Wanting what you don’t have

Clew’s Miranda interviews creative expats, but she’s also a creative coach, with her own inspiring blog Create & Connect. Clew borrows from her blog: 

Very often when I meet with my awesome women friends, something odd happens. These women are all very different. All very unique. All very beautiful. All very intelligent. They are all grown-ups who have had their share of blissfully happy and mindblowingly sad moments. They have all mastered them well in their own unique way and could probably write a self-help book about it.

Often when these women meet, one version of the below scenarios is likely to happen:

“Oh I love your hair! I so wish I could have your blond/brown/red/straight/curly/long/short hair! Mine just seems to never do what I want it to do.”
“Yes, but I cannot wear that dress. I don’t have the gorgeous boobs you have.”
“You are so creative. I would love to be able to do that.”
“Your husband is just so perfect. I can’t seem to find a man like that. Does he have a brother?”
“You are so lucky to be able to work from home. I wish I could.”
“You are so brave for doing this. I could never do that.”

© George Vavouris | Dreamstime.com

© George Vavouris | Dreamstime.com

These gorgeous, talented and unique women want what another one has. It’s often thrown into a normal conversation in a funny or sarcastic way with a waving hand gesture. Recognize that?

Here’s what’s wrong with those kind of sentences:

Read those sentences again. You might even have uttered one yourself. Are they really true though?You may not have Pamela Anderson boobs, but why can you not wear that dress? And if that dress really does not suit you, there is a dress out there that fits your amazing figure. You just need to find it. And is that husband really so perfect? Probably not. I’m sure he leaves his socks lying around, doesn’t take out the trash when he’s supposed to and fights with your friend. All husbands do. All wives do. No human being is perfect.
So next time, as yourself: Is this really true?

All of the above sentences are rooted in the same place deep down inside you. It’s a place called fear. It’s a place that is afraid that you will never be enough, that you will never be pretty enough with your frizzy hair, that you will never find a man that loves you for who you are, that you will never be able to quit that job and do that thing that you love. We all have this place of fear. Even the dress-wearing friend with the boobs. Even her husband.

Those sentences are easily said, but they have a weighty meaning. Because they are an excuse. Pure and simple. An excuse for you not to do anything about it. An excuse to stay in your comfort. An excuse not to change (because change is hard and scary and we’re back to point 2, cause we don’t like scary). So stop making excuses for yourself and get help. Get a professional to advise you on a new hairdo and dress, sign up for a class to become more creative, subscribe to a dating site… And get a coach if you’re too scared to do any of these.

When you say things like these, you are jealous. Jealous of what someone else has and you have not. Jealousy grows from that fear place called insecurity. And it can be cured. Sometimes it needs therapy (what patterns have I learned in the past and why am I still acting on them), sometimes just a good friend who pushes you a bit and makes you grow. But jealousy is always a question to ask yourself: why do I think this or that is better than what I have. And if the answer is a healthy analysis, then you can make a plan to go and get it.

What’s wrong with me?
So you don’t have those boobs, that creativity, that perfectly blonde hair and the gorgeous husband. The lack of those things do not make you less of a person. And there is nothing wrong with you for not having them. What is wrong though, is that you focus on what you don’t have instead of looking at what you have. Granted, you might not be happy with what you have, but at least you can change that. Yes, even the boobs if you really wanted to. But would that really solve the problem? Probably not. So what is it that you have? And how can you strengthen the things you like and improve things you like a little less? Anything is possible. But only once you stop thinking that something is wrong and what others have is better.

Even the most assertive and powerful people have moments of insecurity and jealousy. We’re all learning here until we die. So give yourself and others a break. And learn. Whenever you utter such sentences, stop and look at them. What is happening here? Did I have a bad day or is this a pattern? What do I need to do to fix this? Whenever someone else utters such a sentence, ask them ‘what makes you say that?’ This allows for a deeper conversation (if the person is willing to go there) and will eventually lead you to the root of the problem. And it makes your friendship grow stronger and more beautiful.

So now go on, be brave, get some breast implants, a new hairdo, quit your job and sign up for a painting class to meet a hot guy. Problems solved!

By Miranda van den Heuvel, on Clew November 2015


  1. Interesting way of seeing this…. I love complementing other women and point out things they have or can, that I don’t have or can’t. This does not mean I’m jealous though… It’s just a way of complementing them and boost their ego. Pointing out “I could never wear that dress” to me is just a statement. I’m perfectly happy about my own looks and competences (and my wonderful dresses :-)) – I just love to let others know what I like about them… 🙂


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