Despite what some might believe, my career is as precarious as everyone else’s. When I’m busy, things are going well and I’m in a good place I manage to keep the green-eyed monster in its cage. But when things are fallow or tough, the cage door seems to squeak ajar and that’s all it takes.
I hate myself for it and often question why I am so ready to embrace jealousy when it raises its ugly head. On those quiet days, I tend to spend too long trawling social media platforms seeing what my contemporaries are up to and inevitably, they tend to be speaking at events I would love to be at, or they are hanging out with people I would love to have the ear of. My own achievements seem to pale in comparison as I become my own worst critic.
Is it obsessive? Possibly. Is it a trait that drives me? Maybe. Is it destructive? Absolutely!
How often can jealousy lead to irrational behaviour and a desire to bring people, who you perceive to be on the rise, down? The answer is very often. When I’m working exploring culture and leadership with organisations, the conversation often turns to difficulties with middle managers and their lack of leadership, usually linked to their lack of ability to empower others.
There is no doubt that this is partly due to jealousy, which, often I believe is due to a lack of self-confidence and perception of value or security. I know when I reflect on my own behaviour, the green-eyed monster feeds on my feelings of insecurity yet is starved when I feel positive and confident about a certain project.
It strikes me that as more and more people feel insecure on a personal and a professional level, jealousy is becoming an increasing concern and a driver of so many poor decisions and behaviours.
It is hard at times to be objective and constructive, yet it is in all of our best interests to recognise and tame not only our own green friend but to understand and support others with theirs.