’s TV interviews, preview a seminar, order Enough Is Enough!, have her speak at your next event, or contact her about personal coaching. You may also order Enough Is Enough! at

5 Keys to Abundance

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

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Are you really open to abundance in your life? Recently on Oprah, I heard a shocking statistic: Over 70% of people who experience a financial windfall from such strokes of luck as winning the lottery or inheriting a large sum of money tend to be back to where they were financially within just a few short years.

Most of us think this would never happen to us. Our thoughts probably run along the lines of, “If I won a million, two million, ten million dollars [take your pick], it would change my life forever. All my worries would be gone. I’d be happy.”

How can it be that what seems like an inevitable happy ending just doesn’t turn out to be true for such a large majority of people? Are those who come serendipitously into wealth dumber than we are? Are they all spendaholics, compulsive gamblers, inept business people, or at the very least so codependent that they can’t say “no” to family and friends who ask for handouts?

It’s true that many of us who are not used to handling large sums of money are inept with it. It’s also true that a lot of us are codependent enough to fall prey to wanting to be loved by giving everything we have. If we’re already doing that, we’ll probably do it more, not less, if given half a chance. And if some of us aren’t spendaholics now, like kids in a candy store, we certainly might become crazed with buying the first time we have a wad of cash in our hands. But even these shortcomings and lapses in judgment don’t explain the expected fate of 70% of us who would end up no better—and possibly worse emotionally due to shame—than before our sudden wealth.

Many of us don’t budget at all, claiming that there isn’t enough money to do so. We pretend we aren’t choosing to use up our available resources with the argument (while our debts mount), “I work hard for my money. I should get to enjoy it.” We fall deeper and deeper into debt, feel incredible stress, depression, and shame, and wind up having to work harder and longer. And still we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot arguing that we deserve to spend our money any way we want to. We treat ourselves like entitled brats, demanding that reality fit our fantasy. But underneath this façade of entitlement, we are deluded by what I call The Big Lie. More about that in a moment.

There is no one roadmap to creating abundance, just as there is no single roadmap to creating a loving relationship. To find a relationship, you can date online, join a club, hang out at your favorite pub, buy a dog, or ask friends to set you up. To make more money, you can find a better-paying job, go back to school, learn a new skill, ask for a raise, gamble, or play the lottery. Getting isn’t the biggest problem for most of us, whether it’s a relationship or money; the trick is to learn how to keep and build upon what we get.

Until we open up to abundance and become “spiritually fit” to receive, the truth is that we are just as likely to deplete our treasure chest the same way our neighbors do and just as likely to find ourselves continually short on cash and long on debt. So here are five keys to building, maintaining, and enjoying abundance:

1. Embrace the true meaning of abundance: Abundance is that which already exists. In an abundant state, we understand that we are dipping into an overflowing well. Abundance is everywhere. Equally, it is within us. We are abundant. We don’t have to seek abundance. We can say yes or no to this belief. It is up to us.
2. Stop using the world as a reflection of your worthiness: The Big Lie I mentioned earlier is the belief that we are unworthy. Most of us decide base our worthiness on outside barometers such as who likes us, what kind of house or car we have, how much money we make, how much education we have, or what clothes we wear. As long as we measure our worth based on outside factors, we our happiness is at the whim of others.
3. Practice worthiness as though it’s a skill: While some of us were born believing we were worthy, life experiences may have convinced us otherwise. To retrain our thoughts, we must change our behaviors. Ask yourself what you would be doing differently right now, today, tomorrow, next week, this year if you already believed you were entirely worthy. What behaviors and activities would you stop? Which ones would you start? Make a commitment to yourself to “fake it ’til you make it.” Practice your new behaviors until they become second nature, replacing the old habits you are shedding. Change your actions and your thoughts are sure to follow.
4. Recognize what your jealousy is telling you: Jealousy is what we experience when we don’t believe we will have (or deserve to have) what someone else has. Therefore, jealousy comes from a belief in lack. If we put the first three keys into active practice, our jealousy will dissolve into gratitude for that which already exists. Gratitude doesn’t mean that we become complacent. It means that we strive, not from fear and lack, but from the joy of thriving.
5. Be generous now: If you wait until you “have enough,” whatever that means to you, the message you are telling yourself is that there is lack within and around you. Abundance thinking is a leap of faith for many of us. Faith, by definition, is only validated once we have made the leap. My friend had promised to tithe to his church and then “cheated” because he was broke. One day of scarcity led to the next until he woke up one day and realized that he was not trusting abundance (or God) at all. He was waiting for proof. How could waiting for proof be an act of faith? That day he took a deep breath and emptied the change from his pockets into the church’s coffers. Immediately he felt the peace that goes along with keeping an agreement with oneself, no matter how difficult it is. He also felt strength in choosing to decide to have faith. Almost immediately, his phone began ringing off the hook with work offers. For him, this was wonderful evidence. But even more lovely, he didn’t even need the evidence at that point. Since he already trusted, he was less fearful about the ups and downs of business and felt more relaxed about experiencing abundance however it presented itself.

Will you get rich by practicing these five keys? Nobody knows what the Universe has in store for us. But you can begin to define rich in new ways that give you appreciation for the abundance that already exists. You are already a wealth of knowledge, support, energy, artistry, compassion, and ideas. How can you maximize and share your abundant wealth today?

(Re)Kindling Your Passion for Your Work and Your Life

Friday, July 28th, 2006
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Dear Jane,
I wake up every weekday morning dreading the upcoming day. I’ve got a good job and a loving family and should feel grateful. What’s wrong with me?

Most of us have woken up occasionally to a feeling of dread or anxiety, wishing we were facing a different day ahead of us. But if this is how you feel most mornings, wishing you had a different life, you are suffering from burnout. Burnout is the result of enduring for too long and is debilitating to your spirit. The good news is that it’s curable.

When you are in burnout, you may feel a whole host of symptoms, including:
• Depression
• Restlessness
• Anxiety
• Addiction
• Hopelessness
• Chronic illness or pain
• Lack of motivation
• Stuck in a rut
• Fantasizing having a different life or even being a different person

Then there are the additional, perhaps surprising, symptoms of burnout that deserve your attention:
• Cynicism – When you feel jaded about your work, your clients, your colleagues, or your contributions to others, you are experiencing one of the most serious symptoms of burnout. When we are excited about our lives, we don’t tend to feel cynical.
• Boredom – Having little interest in your work or your life can lead to running out of motivation entirely. You can delude yourself into thinking that you are bored because of the outside world. But prolonged boredom is a smokescreen to avoid facing the risks we need to take to feel more fulfilled.
• Confusion – Not being able to make up your mind can happen when you don’t give yourself the highest options to choose from. We must aim for what our spirit really aspires to in order to get clarity.
• Jealousy –Jealousy is what you feel when you think you can’t have or don’t deserve what someone else has. It’s a clue that you have a limiting belief that is keeping you in a rut. To overcome jealousy, we need to commit to ourselves to create a life that is remarkable on our own terms.
• Low Self-Esteem – If someone else thinks you’re great but you can’t feel it about yourself or you can’t take in compliments, it may be because you’re not doing what you really need to in order to thrive. Sometimes we have to practice thriving behaviors even before we believe we deserve to.
• Defensiveness – You will react most strongly to criticisms that mirror your own self-judgments. When you judge yourself, you automatically put yourself in a prison of endurance. Take note of the criticisms you pile on yourself every day. They probably sound something like, “I’m too fat/stupid/afraid/old to succeed/be happy/find a partner/make enough money.” There is an ancient Buddhist saying, “No enemy can harm us as much as our own thoughts.” Rather than defend ourselves, we can focus on self-encouragement rather than self-judgment.
• Impatience – When you are short with others, it is a clue that you’re unhappy with your life in some way. Maybe you think people talk too slowly, or you get road rage, or you jump on your partner or kids for slight infractions. It’s time to ask yourself if what you are really feeling impatient about is some aspect of your life. Are you tired of waiting for something better to happen? Impatience can work for us when we heed its message, which is to evaluate our circumstances and make new commitments to ourselves.
• Frustration – Annoyance with things that aren’t within your control is a symptom of deeper dissatisfactions. If so, quick fixes won’t work. Instead, address the root cause of your burnout, which is that your spirit is not being nurtured enough. Sometimes, when we are afraid of making changes, we will try to focus on the small stuff. But isn’t it better to act on our dreams and aspirations?

So once you recognize your symptoms of burnout and you are motivated to thrive, how do you “go for it”? Answer these questions honestly and follow the suggestions that you are drawn to:

Question: If you felt passion for your life or your work at one time but don’t feel it now, what has changed? What did you love about your work/life at one time? Suggestion: Perhaps you’ve changed and evolved. Perhaps what was true for you five or ten years ago is no longer current. Stop blaming yourself for any discontent. Instead, be respectful and check in with what your spirit longs for now.

Question: If you’ve never felt passion for your life or your work, why not?
Suggestion: Maybe you chose a profession or lifestyle based on others’ expectations instead of your own. Or maybe the work or life you chose was based on unrealistic fantasies. Prioritize your criteria for a satisfying life. What do you imagine would make you happy? Try out scenarios and see if they work for you. For example, if you like the outdoors, volunteer as a trail guide for a short stint. If you are artistic, become an apprentice to a graphics designer or take an art class.

Question: Do you feel at home in your environment or are you like a fish out of water?
Suggestion: Take a personality style assessment to find out if you are a Director, Promoter, Analyzer, or Supporter. A good life coach can help you interpret the results. Each style has its needs, wants, and most conducive environments for thriving. You deserve to have a life aligned with your style instead of fighting it.

Question: What self-judgments are keeping you from creating a more extraordinary life?
Suggestion: Respond to your self-judgment with an affirmation that you are willing to believe but do not yet hold as true. An affirmation can start with, “Although I have believed I’m too old to find a partner, I am now willing to create a loving relationship.” Affirmations are commitments to yourself that counter negative beliefs.

Question: What limiting beliefs are stopping you from living a richer life?
Suggestion: Limiting beliefs are often taught to us as children. We assume, from our child’s perspective, that they are true, so they often go untested. Examples of common limiting beliefs: “You can’t trust people. You can’t have what you want. No one is really happy. Your happiness doesn’t matter.” Think about what you have believed about the world that is self-defeating. Be willing to question your own authority or the authority of those who taught you these “facts.”

Question: Do you worry about what will happen to your significant relationships if you stop enduring and start manifesting your dreams?
Suggestion: There are consequences to making changes in your life. But if you hold yourself back out of fear, you may get what you are avoiding anyway. For example, if you fear that someone in your life will reject you if you make changes, aren’t you going to isolate more anyway if you become more miserable and fear driven? Our fears are based on the past and the future, not on the present. If you stay focused on what your spirit is telling you in the present, the company you will be keeping will be the company you want to keep. Why? Because you will have become the company you want to keep!

Question: Do you let obstacles like lack of money or possible failure stop you?
Suggestion: These obstacles present opportunities to persevere. Endurance is what you do when you are not listening to your spirit. Perseverance is what you do when you stay focused on your goals. Roadblocks can strengthen your resolve. You probably wouldn’t want what you want if it were too easy. Your spirit is drawn to challenges.

Question: Does fear in general hold you back?
Suggestion: Do one thing that requires courage and moves you toward one of your spirit’s aspirations. Maybe that means taking a class, getting a personal coach, applying for a job, reading a self-help book, or signing up with an internet dating service. Taking steps to address your fears will rightly build your self-esteem. Get support to meet your fears head on.

Question: Do you feel selfish when you even begin to focus on yourself this way?
Suggestion: Remember that energy rubs off on other people. If you are unhappy, burned out, feeling victimized by life, what do you really have to offer others? Committing to making your own life more remarkable is a gift that keeps on giving. You will be much more present and useful to others when you have said yes to fulfilling your own highest goals and aspirations.

It is time to say “Enough is enough!” to endurance, marking time, and burnout. Once you do, you may find that obstacles that once appeared insurmountable now fall away. When you commit to yourself, you are bound to:

• find resources to help you on your path
• carve out time that you didn’t know you had
• tweak something small that turns out to make an enormous difference
• have more fun than you imagined possible
• discover some hidden creativity
• inspire others

The decision to stop enduring and to (re)kindle your passion is an act of profound courage. But if you don’t want your epitaph to read, “Here lies ______. He/she finished everything on the To Do list,” then listen to yourself now. You are worthy of that and so is everyone who will benefit from your choosing to live a more extraordinary life.