Frenvy. I first came across this term a few years ago.
In its purest and most effective form, frenvy (aka friend-envy) is the Bruce Lee kick-to-your-face-and-gut that your body delivers as you listen to your BFF, neighbor, co-worker, or close acquaintance tell you her dream is about to come true.
It’s a cataclysmic experience.
You’re doing the happy dance. Slapping high five. Crying. Snorting. You truly are happy for her!
You’ve seen her toil and slave over this thing. You’ve witnessed the sacrifices and spent hours on the phone cheerleading and encouraging her to press through; don’t give up. It’s the best news ever!
Until…you leave the bistro where she just broke the news.
BOW, the kick!
You start thinking about your own dreams and realize they’re tucked away in your panty drawer with the lingerie you’re waiting to wear for the man you don’t have yet.
Frenvy has nothing to do with your friend and everything to do with YOU. Your lack of drive. Your procrastination. Your lack of discipline. All of the things you’ve allowed to keep you from working on your dream.
Two dynamics are at work here:
The first is the degree of separation between you and the person who has initiated the feeling. There is none!
You’re not watching Oprah, Yolanda, Condoleezza, Serena, or Beyoncé on TV and daydreaming about “what it would be like if”. It’s your girlfriend, your old college roommate, or your “work wife” on the other side of the cubicle wall.
They’re not abstract; they’re in your very real everyday life. You’ve witnessed the journey with your own eyes.
The second is that nagging question: “What the hell have I been doing all this time?” Your action and lack thereof are now front and center. There’s no denying that you could have worked on your dreams right alongside her.
You could have supported and coached each other. While she was plowing and sowing, you were sitting on the veranda drinking lemonade in the shade.
Now you feel sick.
But this is a great thing to have happen to you. This is your potential moment of break through!
There’s a very faint, almost invisible line between frenvy and jealousy. The distinction is made when you decide what you’re going to do next. The choice determines whether you’ll break through or break down.
If you head straight to the panty drawer, you’re on your way to your break through.
If you allow your feelings of envy to prevent you from being the truly supportive friend you’ve always been, you’re going to break down.
The magic happens in that moment! Emotion evokes energy. High or low, strong or weak.
My personal experience with frenvy was the wake-up call I needed to take a hard look at myself. I had become complacent. I’d settled. I stopped courting my dreams.
I couldn’t ignore the self-sabotaging aspects of my life.
But witnessing my friend achieve her dream re-confirmed that I CAN. It’s better than an Oprah show because I had full access to her and her journey. I knew her!
Frenvy is one of life’s pulse checks. Sometimes we need to be pricked hard to get moving again. It’s one of those emotional experiences that, once you’ve had it, you won’t ever forget.
It may be your friend’s moment, but frenvy shines the spotlight on YOU!
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