Julia had lived in New Jersey for 10 years and was working as a waitress at a local restaurant when she started taking night classes at her community college. Her goal was to earn an associate's degree in nursing, and to that end she slept little and socialized even less. She spent weekends studying and finishing her assignments online.

When she finally got her degree and she started looking for work in different clinics and hospitals, she noticed that some of her friends and some relatives looked at her differently. Instead of feeling proud of her, they'd make comments like: "You think you're better than us because you're going to be a nurse?" or "You don't have time for me now that you want to be a doctor?"

Of course, Julia was hurt by these verbal attacks, even more so because they came from people close to her, people who she thought would understand her and support her. But she never let any of this stand in her way.

Read more ¿Qué más?: 5 Easy ways to find the time & energy to get ahead!

The truth is, it's not easy to stick to your decision of trying to make a leap that will put you above the educational or socioeconomic level of those around you. These are moments when envy starts to rear its ugly head and can make your doubt your decisions. Below, I want to share with you some advice that has worked for me when I found myself in a similar situation:

• Never feel guilty for being successful in what you set your mind to.

• Always remember that your success is a fruit of your vision, your intention, and your dedication.

• If you put yourself in the shoes of the person who is jealous of you, you'll understand why for him or her, your success is a sign of their failure. In other words, these people feel that if you get ahead, then they're lagging behind. But the reality of it is that when you better yourself, your family and those around you also improve because you can inspire others to break barriers and to go after their dreams too.

• Instead of wasting energy on getting angry with people who envy you, you should actually pity them for their limited view of the world--and keep your distance.

• If you can't distance yourself from these jealous people, try to avoid discussing with them your projects or your accomplishments. You really don't have to be an open book with everyone. There are certain things you should keep to yourself and share only with those you know will be happy for your success.

• Reinforce your decision to get ahead by surrounding yourself with positive people who will support you.

• There are times when finding these types of positive people means finding new friends. Try forming friendships with your new classmates or work colleagues.

Sadly, jealousy is a very common feeling in humans and we all fight it on a daily basis. The important thing to remember is to never give up! And to do this you have to always be clear about your goals and to surround yourself with an army of cheerleaders that will encourage you along your journey.

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

Mariela Dabbah is a renowned international speaker, consultant, award-winning, best-selling author of education, career development, and woman empowerment issues.

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Filed Under: career, advice at work, tips
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