Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from previous Biz Ladies contributor and the creator of the Playing Big women’s leadership program, Tara Sophia Mohr. Tara has authored step-by-step guides for for fellow female entrepreneurs, has shared her insight on lies that could be holding back your business, and today she offers some advice on how to work through your biz lady jealousy. Thank you so much for tackling this topic, Tara! –Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
It happens to all of us. We spy, with our little eyes, a biz lady having amazing success. Her business is growing fast. Her product was featured in a magazine. She signed her first book deal.
Sometimes, we feel jealous. Then we feel really bad about that. This post is about what to do in those times.
The big idea is this:
Jealousy isn’t inherently wrong or bad. Jealousy is meant to be a cue that informs us about what’s missing in our lives and what we long for. Yup, a helpful cue!
Jealousy becomes problematic when we don’t attend to the desire behind the jealousy. Then we act out in ways that hurt others.
Here’s my seven step process for working with your jealousy so that 1) it doesn’t do harm and 2) it can be a useful source of information for you.
Step 1: Wake Up and Smell the Jealousy. We move so fast that often we feel jealous without even knowing it, and unconscious jealousy comes out in not-so-nice ways. So name your jealousy, simply saying to yourself, “Okay, I’m feeling really jealous of Susan.”
Step 2: Be Compassionate. Most of us feel bad, even ashamed, about being jealous. Instead, have compassion, knowing that jealousy simply signals an unquenched longing in your heart. Instead saying, “Bad friend! Bad person!” to yourself, you can say, “Oh honey, I feel ya. Let’s see what this is all about.”
Step 3: Place your hand… Put your hand where you physically feel the jealousy. Do you feel the hurt of it in the center of your chest? Do you feel it deep in your belly? Put your hand there, with a sense of compassion toward yourself.
Step 4: Investigate: Begin to investigate: What am I really jealous of? What does this other woman have that I really want? Let’s say you think you feel jealous because so-and-so’s products got media attention. What’s the specific thing you are really longing for? Maybe for your work to be publicly praised. Maybe to feel like you are running a “real” business. Maybe the core longing is to be confident about your business, like she seems to be.
Step 5: Discern: There are two kinds of desires that show up here: resonant, soulful longings that have to do with becoming more of who you really are – in all your brilliance, grandeur and ability. These desires come from your impulse to self-express and create. And then there are ego-driven desires for approval from others – desires rooted in insecurity and unworthiness. Differentiate between the two kinds. Hold on to the desires that feel like resonant, soulful longings and let go of the parts that feel like meaningless ego-driven striving and comparing. Note: wanting to be seen, validated, or recognized for your gifts can be soulful, positive longings!
Step 6: Name the Longings. Name the core, soulful longings that you discovered in step four, and write them down. “I want to feel confident.” “I want to be surrounded by beauty and order in my home.” “I want to know I’m making progress.” “I want to live with a sense of abundance.” Receive these longings with compassion. No judgment! No mean girls in your head!
Step 7: Own It, Accept It, Pursue it. Whatever those underlying desires are, accept them as part of you. Start pursuing them. Jealousy always stems from a soulful longing that you aren’t fully honoring in your own life. The longing for abundance. Success. Self-expression. Freedom. Whatever it is for you.
Now it’s time to honor your longings and start pursuing them. Explore how you are not totally honoring and working to fulfill those important longings. Brainstorm ways you can more fully accept and pursue them.
Here’s the cool thing: when you know your longings, accept them, and become your own best friend in going for them, jealousy fades. Your eyes refocus on your own path. You’ve given that part of you that wants something your attention. You’ve allowed it to exist. And you are taking action on its behalf. The jealousy fades.
Then, down the line, jealousy may show up again. But, once again, it is there as an aid to you, to point you toward the longings of your spirit that you maybe squashing or denying. Time to listen.