Jealousy, Enemies & Good Karma


From the playgrounds to junior high, the same jealous behaviors find their way into the workplace or social-media-sphere, even though we like to think we’re better than that, or that we’ve outgrown the name-calling and back-stabbing. The undermining. Truth is, our mature selves are bitter as ever. But only if we let them be.

I got lost in this game the first year I went solo and made Heartbeet Kitchen my career. I stared at Instagram feeds 10x as large as mine, spent countless hours scrolling through blogs better than mine, and stalking twitter feeds of “the popular group,” as if I was a fly on the wall that could see their every move.

Soon I was judging them personally, finding their flaws, and what I once saw as beauty in their work turned into loads of negative energy. As a generally calm and kind person, I was startled with the amount of envy and dislike occupying my heart and head more than ever before. Why did I have so much aggression?

As the days went by and I felt my creativity extremely stifled, I needed to step back and reflect. Looking at my work, I didn’t see a sense of me anymore. Here I was trying to replicate everything but my own talents. And so much self criticism because I couldn’t create pictures or style food the way “those other girls could”.

My worst enemy had become myself. And I was going to have to call a truce in several ways to move on.

The first step was unfollowing these women whom I didn’t really hate– ultimately they just made me feel less than and set off competitive triggers that were stripping me of creativity.

Second, I let go of ill feelings. I came to an understanding that business is separate from them as a human being. And at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to survive, right? With limited resources and skills, in a rat race of a society….

Third, I needed to focus on ME. Nobody else but me. The first year of entrepreneurship is so important and instead of wasting time on others, I needed to develop my business and hone in on my own style.

It was at this point I also realized that 90% of my jealousy and comparison stemmed from feeling out of control with this new way of life, working for myself. Fear of failure was hiding underneath all of that junk.

To which I said, “I’m giving myself permission to fail. Learn, and grow.”

Looking back on this several years later, it was those failures that carved out my style, and a story that I can call my own. These are the things that separate me in the vast sea of creatives. Which means all those enemies I once had created in my mind? I again see beauty in their work (when I do see it or hear about it), and a place for it, different from what I can provide or who I am. Respect and admiration. I find myself sending others more good vibes and support than ever because simply put, there is room for everyone. With that, I’m kinder to myself too. That feel-good energy has rubbed off, and I don’t feel as much of a need to compare. And if a little burst of jealousy comes over me, I don’t stress because we are human. And that feeling is real, normal, and okay.

More love, fewer enemies. Including yourself.

See you on the other side of good karma.

xo, Amanda

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BY Amanda Paa - April 29, 2017

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  1. Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    April 29th, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Loved the writing. Thank you for sharing, and always be yourself! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Eva

    April 30th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Wonderful post! It’s so common to go from looking at a person/blog/business and finding the inspiration and motivation you had to turn into jealousy and envy. I struggled with this years ago when I owned a stationery company and it made owning my own business much more difficult. Glad to be free on that envy now. <3

  3. Amanda Paa

    May 2nd, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Love hearing your story, Eva. And glad you’ve found peace as well. It’s hard because jealousy is a human trait, that we just have to battle. And it gets easier the more you accept rather than push back.

  4. krystal/village

    May 1st, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    this was great to read! i think its also about being confident with yourself and thinking more about that. i guess we start to become what we spend the most time thinking about. Alain de botton writes a book called ‘status anxiety’ about this very thing!

  5. Amanda Paa

    May 2nd, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I need to check out that book! And I totally agree, self confidence, once you build it, is so key.

  6. Stefani Ellenbecker

    May 2nd, 2017 at 9:54 am

    So true Krystal!

  7. ALecia

    May 6th, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Amanda this was such a great reminder and encouragement for me today. Thank you 🙂

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