Dr. Liz talks about Envy and gives tips on how to manage and decrease it.
About Dr. Liz
Winner of numerous awards including Top 100 Moms in Business, Dr. Liz provides psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and hypnosis to people wanting a fast, easy way to transform all around the world. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has special certification in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Specialty areas include Anxiety, Insomnia, and Deeper Emotional Healing.
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Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Liz Bonet, discusses hypnosis and interviews professionals doing transformational work
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Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Liz here. I want to talk about envy and jealousy today and I have to say that this episode was inspired by the Robcast, which is by Rob Bell. He recently did an episode called The End of Jealousy that was published May 2nd, 2023. I have listened to his podcast forever. He’s actually the reason I started podcasting. He really inspired me to do that. So if you want to hear the original Rob Bell and his thoughts about jealousy and envy, I would go listen to that one. But basically what he talks about in that one is thought work. That’s how I see it. I mean, Rob has his own style. He’s sort of like a secular minister.
You know, I grew up in a religious household. My dad was a minister and after my dad died my mom became a minister. But even when my dad was a minister, my mom did a lot of public speaking for United Methodist women the conferences She’d speak to like hundreds of people and there’s a certain cadence to a sermon or, let’s say, a religious speech that resonates with me, even though I’m not religious myself. I think it’s just those old patterns that I grew up with. I’ve lived in South Florida longer than I lived in Texas, but there’s something about country music I still love, which my ex-husband used to make fun of me for that constantly. Even my current husband, who grew up in Louisiana and in Arkansas, who was born in Arkansas, will sometimes say that’s too country for me. I can’t listen to that song. But I think it’s just these childhood patterns, these grooves, these rhythms that get stuck in our minds, that probably literally develop like grooves and the neural pathways of our minds that then feel comfortable. Rob Bell has sort of that cadence to him And I’ll say I struggled for years with jealousy and envy.
So he differentiates between jealousy in that someone has something that you think you should have. So let’s say, another person has your partner’s attention. You feel like you should have that attention. That would be jealousy, or time or even give something like that, versus envy is wanting something that someone else has. So I struggled with both a large part of my life And these issues still come up for me from time to time.
I have two older sisters and an older brother. And one of my sisters is only two years older than me. I’m the youngest. And there was an incident that happened with our children when they are around 12. So this is like almost 10 years ago now. That led to a cut off by her and we didn’t speak for years, which was a total grief and loss process for me, because this was the sister that I was closest to. We’ve made our way back to each other in a gentle way So we talk from time to time these days. But the other day I called her for advice about my dog. My dog’s getting older. She’s having some problems.
My sister was a vet tech for a vet assistant for almost a decade of her life. She’s always had dogs, like multiple dogs, so she knows a lot about animals. So I called her for some advice about Zoey during the conversation I was talking about how I adjusted my schedule so that I could come home at lunch and let her out. Zoey started refusing to use the pet door. She just wouldn’t do it anymore. So she’d pee right in front of it And it’s like, oh my gosh. So I was like, okay, i hear you, she’s having some back problems and I think it wasn’t comfortable for her back to go through it anymore. So I shifted my work schedule so I could come home and let her out during the middle of the da.y And my sister said oh geez, I’m jealous, i would love to be able to do that. She’s a teacher and just the way she said it just activated these old channels in me of oh, this is a family thing.
Jealousy has old, old origins for me. And I don’t remember exact comments that probably my mom versus my dad made. My dad was always a very humble person, always very aware of poverty in the world. Both my parents lived in Central Africa for over 10 years. We always grew up knowing that children were literally starving in Africa. It wasn’t just like, oh, eat your dinner, children are starving in Africa. Theoretical thing like no, it’s real. But I remember more of my mom being envious And I’ll just sort of came rushing back in that moment.
It’s such a hard feeling to deal with. Jealousy can destroy relationships for sure, and it can be a big issue in relationships. It can lead to violence and stalking and all kinds of behaviors that don’t just not feel good but actually do get dangerous for people. And then envy just sometimes feels unsolvable. In my mind it goes along with helplessness, separation Rob Bell talks about that some a sense of separation from the other person, and I would add it also has a sense to it of not truly having compassion for another human being if you’re envious of them or really knowing what they go through. So perhaps a lot of hard work went into getting what they had, perhaps not, but regardless, it’s like they’re a human being with all kinds of feelings and problems of their own, and all of all of this stuff that human beings go through all of us go through as human beings But in that moment of envy, it’s like that disappears. The other person becomes an object versus a person.
So I did a free hypnosis for jealousy romantic jealousy Back when I started back in 2018, about a year I’d been doing the podcast about six months or so, so who knows about the quality of that one, but it’s episode 82. If you go to my website, drlizhypnosiscom/episode 82, you will find it, or you can, of course, search it up on your podcast player on your phone, but sometimes I search for stuff that way that just never pops up. So that’s an easy way to do it. Actually to go to my website.
So I did publish a free hypnosis for romantic jealousy, but I’ve never done one for envy. I actually do think it could be quite helpful, but I think along with envy goes some thought work. That’s the same with jealousy as well.
A friend was really going through some difficult times in her relationship because of some jealousy from her husband, like he would be jealous that she’d have to ride in a car with her boss for work to go to somewhere. And she tried to explain like that’s not something I control, like that’s my boss. He says, okay, we have to go check out the store and we’re going together. I have to go, you know, like there’s nothing romantic going on. No matter how she would try to explain it, we know that jealousy isn’t logical. So I had found this like old book that was out of print. I think I probably found it at the library and read through it. It was so helpful around understanding jealousy And that’s what I based that hypnosis on.
But in terms of envy but a similar thought work with envy, both of those come from a place of lack and mistrust. So the thing that’s been most helpful for me in my life around both of these issues, but particularly envy, is really a spiritual sense myself of everyone is on their own path. So this is not the life where I am meant to be super wealthy. Okay, now I’m 53. Perhaps we can allow for that in the future. I’m not like disavowing that, but so far this has not been the life where I’m going to be super wealthy.
I’m on my own path here. I have my own purpose, which is to help heal as many people as I can. I did that with prenatal yoga and really empowering moms, and now I’m doing it with psychotherapy and hypnotherapy helping heal and empower people that way. And you know, through the years I’ve thought about doing all kinds of business stuff. These are not the only two businesses I’ve owned, but I’ve also have had this sense of this is not the life where I’m meant to be super wealthy. Just not gonna happen this one. So that really helps me. Like, all right, this is not the life where I’m very rich.
Like sometimes I get envious of that. I used to get envious sometimes of my friends who didn’t have to work, even though when I didn’t work for about six years I was staying home with my kids, I was not very happy. Like, hands down, I would say I wish I had gone back to work much, much earlier. I would have been happier, I would have been a better mom during those years, like all kinds of benefits.
When the pandemic hit and work really slowed down as everybody tried to figure out what to do, it was another reminder to me that work gives my life so much meaning. And I actually love working and helping people. So sometimes I remind myself of that. If I get envious of someone who’s never had to work their whole life, it’s like, ah, that carries with it some other stuff, but anyway, regardless, not my path, that’s theirs, so that one has really helped me.
Now, what Rob Bell talks more about is the sense of moving from a poverty mindset to more of abundance mindset. He doesn’t quite identify it that way, but essentially that is what he’s talking about. Is this feeling of moving the thought from we’re separate and why can’t that happen to me. And that stuff never happens to me. And I don’t get that stuff. Or to look what the world has to offer. Look at the possibilities here, like what incredible possibilities and creativity is in the world And we are all one in that. We are connected, and that’s a possibility for me as well.
He gives the image of building a converter in your heart. So you convert the jealousy or the envy to this sense of oneness and abundance for everyone. And I immediately pictured an old fashioned machine with lots of cogs and wheels and this little man running around like adjusting everything to make sure it keeps working. That’s what my converter looked like.
You could build a converter too, but essentially he’s saying let’s build a converter to transform the thoughts, to convert the thoughts from jealousy and being from the stories that we tell ourselves to better stories, better thoughts, to something that feels more expansive versus restrictive. Like restrictive is “I don’t ever get something like that and that’s not mine. And I want that and I’ll never have it” to “Wow, look at all the wonderful things that people get in this world and the opportunities for that.” Now I understand the struggle with this concept because I’m sitting there listening to him talk about this and think I don’t know about that. I don’t think I’m ever going to have a yacht. I don’t even want a yacht. I don’t like boats. Like I get seasick.
But it’s just an example. But then of course he talks just about that. Like that is a limiting thought. But what I would say is let’s not take that thought literally. Okay, it’s a literal thought. I’m never going to have a yacht, that’s a literal thought. If we take it out of literal into the world of thought work, thought work, spirituality, and heart, so then we can let it become expansive and inclusive. Like what a wonderful planet we live on that someone who wants a boat or a yacht can have it. What a miracle thing to go out onto the water with all the technology they have today and the comfort.
I live in South Florida where people have boats everywhere. If you want a boat, you can pretty much get a boat. You can even be part of boat clubs where you like to share boats. You don’t even have to own a boat, but you can feel like you have a boat.
So the literal part is like oh, I will never have that. The expansive part is wow, look at the possibilities for people Like that’s not my spiritual path, but that’s someone else’s spiritual path. And when I’ve read about this in books about past lives, future lives, all the timelines, okay, then that begins to give me comfort. Like there are all kinds of reasons we’re living the lives we’re living. Now, if you don’t believe that that’s totally fine, the more practical is going to help you. There’s a lot of work that goes into getting some things that people have.
I used to really dream of, let’s say, owning a much bigger company. And at one point I was expanding my prenatal yoga business and this was a business I had won awards for, very successful, and I consulted with a franchise expert. He’s a numbers guy because he provided financing to companies that were franchising. So he could look at a spreadsheet and know exactly what that company was doing in under a minute. And he looked at my numbers and he said this is incredible. You have an incredible model because your overhead is so low. And he’s like you can absolutely expand this. I wouldn’t do a franchise. This is the model I would offer you.
He had more of a restaurant model where you have locations in different areas but you have a general manager, a general manager that oversees that area. Anyway, my point was that I was expanding this business but I really discovered I did not enjoy managing people and managing multiple locations. It was really stressful. Now I could have said, all right, I’m going to hang in here and get to a certain level where I don’t have to do that. I could hire someone else to manage all these people, but I knew how much work would go into getting to that level or talking years of work here, and I just was unwilling to do that at the time. My kids are still little, I was newly divorced.
There were several factors that went into this decision, and when you know a lot of entrepreneurs, you do gain a much more refined sense of how much they work. Until you really learn to set better boundaries, you can work 24 seven. You can work at all times.
Now I mentioned this because occasionally I will have this let’s call it a seed of envy come up for other successful businesses that I see, and then that seed will just be crushed. Let’s say, when I come back to my own story like I know how much work that is, I’m not willing to do that work. That’s not something that gave me joy. And this has been written more about in the literature since that decision that I made many years ago about how big is not always better. It brings with it its own stress. Many business owners choose to say smaller. I’m one of those.
But occasionally that seed of envy, will, boom, pop right up. It’s like pushing through the soil, or it makes itself known a little bit. And I have to just pluck it out like a weed, like nope, that doesn’t belong here. I’m on my own path here. Remind yourself of your own path and what you’re willing to do as well.
Now let me give the disclaimer here I probably should have done this at the beginning that this is a very American perspective of you work hard, you get rich. That’s it, if you want to boil it down to like two phrases work hard, get rich, which is not the case all over the world. So I do feel privileged to have choice here. In my country. Not all countries do, not all areas do.
I do clinical evaluations (link to drlizevals.com) for people seeking waivers in the US to be to get their legal documentation, which then eventually leads to citizenship. So I hear perspectives from people around the world. And I’ll often ask why did you want to come to the US? And they’ll say it because of the opportunities. Here you can work hard and make a good life for yourself, whereas in their country that’s really not a possibility. You get stuck in a path, you get stuck in a way, and there’s no way to advance.
I had a neighbor who was originally from France and I love France, I was born in Paris, It’s my favorite country to visit. But he told me once in France you can’t decide at 35 that you want to be a lawyer and go back to law school and do it. He’s like no, you have a critical period of time in like your teens, where it’s decided what path you’re going to be on. And that is the path you have to take. So like is education free? Yes, it’s free for the path you’re on, but it’s not like you can just change that path because you’re unhappy with that career and go back. So he was explaining some of the educational differences, really, and he preferred to live outside of France, which I always find fascinating. It’s like, oh my God, why would you want to live out of France? We’re all trying to move to France, you know. Or Europe. A lot of the US is trying to move to Europe for all the like healthcare benefits and retirement benefits and all of that.
But he had a higher value of freedom. He liked the freedom to be able to do something you wanted to do to change, to change careers, to change jobs, like that was a higher value driving him.
Which leads me back to the point of be aware of your own stories that you’re telling yourself. When you get envious, the story is usually incomplete. It’d be easy for me to be envious of my neighbor, but the story is incomplete. I’m seeing one part of the story, not him as a person and his own personal experience and his own values around what he wants for his own life.
So when envy pops out, look at the stories you’re telling yourself. Rip that weed out. Go to what helps you.
Whether that’s a converter that you need to convert the thought into. Look at all this abundance around us, all these possibilities that are reachable. Or whether that’s a sense of we all have our own path, we all have our own spiritual path going on. This is mine. Or sense of looking at your own values, of what am I willing to do to create the life I want, what’s important to me Right now and how does everything line up with that. How do all the choices I’m making line up with that? So all of those will help me come out of envy. All right, people, i hope this episode makes sense to you. I hope it is helpful to someone else who has struggled with envy And I hope you’re healthy and safe, peace, music.
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