We’ve spent the month of November focusing on the notion of being supportive—and, before we dive into December (how did that happen?), we’ve got a doozy to cover: supporting others when we’re really feeling jealous.
We’ve all been there—a friend or coworker tells us about a recent accomplishment or achievement and suddenly the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head. Despite our desire to be a great friend or colleague, there’s something buried deep below the surface that we just can’t shake, which hinders our ability to be our most loving, supportive self. In a world where comparison is everywhere—from the moment we wake up and check our social-media feed to the moment we fall asleep flipping through images of another planner’s most recent wedding—jealousy gets the best of everyone at some point or another. Today, then, we’re breaking down some tips for helping you shake off those feelings of envy and, instead, focus on offering genuine, untethered support and well-wishes.
Figure Out Why You Feel Jealous
Our jealousy of others has far more to do with our own self than it does with the other person. Sure, they may have a body like Beyoncé’s and a husband like Jack Johnson, but the real reason we’re jealous has nothing at all to do with what they have (i.e. those bootylicious banana pancakes) and instead has everything to do with what we feel we don’t. Each of us sees the world and interprets events through our own personal kaleidoscope—so take some time to figure out what insecurities are coloring and shaping that unique lens you’re looking through. Maybe a fellow planner booked an amazing wedding while, just last month, you lost a contract for a large-scale event you were trying to nail down. Maybe a coworker received an awesome industry award and you suddenly realize you’ve never been awarded a single thing. Analyze the spaces in your professional or personal life where you feel you’re lacking—and then make a plan to fill those voids. It might be as simple as actually applying for awards (after all, if you’ve never applied nor nominated yourself for an industry award, how can you expect to earn one?)—or, it might mean reevaluating your communication efforts to get your business in front of the clientele you hope to one day serve.
Focus on Abundance
As humans, it’s completely natural to feel like someone is “taking” an opportunity from us when they’ve won an award or secured an impressive contract. But the truth is, there’s always enough to go around. People will always get married and need wedding professionals, and industry awards will always exist. The trick is to train your brain to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. Remind yourself that the professional success of others doesn’t automatically equal less industry opportunity for you, just as someone walking next to you on the street breathing in air doesn’t mean less oxygen for you. There’s enough to go around—say it aloud, write it down and tape it to your office wall, do whatever you have to do to remind yourself that the world is abundant.
Flip the Script
When jealous feelings arise, challenge yourself to turn the empty, harmful, likely untrue thought into a productive one. A great way to do this is to write down your initial feeling (i.e. Maria won that big contract when I haven’t been able to secure a new contract in months, which must means she’s much better than I am). Then, challenge yourself to move away from feelings of jealousy and toward feelings that are productive—and write down a new statement that better reflects this mindset (i.e. I am going to spend this week studying up on communication and messaging in order to ensure I’m doing everything I can to get my business in front of the clients I want to serve).
You’ve Made People Jealous, Too
Remind yourself that, at some point or another, people have likely felt the exact same way about you. You? Yes, you. Whether it was that super thoughtful question you asked in the audience during the Q-and-A period of a presentation, or that killer earthy aesthetic you threw together for that winter wedding you planned, you’ve most definitely done something that has filled another professional with envy. We tend to forget all of our awesome accomplishments and, instead, focus on things we haven’t achieved—but the truth is, no matter where we are in life, there are always people who look up to us and think we walk on water. The goal is never, ever to make others jealous—but instead to remember that we, too, have been the apple of someone’s eye at some point in our life.
Find the Positive in Others’ Advancement
The advancement of others is often a good thing for everyone in an industry. So, the next time a competitor scores that feature article instead of you, force yourself to find one positive thing in their achievement. Maybe your arch nemesis won an amazing Women in Business award. What’s positive about that? Well, the fact that they’re drawing attention to women in business, for starters. Or, what’s positive about the fact you lost a contract to your number-one competitor? The fact that the experience will push you to communicate your skills and clearly explain your services even better the next time around, which ultimately means you’re raising the bar for everyone in your industry. Finding the silver lining when all we want to do is focus on the dark is no easy task—but you’re no ordinary wedding professional, and moving forward with a smile (even if it’s a forced one) is so much better than sulking in place, after all.