The Gift of Jealousy

Kate Garvey

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There I was cruising along, doing what I thought was my best work when—“Smack!", jealousy tripped me up like a bully in the school yard. A few weeks prior, I had accepted a challenge to write and publish thirty articles by March 31st. I started off strong and had hopes I’d be the first writer to complete the challenge. I hit the halfway mark with glee—no one was close to me, or so I thought. Instead, two writers completed the challenge while I had just passed the halfway mark (Yvonne Perry was one of them). As a mature business professional, and a spiritual seeker, it bothered me that jealousy surfaced. It also bothered me because Yvonne is the person who helped change my freelance writing dreams into a reality. I wanted to celebrate her success along with everyone else in our writer’s group. Instead I became fetal for a few hours and watch some unbelievably boring daytime television. “How could they be so fast? Will I ever be that productive? What’s wrong with me?" Eventually, I realized I had three choices; I could hate the people who had what I wanted, I could hate myself for not measuring up, or I could learn from this powerful emotion. Fortunately, I chose the later. Here are 5 tips that worked for me:

1. Get honest. Do you really want what that person has? If the answer is yes, then celebrate the fact that someone else has already achieved what you desire. It means it’s possible and there is already a path to follow. Many people like the fantasy of being a writer. They picture crowded book signings with devote followers but don’t think about the solitary hours spent in front of the computer or the countless revisions required to finish and article or book.

2. Look behind the media hype. The more you dig into an “overnight success story", the more you’ll realize the effort and sacrifice that individual made. Yvonne spent a full year building her business without much income or encouragement. She donated countless hours as a public speaker and mentored many writers. Best selling author, Nicholas Sparks, was raised in poverty. His father was distant and rarely present. His sister, whom he adored, died young. Nashville singer, Jonel Mosser, was labeled an over night success after spending 10 years paying dues in all types of night clubs. Grant it, some people have more talent, or may be better at seeing opportunity, or have the kind of personality that attracts the right mentors to help them with their career, but the vast majority of successful people are hard working, generous and tenacious.

3. Look for ways to improve. If you want to be successful as a writer, get real about what you need to do to improve your writing skills, your marketing skills, your sales skills and your technology skills. Take classes, seek out a mentor and be willing to help them or pay for their expertise. Donate your services so you can increase your visibility and improve your writing skills.

4. Reflect on your gifts. A tenacious writer is far more likely to be successful, than someone who is more talented. Writing is a skill that can improve with time and practice. What do you do well? Sometimes I feel like there are people who can get more done in one day than I can accomplish in a week. That same person may be out of balance mentally or physically, may be able to write for eight hours strait, or may have writing or organization skills that far exceed mine. That’s ok, we both can be writers.

5. Learn to celebrate success and measure success as spiritual output. If you think in terms of using your gifts and talents to improve the lives of other people, and you use your gifts and talents as best as you can, you are successful, you are already abundant. Most likely all your material needs will be met. You may or may not become financially abundant. The closer you are to successful people and the more you can sincerely celebrate someone else’s success, the more likely you’ll be able to achieve success and find support along the way. Stay authentic about who you are and what you have to give. Oprah Winfrey is the best person to be Oprah Winfrey. Kate Garvey is the best person to be Kate Garvey.

Rock-On Yvonne! I celebrate with you.

Kate Garvey is a freelance writer and one of the staff writers at Write On! Creative Writing Services. Kate offers free pet care tips on her website To learn more about Write On! Creative Writing Services or Yvonne Perry, please visit


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