Jealousy Is a Road Sign

by Jessica Leigh Lyons

JealousyIsaRoadSIgn_croppedYou’ve envisioned your success. You know exactly how it will feel. You’ve built your community of courage and your writer’s group and you have been writing consistently. You’ve finished your manuscript and sent it off to publishers.

One morning you receive an email message from a publisher.

“Sorry, we’re not interested at this time.”

Ouch. Rejection bites bad, but you don’t let it stomp on your day. You pour yourself another cup o’ joe, look out the window, and take a deep breath so you can go on with your day. You know this is part of the work, and although it hurts, you know that it happens. So you open your email, ready to take on the day.

You see a message from a gal in your writer’s group: “MY WORK WAS ACCEPTED. I’m getting published.”

All your breath leaves in a whoooosh, and there’s a stab of of something sharp in your chest that has you green at the gills.

Jealous. Damn it all, you’re jealous.  It’s a twisting, turning sensation that originates somewhere in your belly, and it has snuck up on you. There are many ways that people deal with it. Some people stuff it and go blank on their emotions. Some people let it eat them up inside, sending well wishes with barbs or not sending them at all.

AWESOME. This is absolutely fantastic because jealousy is a secret weapon you didn’t even know you had. I invite you to pause here in the midst of your jealousy.

Jealousy = Road Sign to Right

Jealousy is a HUGE road sign pointing to what you desire in your life. When you get jealous of someone — of an achievement, a purchase, a relationship — that’s just your desire speaking out. That’s the job of emotions. They point us toward or away from what we desire.

I used to get wildly jealous when I heard about my teacher friends buying houses at 23. News flash: I had ZERO desire to own a house (I decided to sell all my belongings and travel across the country). HOWEVER, I was jealous because I thought my friends knew that a house was a part of their happiness, and they were doing it.

“They have it so together,” I thought. “They have their lives figured out. They know what they are doing. They just get it.”

What I didn’t know at the time was that it doesn’t matter whether they do or don’t have their lives together. What matters is whether I believe I have my life together. When I do, I’m making empowered choices about my work, my relationships, and my life.

Tune into the jealousy. What are you jealous of exactly? What do you want that they got?

When another author is getting published and you feel jealous, it is a magnificent time to look at why it makes you jealous.

  • Is it because you want to be published?
  • Is it because you want fame + recognition?
  • Is it because you want money + success?

So what to do?

  1. Your job is to pass on the congratulations. Truly wish them well for what they have achieved.
  2. Then discern for yourself what part of that is making you jealous so you can keep working toward that goal.
  3. Then reach out to your community (I wrote about that here) and get support from someone who loves you and believes in you and can remind you of your vision.

Jessica Leigh Lyons is a life coach who works with women to help them create a life of joy. She is also a Desire Map facilitator helping women (and some awesome dudes) discover their Core Desired Feelings. Find out more at


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