That twinge in your gut when you witness your coworker get the promotion you wanted, or watch another TikToker’s tour of their 1000-square-foot apartment (while you sit in your shoebox-sized studio) — ah, the gentle prick of envy. Unlike its more emotional sister sins, like lust or greed, envy is a far more understated feeling, oftentimes arriving unannounced without warning, leaving you feeling out of sorts in an intangible sort of way. And according to mental health coach and manifestation expert Roxie Nafousi, this subtle emotion might just be holding you back from everything you want in life.
Nafousi herself struggled with depression, anxiety, and addiction throughout her 20s. When she happened to listen to a podcast on the concept of manifesting, something clicked. Since then, she’s authored a best-selling book, Manifest: 7 Steps To Living Your Best Life — read by the likes of Bella Hadid and Ellie Goulding and likened to the millennial version of The Secret — and dedicated her life into sharing the positive effects of manifestation with the masses. In her book, she dedicates an entire chapter to envy — a “low vibration” emotion that she says can be flipped to become something positive, and actually aid in your manifestation journey.
Curious about how to turn your envious feelings into inspiration? Ahead, Nafousi shares exactly what you need to do.
You liken envy to a “low vibrational frequency” emotion — what does that mean?
Everything in the universe is made up of energy. Everything from the sky above us, to the chair we sit on is made up of energy. What differentiates us from the chair is the density and frequency of the vibration of the atoms. Thoughts and feelings also have different vibrational frequency. For example, peace, joy, contentment, love, appreciation all have a high vibrational frequency, whereas anger, resentment, envy and fear all have a low vibrational frequency.
How does this negatively affect our lives?
Envy comes from a place of fear. Ultimately, by succumbing to envy, you are coming from a place of scarcity; that there isn’t enough love, joy or comfort to go around. It is saying to the universe, ‘You have something that I want and I feel envious because I fear that if you have it, there isn’t enough for everyone.’ It is often fueled by comparison, competitiveness and self-doubt and accompanied by other low-vibrational feelings and emotions such as resentment, bitterness, and anger. When we operate from a lack mindset, we attract limited opportunities, resources, relationships, love and wealth into our life because of the way it negatively impacts how we view, interpret, and perceive the world around us.
How do we pinpoint when exactly we feel envious?
In any self-development journey, our starting point is always awareness. We need to apply this self-awareness to our experience of envy; we need to become acutely aware of when our envy is being triggered — and sometimes it is more obvious to detect than others. For example, if your colleague gets a promotion you wanted, it will be quite obvious when you feel that envy arise. But other times, it’s much more subtle. For example, you might be on Instagram, and someone’s’ post just makes you feel a bit ‘off,’ or you might start internally judging or criticizing them — that’s often envy in disguise. Whenever we are judging or critiquing others, we should look inwards and ask ourselves what envy that person is triggering. For example, if someone is very confidently posing in their pictures and you start judging them as big-headed or ‘cringe,’ question whether you simply crave that confidence in yourself. Allow it to be a signal to you of what you need to work on yourself.
How do you make the shift?
I encourage people to use envy to show us what still needs healing within us or what we want more of in our lives. Encouraging people to transform envy into inspiration is integral to the manifestation process and can be used to help us on our inner journey.
Inspiration is the antithesis of envy and reflects an abundance mindset; it says that there is more than enough for everyone. We can make an easy perspective shift to do this. When you become aware of your envy, immediately choose a more inspired thought. I also encourage supporting and celebrating others to actively demonstrate this abundant mindset, raise our vibration and, in turn, attract more abundance back into our lives.
Can you give an example?
Let’s say you are single and you hear about your friend’s engagement. Instead of engaging in the envious thought of, ‘I can’t believe another person is engaged before me; here is further proof I’m going to be left behind,’ you could choose to respond differently. A more inspired response would be, ‘It’s so beautiful to see two people celebrate their love; I am so excited to experience that for myself.’
You can do this as an internal dialogue or you can use a journal to write down the envious thought, then underneath write your more inspired thought.
So after we’ve shifted from envy to a more abundant mindset, what are some benefits we can expect to see?
An abundant mindset changes your whole approach to life. If you believe there is enough for us all, you will not only be operating at a higher vibrational frequency and therefore attracting more abundance back into your life, but you will be viewing the world from a different lens. This means you’re more likely to seek out abundant opportunities, to put yourself out there, to take action and to take risks. An abundant mindset also helps to eliminate so much unnecessary stress and fear that can constantly serve to keep us stuck.