Just the other day I experienced a complete smackdown with jealousy and comparison, and I don’t use the word smackdown lightly. It was a day that began with intention and purpose, but quickly escalated into a feeling of unworthiness that led to a downward spiral of comparison and chaos.
It all started with a friendly conversation between two online yoga teachers, who were trying to support one another through the isolating nature of online work, while also offering tips and tricks regarding our revenue streams and systems. It was intended to be an innocent catch-up-kinda conversation, but when I said goodbye, all I think about was everythingggg I was doing wrong or not doing good enough.
This led to hours of me spinning my wheels, attempting to be productive, feeling shitty about my efforts, second guessing my ability to be a business owner, wondering if i’m cut out for this type of work, and on and on the comparison train rolled, and on and on jealousy took hold. I was in a stalemate with my mind wanting to do one thing (just stay busy, just stay busy), and my emotional body wanting to do another. Thankfully, I listened to my emotions and let them be energy in motion which led to me sitting on the front of the boat, crying my eyes out, feeling what was within, and luckily, I have a husband who never leaves my side (boat life), so we talked through what was happening.
In a nutshell, that conversation shined a light on all the ways I’ve been playing small within the business.
I’ve let things get a bit unorganized. I’ve slacked off with time management, like a lot, because paradoxically endless time is actually harder to mange than limited time. I’ve shied away from creating streamlined processes that will actually save time, simply because I’ve been afraid to learn and implement new technology. I’ve turned a blind eye to things that need my attention because it means I’ll have to own why it isn’t working, and then change it or get rid of it. I’ve stopped tracking my finances, because gosh it sucks, but in reality it’s empowering to know your numbers. I’ve leaned on the “I need to save my energy for creative work” line too much, when the truth is there’s a lot of wasted time spent scrolling social media and the internet.
You get it. You probably didn’t need to read all of that. But damn, it felt so good to write it, so thank you for getting through it.
After flushing out all of the above, we then spent a few hours researching, brainstorming, and creating a plan to fix or upgrade various aspects of the business. We landed on four key areas that need our attention and within those areas we plan to methodically (and with the help of the JJ team) remove the messiness and inject clarity back into the working experience.
Part of me feels really refreshed and motivated to get to it. Part of me is nostalgic for my old cubicle career, which holy hell, never in a million years did I ever imagine myself saying that. I kinda-sorta miss being told what to do. I miss having drone-like work. I miss leaving that building and not giving two shits what was happening in the evening or on the weekend. I miss the freedom of not having great responsibility. I miss that feeling of just being me, without the pressure of upholding an identity.
And yet, there’s a deep knowing that I’ll never return to that older version of me (or cubicle land). This is it. This is where I am supposed to be. I am a natural entrepreneur who loves the work she does and the people who are drawn to this work, so this is the invitation to own the world I’ve created and stop shying away under the guise of excuses. This is the invitation to wade through all the muck to get to the other side with a sense of ease and lightness.
Invitation accepted universe, thank you for sending, even if the lesson had to be learned through hardship.
With my story now shared, take a moment with me to pause:
- Can you recall a recent experience where you felt jealous?
- Where you violently compared yourself to another?
- Where all of your efforts felt pointless in light of their achievements?
Find that moment and if you can, feel it again.
Sit with whatever is arising, let your emotions move through you like a current or wave of energy that needs to be in motion for the communication to be heard and understood.
- What are your emotions telling you?
- What are you hearing?
- What are you feeling?
- Why are you triggered by this person?
- What is it about them or their actions that you’re seeking?
This was the question I kept asking myself over and over after that phone call ended. I couldn’t shake it. I wanted the organized systems and processes that she had, I wanted that sense of clarity that she conveyed, I wanted the boundaries she created. And while this nonchalant, friendly conversation stirred up a lot of internal and external shit, it also had a golden opportunity woven through it, and thankfully all the work I do with yoga and the chakra system helped me to not shy away from it. These difficult emotions (jealousy and comparison) actually led to a greater sense of awareness, ownership, and freedom.
- How can your experience with jealousy and comparison lead to your freedom?
- How can you dissect the truth of the matter?
- And how can you use this truth to inform your actions and behaviors?
Those are big questions, really big questions. Give yourself a day or two or three to answer them. And like me, please cry your eyes out if needed.
Finally, I must end this conversation by bringing it full-circle and revealing the paradox of our humaneness. The initial invitation to chat came at a time when she was was feeling really isolated, probably stuck in a loop of comparison herself, and she reached out to connect. It took us a few months to finally align our schedules and alas, we connected, but only for the conversation to end with me feeling the way she originally had (not her intention by any means).
I share this entire story because behind every woman, every mother, every business owner, every yoga teacher, and every human being is a person whose tripping and falling and failing and doubting and hurting and attempting to simply do their best, even if their best makes zero fucking sense. So let’s cut the perfection act and start cozying up to the ways in which our scary emotions can support the changes we need to live our best journey. Deal? You with me?
I’ll end this cathartic blog post with a thank you for being here and a sincere hope that my story offers solace, perspective, a space for reflection, and the motivation to create positive change.
Now go befriend jealousy and comparison.