I wish I could say that I’ve never experienced jealousy or bitterness, and that I’ve always chose to support other women from the start. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. A recent example comes to mind pretty quickly actually.
My sister recently started her own DIY side hustle and it turns out, she’s pretty great at it. When she started an Instagram for it more than six months after I started my Instagram and very quickly doubled my followers, I was fully drowning in jealousy. I smiled and congratulated her of course, but there was a small part of me that was annoyed. She would post a picture or a reel and a bunch of people would engage. They’d like and comment on her posts, participate in her polls, and shower her with praise, where as I had trouble getting anyone to interact with my content at all. She’d get hundreds of likes compared to my twelve.
I was immediately reminded of growing up in her shadow.
My sister had always succeeded where I’d tried but failed. She was better at making friends, better at school, better at sports. I started thinking about how she had better hair than me, better metabolism, better self esteem. The list goes on and on about all of the ways that life wasn’t fair and all of the areas where my jealousy was strong. It was a rabbit hole and a dangerous one. Luckily, it was only about ten minutes before I realized that I was mad at my sister for succeeded, as if it was a personal attack on me. How vein was I?
I took a step back and reminded myself that her succeeding wasn’t the reason that I was failing. (Also that I wasn’t really failing- just not yet where I wanted to be.) Her doing well wasn’t going to make me do worse. It wasn’t hurting me. Did I really want to be that person who only wants people to do well if I’m doing better? Absolutely not!!
My whole mission is about raising other women up.
Why should my sister be the exception to that? If anything, I should want her to succeed even more because she’s so important to me. I’ve always wanted her to be happy and I didn’t want that to change just because she accomplished something that I was trying to do for so long.
She found something that she was good at and that she loved. She was working hard and it was making her happy. This was a great thing and she deserved it. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t working hard or that I didn’t deserve to succeed. But putting that negative energy of jealousy wasn’t going to make me happy or successful.
I took a step back, took a deep breath and adjusted my mindset.
Then I congratulated my sister again, but this time I meant it. I really was happy for her! Instead of being bitter or embracing that jealousy, I spent three days creating a vector logo for her to use, and then I asked for advice. How did she film her reels? What tools/aps did she use? Which platforms were working for her? And you know what happened? She told me, because she wanted me to succeed too.
I realized that while some platforms were going great for her, others were doing better for me. We started sharing resources, videos and links, and engaging on each other’s content to help with the confusing algorithms. Both of us ask for each other’s opinions and celebrate each other’s success. If we see a mistake or typo in a caption, we shoot a quick text in private so that we can correct it before being trolled in the comments. We share frustrations and challenges.
We build each other up.
I wanted to share this story for two reasons.
There is enough room in this world for every woman to succeed. Wishing for someone else to fail is manifesting negative energy and will get you no where. Instead of focusing on jealousy, get inspired! Cheer on your fellow boss babe because the world is hard enough without us pulling each other down. Build relationships, follow accounts that inspire you, and ask for advice when appropriate.
Imagine the kind of engagement you want from other people and give it to someone else. I really believe that what goes around comes around and you attract what you put out there. So if you are supporting other women and putting out positive vibes, that’s going to come back to you. People will be drawn to that authentic positivity rather than bitterness and hostility.
You don’t need other people to fail in order to succeed.
Feeling jealousy or bitterness is a totally normal thing that almost everyone goes through at some point. The key is to recognize it and change your mindset. Don’t beat yourself up over it!
I could let myself feel guilty about the ten minutes that I was wishing it was me instead of my sister, or I could embrace the reminder that I’m only human. Instead of focusing on that ten minutes and feeling like a bad sister/person, I choose to focus on the exchanges that occurred after I changed my mindset. By focusing on that comradery, I was able to feel pride in my sister instead of shame in myself. I know I should have felt that pride right away and I could totally let myself ruminate over that. But here’s the thing… Feeling bad won’t make me a better person.
I can’t go back and change how I felt. But I could decide what I did with those feelings. I chose to change them and be excited with her and to encourage her to push even further. The result? Instead of feeling bad for or about myself, I was able to reinforce our bond of being close friends who could rely on each other. I was able to learn from someone who clearly knew what she was doing, and I was able to grow.
If you’re seeing someone else succeed quickly in an area where you’ve been pushing and pushing, it’s okay to experience a little jealousy at first. Just don’t let it hold you back and definitely don’t wish for that person to fail. Get inspired! If she could do it, you can too! If anything, she’s showing you what’s possible! Cheer her on. Learn from her. Continue to try. I really believe that if you do, your time will come.
There are enough crowns for all of us!
Strong women support other women. I want to be strong- don’t you?
(If you have a small business that works to help women in some way, I’d love to collaborate. Reach out!)Want to connect further?