How I Turned My Resentment Into Motivation

releasing resentment

It’s uncomfortable for me to admit, but sometimes it feels good to me to not like someone for no good reason. For years, I’ve taken an unhealthy pleasure in disliking a particular blogger/author without really knowing exactly why I had an ongoing urge to kick her in the teeth. There’s a list the length of China of female writers who I adore and follow with fervor, however this one particular chick made me feel extra stabby. But for every particle in my being that held animosity toward this woman, there were two counter-particles that made me dislike myself for disliking her. Twisted, right?

To the naked eye, everything is right about this woman. She’s a talented writer and altruistic person. Her platform is one she uses to empower others and bring awareness to important issues. In other words, she puts a lot of good juju into the world and the fact that I felt good about not digging her vibe made me feel ashamed. Because on paper she represented many of the things I value most.

The obvious word dangling in front of me was "jealousy," but that never quite landed. I could sense there was more stank to this particular armpit than garden variety envy. But it wasn’t until I mined down to the most honest part of myself that I discovered what it was I was feeling: resentment. 

I resented the fact that she had the dedication and confidence to consistently do the work I dreamed about doing. She decided to show up and put her honest thoughts out there every day while I was dumping all my resources into second guessing myself. I resented the fact that she didn't let fear stop her, that she created opportunities to help others, and forged a path while simply being herself. And the truth of the matter is, all this resentment wrapped me in lavish comfort.

You see, if I continued to focus on disliking her it made me feel better about not doing anything to change myself. Obviously, she was the one with the problem — not me! Disliking her was a clever way of distracting myself from putting in the work required to make my dreams happen. Once I realized this I knew I had to do more than just stop resenting her, I had to look inward to find the root cause.

I had to ask myself, "What's the lesson here for me?" so I could allow my resentment to show me where I had the potential to grow. I learned I needed to develop more confidence in putting action behind my inspirations. None of my goals or ideas would ever see the light of day if I didn’t actively create opportunities for myself. It was time for me to take responsibility for managing my own potential; to take my resentment of this woman’s dedication as an insight into how sluggish my own discipline had become. Building off that lesson has shown me that I have to empower myself to do the work I want to do. I have to turn my resentment into motivation to develop the habits and mindset needed to see my goals through.

Resentment, left ignored and unresolved, becomes a boulder in the soul. A calcified and compacted barrier between you and something you desire. But you can turn these rocks into precious gems when you learn the lesson and take responsibility for how you wield the wisdom of that lesson.

Resentment is like a squatter — you didn’t invite it to be a guest, it’s not paying the mortgage, but it’s eating your groceries and letting wet laundry sit in the washing machine for too long. Time for an eviction! Look for the places in your life resentment has taken up residence. The easiest way to find where it’s hiding is to pay attention to the people and situations that make you think, I wish I had that/what they have/that type of life. Another red flag for resentment is any self-talk that says: not fair or what about me? These are the doors you need to open to discover where you can empower yourself to learn where you need in to grow in order to get your hands on all the awesomeness you desire!

Because it’s not so much the end results (the luxurious vacations, the happy family, the fulfilling career) other people have reached that you want to replicate, but rather the the means by which they got there. Which skills, attitudes, and habits enabled them to achieve and accomplish what they have, and how can you learn from them and do the same? What personal power do they have that you need to actualize in yourself? If you can honestly answer these questions, you’ll have a roadmap to overcoming your personal obstacles and discovering how to effectively strengthen your own empowerment.