Jealousy has its benefits, it is a good indicator of what you really desire.
So that’s why sometimes, when I see my peers gaining success in their careers, I get a sting of jealously in my tummy. I’m not feeling envious; that is the nice way of saying I want what she has. What I feel is jealously – I’m pissed – it’s a negative feeling, and it’s not my fault.
Women have been pitted against each other for years. We are constantly in competition. People have theorised that the (male-dominated) media has actively split women up in order to pit them against one other as they are purportedly less of a threat this way.
My friend Rose told me once that she knew she was hot. That’s it, such a simple and powerful display of self-love. I was pretty taken aback as I hadn’t experienced a girl group where we complimented ourselves. It was much more common to degrade ourselves. Rose stated it as a fact – and it was true – she is traditionally attractive, charming, passionate, and she always gets the attention of guys. So why was this such a turning point for me? Because of my reaction.
I had met Rose about six months prior at drinks for a mutual friend. We’d fallen in love the way girls sometimes do (inebriated). It was like finding an ally in the bathroom of a bar. Usually these friendships end when you don’t hear from each other the next day, or the friend request is awkwardly accepted. Ours didn’t; we were fast friends.
I never told Rose this, but my initial reaction to her statement, for a split second, was jealousy. This isn’t something I am proud of, but also when I think back of it, I’m not ashamed. My jealousy stemmed from my lack of self-love. I was jealous that she was indeed beautiful, and that she had the confidence to own it.
You’re usually hiding behind a computer screen or staring at a magazine when you get hit with jealousy, and you can let it overwhelm you. But because I was faced with this jealousy in a social situation, I had to act quickly. I thought about it logically. She is great, and she just stated the fact. I adore her; I agree with her. I was suddenly overwhelmed with pride for her. This was so impressive. Shockingly, I had never heard anyone speak about themselves this way. Saying someone is cocky is just a construct created to make us feel bad about ourselves.
Rose is a positive person who is comfortable talking about herself, her body, and her career as an early childhood teacher (how lucky those babies are!). She is confident, she promotes self-love, and she is proud of her accomplishments.
Another friend and I discussed self-love recently, and how the conversation with Rose was a turning point in my life. It has helped me develop my attitude and my sense of self. I had heard and read about self-love, but I had never really seen it in action first hand.
So how does this all relate to me starting a business? I needed self-love and confidence to make it work.
I have so far been successful in everything I have put my mind to. I graduated fashion school with merit and my final collection received an A+. I managed a retail store with eight staff at twenty-two years old. I worked as a wholesale dispatch coordinator for a major New Zealand fashion label. And now I have my own successful business.
After writing that paragraph, my almost uncontrollable instinct is to justify those facts: it was really hard work at fashion school and I totally burnt out, or I was in the right place at the right time for the dispatch job.
The only way I can describe this, is that I was experiencing elements of ‘Imposter syndrome’. The syndrome can be explained as when high-achieving individuals are marked by an inability to internalise their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’. Put simply, it is when people in positions of success feel as if they have come there by an accident, or they are lucky. I no longer accept this. I worked hard to be where I am. My success is mine because I earned it. If this post is pissing you off, or giving you a feeling of jealousy because of my honesty or pride about my success, then you are just like me, and that’s ok.
Self-love, positivity and confidence are major driving forces behind what makes me able to run a business. Mainly, I aim to have confidence in my abilities regardless of anyone else’s validation. I am here to impress myself.