“Nobody expects the entrepreneurial journey to be all smooth sailing but one thing that came as an absolute shock was the sense of competition I felt towards other women on the same journey” says Gloria, a Soul Healing Coach.
Can you relate? Your instagram feed is all “women supporting women” but that inner critic pops up when you are scrolling and you see other women in business doing better than you, maybe they have more followers than you OR making more money than you, seeming to have the life and business that you want. Sound familiar?
I know it certainly has for me and I do believe in supporting women and try my very best to, but there is something I can’t deny, it’s real and we need to talk about it, Healing the sister wound so we truly can get behind wholeheartedly “women supporting women” without the comparison, jealousy and envy.
So I asked three fellow Wellness and Spiritual Entrepreneurs to unpack what the sister wound is, how it shows up and give us their best advice on how to truly acknowledge the triggers and overcome the sister wound. Here’s what they shared with me.
“The more I came across successful women in my field the worse I felt about myself. Their success made me uncomfortable.” Gloria explains to me as we dive deep into the sister wound on the entrepreneurial journey.. She would ask herself questions I know I have asked myself “Why can’t I be happy for them?” She knew something wasn’t feeling right for her so she explored where this was coming from.
Once she started to truly pay attention to those triggers, she realized that not only had she been taught to “dislike” and “compete with other women” in her own upbringing but also from society itself. She explains, she started to truly see where the sister wound was coming from and it wasn’t just her… She felt like she could no longer unsee it and she was adamant that something had to be done.
“We must put ourselves in charge, heal the past and set solid boundaries going forward.”
Gloria believes that the first most important boundary you can set at the start of this journey is to take the power away from toxicity and put yourself in charge of social media, with intention and purpose.
Here are 2 steps to this:
Boundaries are the way we show others how to communicate with us: How many people do you follow? How do those accounts make you feel? Have an honest conversation with yourself, what is that discomfort about? These initial questions will help you understand where you might need to start your healing journey. For example: are fitness accounts the ones that trigger you the most? Explore that. Could it have to do with the relationship you have with your body? What about lifestyle accounts that share perfect shots in luxury locations, what feelings do they trigger? Is it your money wound that might need your attention?
Once you have taken notice of your triggers and have a plan in place for your healing journey go ahead and unfollow/mute all the accounts that make you feel uncomfortable. It’s time to retreat and go back to you. You can start following them again in future but for now it’s a big reset that needs to happen. This will help you carefully select what information you feed to your brain: if it doesn’t inspire you/make you feel good right now then it’s time to let it go for a while, or forever.
Boundaries are your protection against toxicity. Boundaries are love towards you. Boundaries put YOU in charge.
Hannah unfortunately is no stranger to being bullied by girls in her private school. She recalls although the messaging was always about lifting each other up she admits it was incredibly toxic and often led to bullying, comparison, jealousy, and judgement. She was certainly activated by the sister wound at a young age where she remembers that she began to change her appearance - her hairstyle, the clothes she bought, the make-up she wore - in hopes to be liked by the other girls she went to school with.
“It has been almost two years since I started my business and there are still days where I get activated by what other women are doing in similar fields to my own.” She explains how she has noticed these past wounds showing up by comparing, feeling jealous and also judging how others might be showing up- all rooted in her early years at school being bullied. The tool that has been imperative for her triggers and heal further from the sister wound is creating internal safety through healing her central nervous system and vagus nerve.
Healing the Central Nervous System
Hannah explains that when she has felt triggered by other women she gives herself permission to notice the triggers and remind herself that she feels safe to go into her body. She explains, she goes into a sympathetic state, her stress responses screaming as a form of communication for her to heal the triggers that have been holding her back from true connection with others, happiness, joy and pleasure.
Here are the steps she advises when you feel triggered by the sister wound?
Notice you're triggered, stop, get still and breathe deep into your body, placing your hands over your heart and being with the emotion that comes up.
Give yourself permission to breathe into the anger, frustration, judgement, etc. and try to stay with it until it dissipates and then reflect on what is trying to teach you.
For example, if you are judging someone else for where they're at on their journey, can you reflect on where you would like to be?
Then take the time to journal about it and release the emotions through breathwork, chanting, moving meditation and/or yoga.
This allows your body the safety to move through the triggers with ease and safety.
Ximena, reminded me that the sister wound could be blocking your ability to manifest abundance in your business. She explains that “Feelings of envy and judgment towards other women can literally be the very same thing blocking your ability to receive.”
She goes on to explain that envy, jealousy or judgment aren’t necessarily bad things. They can point you in the direction of what you want, and are showing your subconscious mind what is possible for you as well when you allow these feelings to be a blessing.
Unlock the Power of your Subconscious Mind
Your subconscious mind is your Go-Getter (80% of your results come from the subconscious mind) – it’s the powerful secondary system that runs everything in your life (your habits, beliefs, values and identity). Your unlimited potential is unlocked when you learn to align the communication between the conscious and the subconscious minds. And in order to do that, you need a combination of thoughts and strong emotions.
When you experience a strong emotion such as envy, jealousy or judgment, you can either let those emotions get in your way and block you OR you can see them as a blessing to reprogram deep rooted limiting beliefs by reframing what they mean.
Here’s how Ximena has worked through these triggers and helps her clients:
Notice when jealousy or envy comes up with other women's success.
Give yourself permission to acknowledge the wound and let yourself know that this wouldn’t come up if you didn’t want the same thing.
Ask yourself if you can allow these feelings to reassure you that you are on the right path?
And reframe jealousy or envy to there’s proof that there’s demand for what you offer.
Every time you see other women succeeding, celebrate that! Not just for them but because it’s reinforcing neural pathways in your brain that are creating your own reality.
There is enough abundance for us all, without succumbing to the effects of the sister wound.
I could relate to each and every one of their stories, the feelings of not being as far along ahead in my business and then getting really hard on myself when the thoughts and feelings of not being good enough would then creep in. Since starting my business two years ago, I had a hard time understanding these feelings, cause I am the woman that prides herself of supporting women and here I was feeling jealous and envious - but knowing what I know now about the sister wound, it helps to identify when it creeps up so I can continue to heal it.
All of your Parts have Wisdom
Something that has helped me have a better understanding with the sister wound is knowing that we all have different parts of ourselves, so for example I love my creativity and funny side, however when jealousy and envy come through that’s a different story. So Instead of berating the jealous or envious part I allow myself to ask it questions- yes I do talk to myself HA! Because our parts and emotions have incredible insights to teach us when we listen.
All your parts have something to teach you:
Get into a meditative state perhaps a guided Parts Meditation or any meditation to help ground you and get into the present moment.
In your journal invite the jealous or envious part to share how they are feeling, where it came from perhaps a childhood incident or society. And write from the point of view of the part.
Allow yourself to practice non-judgement, curiosity and openness as your part could be unearthing some deep truths to help you heal your sister wound.
If it feels comfortable for you after your part has shared their truth, start writing a compassionate letter to that part, with love and kindness. Let them know it’s safe, and you’ve got this and they don’t have to feel that way any longer.
This is a great opportunity to get to know your part that feels jealous or envy and give it a voice, validate and show it so much love and compassion.
What the sister wound has taught me is that we as women CAN support one another in business and on the entrepreneurial journey AND how imperative it is to acknowledge our emotions, feel them to heal them so we can continue to empower this generation and the generations that follow. Because when we truly heal ourselves, we can 100 percent celebrate another woman’s success as it is our own!
If this resonated with you, join Gloria, Hannah, Ximena and I for Reclaim the Woman Within, Virtual Retreat where we will be diving deeper into the Woman Wound and how to heal, transform and be the woman that truly supports other women and STANDS IN HER POWER!