Today I’m going to talk about your biggest enemy in confronting retroactive jealousy, and what you can do to beat it.

Read or watch below to understand confronting retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill: It’s strange that we’re often kinder to other people than we are to ourselves. We often give others the benefit of the doubt, but we won’t give it to ourselves. We will often make excuses for the mistakes of others, but we won’t cut ourselves the same slack. 

In today’s video, I’m going to talk about your biggest enemy in confronting retroactive jealousy, and what you can do to get past this obstacle. 

Your biggest enemy in confronting retroactive jealousy is yourself

confronting retroactive jealousy

Your biggest enemy in accomplishing most of your goals in life is probably yourself. The biggest critic, the person holding you back the most, is the person you see when you look in the mirror. This is an idea that took me years to fully appreciate and understand. But once I really got a handle on this and solved this problem, and started successfully confronting my biggest enemy, my life started to change. 

And this includes way back when I was struggling with retroactive jealousy. Here’s a really interesting experiment that you can try sometime over the next week. I would really encourage you to sit down and try this. Think about some goals you have in your life, whether it’s related to overcoming retroactive jealousy, overcoming obsessive jealousy, or really anything else.

Let’s say you want to make $100,000 a year. Sit down in a quiet room, say to yourself, “I’m going to make $100,000 a year,” and pay attention to what the voice in your head says back to you. You might be surprised. It might be uncomfortable. You might be exposing this little critical voice for the first time in your entire life. 

Because that little voice in the back of your head, your own inner critic, whatever you want to call it, your lesser self…

It is what is holding you back. 

And this voice might be saying things like, “No, you can’t do that,” or “Are you kidding me? You can’t do that. There’s no way. How on earth could you do that? You’ve never done it before. What’s so different now? You don’t have the skills, you don’t have the talent, you definitely can’t do that.” You get my point. 

This little voice in the back of your head can be saying all kinds of negative things to keep you at your station, to keep you from thinking too much of yourself. There are a lot of explanations for why we have these voices in our heads. Where do these voices come from? It could be related to some childhood conditioning, maybe critical voices early on in our development. And we could be insecure and plagued with self-doubt, for multiple, multiple reasons. 

But the point is to call it out for what it actually is. These are the voices that we need to be concerned about the most; these are the most important critics that we need to overcome. To use the retroactive jealousy example, you could sit in a quiet room and say to yourself:

“I am going to overcome retroactive jealousy. Come hell or high water, I’m going to beat this thing.”

“I can beat this, and I will.”

And the voice in your head might respond with “No, you definitely can’t. You’ve been struggling with this for years. What’s so different now?” Or it might say something like “That Zach guy on YouTube, he’s an idiot. What does he know?” Or it could be something like, “Your partner’s going to leave you. She’s going to get sick of this, she can’t take it anymore.”

The point is to say something that you’re going to accomplish, and pay attention to what the little voice in the back of your head responds with. Because if you do this over and over again, if you get good at this practice, you’ll be able to pick up on that critical voice in the back of your head quicker and quicker. Identify him, call him out, and start filling your head with better, more positive, more proactive self-talk.

It’s a very good idea to write out thoughts that you want to have, thoughts that are going to get you where you want to go. 

Thoughts that are going to help you accomplish what you actually want to accomplish. These thoughts might be something like “I absolutely can overcome retroactive jealousy.” Or “I absolutely can and will make $100,000 a year,” or “I’m going to get that promotion at work. It’s just a question of when. And here’s what I’m going to do to accomplish these goals…”

You can also write down the steps that you are going to take to accomplish these goals. There is all kinds of material out there on goal setting and defining goals and how to stay motivated and all that stuff. The point that I want to address in this short video is simply getting deeper in touch with the negative self-talk you’re probably engaging in, each and every day. 

Don’t be kinder to other people than you are to yourself. Don’t give other people more credit than you give yourself. 

If someone else has accomplished something that you really want to accomplish: chances are very good that because they did it, you can do it too. And this isn’t some empty “rah rah” motivational speaker, “You can do it, believe in yourself!” type of idea…

confronting retroactive jealousy

I’ve seen this in my own life. Once I started identifying my goals, identifying all the steps that I needed to take… Getting more in touch with the negative self-talk in my head… Working to become conscious of that and eliminate it.

The quicker I did all those things, the quicker I started accomplishing the goals that are important for my life. You can do the same thing. And a crucial first step is identifying and calling out the negative self-talk in your head.

If you need more help, check out my online course The Overcoming Jealousy Blueprint or consider applying for one-on-one coaching with me.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.