“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

When I arrived home after a brief stint living in another state, I was anxious to reconnect with places from my childhood and the friends I’d left behind.

But while I was healing from a heart-wrenching break-up, suffering through sleepless nights on my parents rock-hard couch, and mulling over where all my freelance writing work had gone, my friends seemed to be successful, happy, and right on track.

Realizing that I had hit rock-bottom and that it crippled my self-esteem, my friends gathered around me, taking shifts to ensure that I wouldn’t drown in my own overwhelming grief.

Yet, while their love and support was what got me through, seeing each of their lives so clearly flourishing added another emotion to my already full load: jealousy.

Jealousy is a sneaky bugger—a pot-stirrer who likes to aid the ego in pointing out flaws you’d rather just sweep under the rug. It serves as a reminder of all the success you don’t have, the experiences you haven’t had, the relationships you’d like to have—basically everything that makes you feel “less than.”

I spent the next few months wallowing in comparisons—staring longingly at couples clutching hands as they walked down the street, watching people hustle to their well-paying jobs, and picturing myself in the beautiful homes that others had the ability to purchase.

Unfortunately, while I knew with every cell in my body that I wanted to be somewhere different doing something different, jealously kept me rooted firmly in place—a place plagued by lack and thoughts of “if only.”

Once I realized that the circumstances wouldn’t change until I did, I noticed that entertaining this toxic emotion was getting me nowhere but deeper in my hole of self pity. That was when jealousy and I parted ways, leading me to some very powerful realizations.

Realization #1: Being anything less than happy for others was blocking my own chance at success and happiness.

Like attracts like, so by ruminating in the idea that you don’t have what someone else has, you’re simply attracting more of what you’re feeling: lack. This means you are actually pushing away the very things you’re craving.

Yet, if you are able to celebrate in the successes of others, you are sending a very clear message to the universe: “I’ll have some of that too, please!”

It all comes down to the energy of the emotions you’re carrying. Frowning on another person’s good fortune doesn’t feel good; therefore, it can’t be creating good things. Feeling excited for someone feels good; therefore, it can help create more good things, for you and for them.