by Jaclyn Mullen
About this time of year, the sun comes out across the country which means one thing: it’s time to break out the bathing suits. This of course creates what I like to call the “great bikini body debate”—a very healthy (and much needed) conversation.
The debate stance of the media usually states, “Eat these 5 foods to achieve ______ celebrity’s bikini booty” while a subset of fitness and healthy living experts say, “Banish bikini body shame. Put on your bathing suit…as YOU are with pride.”
To me, there seems to be a correlation between bikini body shame and business shame. As women, we’ve almost been brought up to embrace comparison syndrome as a part of our identity and as a result, I have seen the following “comparisonitis” scenario happen one too many times.
Female Entrepreneur A gets a spot on TV which they promote on social media. Female Entrepreneur B sees said social media post and goes into a conflict of frenzy.
On the one hand, she’s happy for Entrepreneur A while at the same time, she gets down and depressed at the notion that she’s not on TV too. That’s when it sets in…the endless thoughts of “what does she have that I don’t”….the “why am I trying so hard? I will never be like her!”
So, how do we banish business shame collectively as a community of female entrepreneurs? This is a real and honest dialogue I would like us all to engage in.
Here are my initial thoughts:
1. Reconnect with YOUR mission. We’re all in business to achieve different things. And we need to stay connected to those “things.” When we start looking at another person fulfilling their mission, it means we have taken our eyes off ours. That said, if you don’t already have a mission statement for yourself, create one. It will inspire you to remember WHO you are helping, serving and supporting on a daily basis.
2. Create your own BOOM box. No, I don’t mean the speaker system from the ‘80s. During a recent intuitive session with a woman named Sabrina Bolin, I uncovered my response to doing something I was proud of. I had surpassed ticket sales for a workshop and seeing this as I logged in to Paypal immediately made me reach my hand for the sky then pull it down in to a fist while saying “BOOM.” I don’t know where that came from but Sabrina encouraged me to connect to that feeling each and every time I did something I was proud of. I want you to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a BOOM box for you. It can be a gratitude jar or journal. Perhaps you can create a “Client Smile File.” The point is to connect with and celebrate the accomplishments in YOUR business, BIG and SMALL, at least once per day.
3. Remember, your current circumstances are temporary. Things can change, for the good and bad, very quickly! Remember that just because you aren’t where you WANT to be right now doesn’t mean you won’t ever get there. Rather than spend time stuck in a “comparisonitis rut”, get clear on 2-3 actions you can take immediately to shift your current circumstances.
At the end of the day, there isn’t any single woman on the planet who wants another woman to feel less than because of her “bikini body.”
We all know what it’s like to be self conscious, to desperately want tweak or improve an area of ourselves. We also know what it’s like to feel beautiful based on a good deed, loving words from friends or family, from truly accepting ourselves as we are.
It’s that very same principle when it come’s to our businesses. Her success is your success and vice versa.
To be self employed in and of itself is a pretty big deal! Besides, with the web these days, you never know who is watching you from their cubicle, inspired that you have taken the great leap to fly!
May you always remember to soar for HER—the woman who looks to your success not to compare but so she can finally find the courage to leap and change her own circumstances.
Jaclyn Mullen is often referred to as “the Jaclyn of All Trades.” Based out of sunny Los Angeles, California, Jaclyn is a performing artist turned business coach+entrepreneur+writer+speaker helping female entrepreneurs grow their businesses creatively, strategically and consciously. Armed with an expertise in marketing, personal development+storytelling, on any given day you will find her fueled by Starbucks coffee, keeping up with online marketing trends & inspiring women to step out of their comfort zones as they create their own careers. In 2014, she was selected as a Tory Burch Foundation Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Scholar. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @jaclynmullen or join her community at Facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia