“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” – James 3:16

“Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” – Proverbs 27:4

“For you are still of the flesh. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?”– 1 Corinthians 3:3

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” –  1 Corinthians 10:13

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4

We all have occasions when we experience jealousy.  It is part of living on Earth.  It is important that we make strong efforts not to allow those feelings to control how we interact with other people. 

It is important to focus your attention on helping other people face challenges, not being envious of their successes.  At first, it is difficult to focus your attention on helping other people when your instinct is for you to make yourself look good.   However, after you have focused on helping other people and recognizing their accomplishments for a short period of time, you will begin to gain satisfaction from the success of other people, and you will receive plenty of recognition without pursuing it.

As you continue to support your friends and other people, you will gain a reputation for helping people.  After a short period of time, you will realize that you do not need to be jealous of anyone.  Instead, you will benefit from the recognition of helping people, without having to promote yourself.

Barbara with the VP of Sales

Barbara is on the sales team for a company that helps software development companies increase their sales.  The sales team includes eighteen other salespeople.  She worked hard in college to earn her degree in Business with a focus on Marketing.  Her goal is to become the vice president of sales within five years. 

Barbara worked hard to learn as much as she could about the services her company offers.  Within a couple of months, she was comfortable talking to prospective software development companies.  She documented all her interactions with prospects in her notebook.  She wanted to make sure she could express her achievements during sales meetings that were led by the sales executives.  Her concern was always for her to look better than the other salespeople.

Sometimes, during sales meetings, Barbara expressed experiences she had with prospects that ignored the contributions of other salespeople.  This was especially true when she was involved with other salespeople who had more sales than she had.  Barbara felt jealous of the salespeople who had more sales than she did.  That feeling of jealousy started to affect how she interacted with salespeople who were successful. 

After a few weeks of trying to grow her sales, Barbara’s sales began to decline.  As she worked harder to increase her sales, the results continued to not improve. 

Barbara was very concerned about her sales results.  She had one friend that she was comfortable with talking about her challenges. She invited her friend, Gloria, to meet her after work.  Barbara explained to Gloria how her sales have dropped in the past two months and the harder she works the more the sales decrease. 

Gloria explained to Barbara that she is too concerned about the other salespeople.  She needed to work as a team, not try to outsell everyone.  Gloria told her that if she worked to help everyone and not be jealous of anyone, her results would improve.  Gloria told her that if she helped other people and made that her priority, it would help her sales without her trying.

Barbara thought about Gloria’s advice.  She realized that she was fixated on making other salespeople look bad.  She decided to change her behavior and try to help other salespeople, even if the other salespeople were selling more than Barbara was selling.

It took Barbara a few months to experience a change in her sales results, but she immediately felt an improvement in her interaction with the other salespeople.  When she focused on helping other people instead of making herself look good, she felt much better about herself.  Instead of being jealous of other salespeople, she tried to help them and become friends.  That approach did not work with all the salespeople, but Barbara knew she was not trying to hurt anyone. 

It took several months, but Barbara made significant improvements in her sales without taking advantage of anyone.  She felt so much better about herself and those around her.

If your focus is on generating as much credit for your accomplishments as possible, you will find many other challenges in your life that will hurt you and the other people around you.

Focus on helping people, not trying to look better than they are.  It is critical not to be jealous of another person’s accomplishments. Focus on helping other people, not being envious of them. 

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.