How to Reframe Jealousy as a Positive

We all know what jealousy feels like, unfortunately, don’t we? Even if we don’t want to admit it!


It’s a horrible emotion. One that we don’t want to feel, but we can’t help it. We can feel jealous in our relationships, in the workplace, or of our friends and family. But believe it or not, a degree of jealousy can be useful: sometimes you can turn that negativity into a source of motivation. Here are some steps to help shift your mindset and use jealousy in a positive way.

Recognise what your jealousy is telling you

Try to understand what your jealous feelings say about your current self and state of mind. What is upsetting you? Why are you feeling this way? Perhaps you are really competitive and want to be doing the best? Maybe you feel inferior, or unable to achieve success? Or you are bothered that you are not where you should be, yet someone else is? Understanding why we feel a certain way can help us change it.

Stop comparing yourself

We usually feel jealous as a result of comparing ourselves to others. Maybe we feel like we deserve something more than someone else; that them having something is taking it away from us, or we just desperately want what they have. Instead of comparing yourself negatively, try to see the positives and success in your own life. Don’t worry about what other people are doing; accept that everyone is on their own journey, and their success does not take away from yours. Also, remember that not everything is always as good as it seems – people usually only share the best bits, not the challenges!

Celebrate the success of others – happiness rubs off

Tell people how pleased you are for them. Because if you were doing well, you’d like someone to do the same. And maybe, the more you say out loud that you are happy for someone (and not jealous), the more you might start to believe it. Often, the things you tell yourself will drive the emotions you feel.

Learn from others

If there is someone that is succeeding, in your opinion, see what you can learn from them. Think about their journey and their mindset. See them as an inspiration, someone to look to for motivation and guidance.

Practise gratitude & positivity

When we are jealous, that emotion can override all the others, so much so it is all we can think about – forgetting the good. Davina McCall said in her interview for ‘The Diary of a CEO’ podcast that whenever she found herself complaining, she then said ‘but luckily…’, and followed up with something positive, to remind herself that it isn’t all bad. This habit helped to change her mindset. Remind yourself about all the good things life has given you.

Make a plan

Feeling jealous can help you see what you want, and then you can work towards getting there. Create an action plan and set some goals that reflect the results you want to see. Reward yourself when you achieve those goals, however small. You will soon feel that you too are making progress.

Find out more:

What your jealous feelings are telling you (and what you should do about them) – NBC News

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