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Coach Paradise: Turn Jealousy Into Hope for Your Own Future

Dear Coach Paradise,
It seems as though all my friends are getting promoted or married, or having babies. I want to feel truly happy for them and mean it, but I have to admit that my first feelings are often sinking ones. How come he/she got that? That's what I want! I feel guilty, but the truth is I am jealous. I feel left out and wondering if good things will ever happen to me?
Out in the Cold in Paradise
Dear Out in the Cold,
I like your honesty. Since you can only get anywhere from where you are right now, it is good to see you owning up to your more mean-spirited thoughts and feelings. It is also a really good sign that you feel uncomfortable with these gut reactions. That's because they are not "in alignment" with who you really are. The real you sounds more like a good friend who is longing wholeheartedly to join the celebrations.
What's going on is that you are seeing your friends' successes as depleting a finite stock of success and leaving less for you. It is understandable that you would feel slighted and discouraged if your friend's falling in love would deprive you of the chance, or that your cousin's business windfall used up the last windfall card in the game.
Do you really believe that there is a limited amount of love, money and overall abundance? Look around. Many, many people fall in love, get married, have babies and get promoted everyday. The universe has an endless supply of all of the above and more.
I would suggest that you start to focus on the signs of abundance that show up in your everyday life and consciously acknowledge all the smiles, compliments, invitations, checks in the mail, pennies, etc., that come your way each and every day. Start and keep a gratitude journal.
Once you start to shift your focus from lack and scarcity to abundance and plenty, you will begin to relax. Then you can practice seeing the good fortune of your friends as just more evidence of this abundance and as signposts on your journey toward your own successes. These people are showing up in your life to let you know that love and good fortune are not only possible, but are close by. It you can shift your focus from worrying that you will remain out in the cold to the delicious anticipation of what is waiting for you — you will start to get excited. Rather than sinking feelings, you will start to feel elated — not only for your friends, but also about what is in store for you.
Coach Paradise
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges. For further information about her services, call 774-4355, visit her website or email her.

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