Comedienne Joy Behar has been a fixture on daytime TV since joining the original panel of The View back in the mid-nineties. Ever since then, she’s been delighting – and shocking – viewers with her unique brand of wit, humor, and favorite-aunt wisdom.
Having survived, by her own account, being fired from every job she’s ever had (including The View for two seasons, during which ratings dropped, thank you very much), Behar knows a thing or two about overcoming tough times. A natural – and very opinionated – conversationalist, she’s dished out a ton of practical insight throughout her time in the public eye, but two bits of advice below, in particular, have really stuck with me over the years.
When things aren’t going your way, it can be tempting to look at someone else’s situation and think, “Why can’t I have it that well?” Those thoughts are nothing but toxic distractions that won’t get you anywhere. Behar has outlined her distaste for envy several times, including during an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show:
“Envy is such a waste of time because you’re envious of [someone], and they go about their lives and have a wonderful time, so what’s the point?”
Although we all know envy is a bad thing – primarily because it doesn’t feel good when we experience it – rarely do we hear it broken down into such plain terms. The truly insightful thing is that Behar’s commonsense approach actually lines up with the research: envy has been shown to have the same effect on one’s thinking processes as too much stress. Basically, wasting time being envious of someone else’s success reduces your ability to think clearly, distracting you from taking the steps you’d need to in order to create the same reality for yourself.
So, whenever you feel a pang of envy or jealousy, do your brain a favor and let it go. Gather your thoughts, focus your energies, and put an action plan in place to reach your goals. Your attention requires a lot of energy, so use it on your own dreams, not someone else’s.
During a Q&A segment on Marlo Thomas’s online chat show, Mondays with Marlo, Joy was asked what advice she’d give to the next generation. Besides encouraging young people to stay politically involved, she touched on another important topic in her answer – mental health:
“Be aware that things change. That it’s not going to be the way it is now… If you’re feeling upset or depressed, it will change… Don’t freeze the frame.”
In the past, Behar has spoken candidly about a period of difficulty predating her emergence on the TV scene. Following a near-death experience, being fired from her job, and a divorce from her first husband, she endured a bout of serious depression, even taking to her bed for part of her recovery. Although just one of those things could be enough to break someone’s faith in the future, it was only after coming through these hardships that Behar finally pursued her dream of becoming a standup comic. That career change eventually led to national recognition when she debuted on The View in 1997. Today, she is the panel’s sole original cohost, having outlasted even the show’s creator, Barbara Walters.
Even in our darkest times, it’s important to remember that it only takes one thing to set off a chain of events that can lead to transformative and positive change. When life isn’t quite right, or when it feels like everything is going wrong, remind yourself not to freeze the frame. Find your strength, keep going, and be amazed at just how much the picture can change.
Originally published at www.betenwrite.com