Sometimes, I find myself browsing online websites, or scrolling social media, and stumbling on highly “successful” women.
And I often get triggered by these other women’s success.
What do I mean when I say successful?
I mean she has tens of thousands of followers, she has written a book that has thousands of reviews, or she has built a thriving business that has become a household name.
Surface level, material success.
When I was younger, this used to occasionally show up as jealously, but not much; I’ve never been a particularly jealous person. It’s more a wave of smallness that hits me. I feel inferior in comparison to her and her success.
And sometimes, I feel like a failure, because she’s living a seemingly beautiful life that I am struggling to manifest, but desperately want to.
How has she managed to create that life, while I am over here, throwing spaghetti at the wall praying something will stick, and face-planting daily?
And how is this fair? How is this just?
Am I not working hard enough? Because it feels like I do nothing but work.
Am I spending my energy on the wrong things? Because if I am, please show me a better path.
Do I not deserve what she has? Is that kind of success just not on the cards for me, regardless of how much I desire it?
Because if this is the case, then just tell me now, so I can stop clinging to false hope.
This is what I mean when I say I sometimes get triggered by other women’s success. Perhaps you know the feeling.
The more inner work I do, the more I grow, and the more I know not to fall into the comparison trap. Because deep down, I know that I am on my own journey here.
I know that people’s lives can be far different in reality than they appear on the outside, looking in. And I know that it’s a waste of my energy wanting what somebody else has. It stops me recognising and appreciating all that I do have; all the abundance and beauty and success in my life today.
Despite knowing all this, I do still, occasionally, find myself triggered. It’s natural. No matter how successful you become, there’s always someone with more, right? Always someone to feel small or inferior next to; always someone to compare yourself to.
This is life. This is the nature of the game, if we choose to play it.
But we don’t have to play it.
I do my best not to spend much time on social media, looking at people’s highlight reels. But I cannot escape it completely. So I know I have to find tools to manage the habits and ways my mind slips into.
The first tool is to pause, and recognise how I’m feeling. What emotions are stirring up within me?
I don’t judge them, I just bring awareness to them. I note that they exist.
Next, I ask myself if I want to feel this way? Are these emotions serving me, or are they harming or disempowering me?
And if they aren’t serving me, then I make a choice to let them go. To release them. Because they are not me, they do not belong to me; they are merely a passing emotion.
Then, I shift my perspective.
If I was feeling small after finding out this incredible woman has written and published five books, which have a thousand reviews between them, and she’s ten years younger than me; I shift my thoughts.
Now, when I find myself triggered by other women’s success, I force myself to view this woman and her success differently.
How incredible that this woman felt called to share her heartbeats with the world, and pour her soul onto the page, and had the motivation and the work ethic to birth this art into the world.
Isn’t it wonderful that these books have reached and touched and empowered so many other souls around the world?
And how inspiring it is to watch a woman walk her soul path, embrace and harness her unique gifts, and be loved by the world for it.
May we all be so blessed to discover what we came here to do, and be recognised and celebrated for it.
Because, not only does this feel better, it’s also the truth.
Other women’s success does not have the power to make you feel small, unless you let it. And her success does not mean there is less for you; we live in an abundant, limitless world.
Now, on the rare days I find myself triggered—like today—I look for the lesson; the message underneath the emotions on the surface.
And usually, I am being called to walk taller. To let go of feelings of smallness, and unworthiness, and rise.
But it all starts with giving other women permission to rise, too.