How to stop envy from ruining your business

Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy.”

He’s right! During the times when I’m feeling not so good about myself, I compare myself against others whose lives appear to blossom more fully than mine. Have you ever been sucked into a negative spiral and take days for you to come back to center?

Comparing yourself to others stems from envy, and envy is rooted is shame and feelings of unworthiness — the feeling of not being good enough or that something is fundamentally wrong with who we are.

Here’s what envy can look like in entrepreneurship: You may secretly harbor feelings of envy for someone who has gone further than you’ve gone, has the client roster that you covet, owns more material wealth than do, creates better products and services than you have, charges more money and sells more than you do, dominates a big market share, or who garners an abundance of adoration and popularity in the community.

One look at their website or latest work can send you spiraling down into the pit of despair.

I recognize this in my clients when they’ve been looking at one too many websites of peers in their industry and obsess how others are more beautiful, more cool, more together, more bold, more confident, more, more, more.

I also recognize envy in myself too, especially when I’ve been working too hard. I assume others have miracles fall into their laps while I have to make everything happen with my bare hands.

Envy is a basic human emotion and all of us get triggered, and not just in business. If you’ve ever coveted someone else’s beauty, relationships, friends, looks, house, success or children, then you know what envy feels like.

At the heart of envy is competition, competition, competition. There is no room for what is, no room for growth and joy, and there’s no chance you’ll find inner peace there.

Like venom, envy stings. But rather than stinging others, more often than not, it secretly stings yourself. If unchecked and not managed, envy has the chemical potential to rip ourselves apart, attack others through our shadow and send us into distraught isolation.

Envy is an addiction. What you’re addicted to is searching for signs that you are not good enough, and when you find it, you see it as real evidence.

Today, I’m going to teach you how to manage your envy (because it will probably never go away) and check it before it wrecks you.

Envy is information

Every negative emotion you experience contains the information you need to heal it.

When you start comparing yourself to others and feel demoralized by what you perceive, you will know that the envy is trying to tell you something about the source of your pain.

Specifically, it’s an invitation to ask yourself where you’re feeling less than. Are you trying to meet someone else’s definitions of perfection or success? Are you creating unrealistic expectations for yourself?

It’s also an opportunity to examine yourself and ask, “Am I spiritually mature enough to handle that level of success/beauty/lifestyle that I secretly covet?” If not, what do you have to do to spiritually mature to that plane? What do you need to understand?

Sometimes, envy is a sign that you have more growth to do before you can hold the capacity of what you want.

The more envy that lurks in your system, the less space you have to carry your own potential and the self–confidence and self–authority that’s gonna be asked of you.

Envy is ownership

When you feel envious toward another, know that the envy is misdirected energy. Even though you are harboring secrets thoughts about another person, the envy is actually all about you.

Feeling envy means you are choosing to be a victim rather than choosing to do something about your life. [Tweet “Feeling envy means you are choosing to be a victim rather than doing something about your life.”]

Whatever you covet is whatever you are choosing not to do anything about.

If you covet someone else’s business or client list — where are you choosing not to take action on what you need to do?

If you covet someone else’s fame or success — where are you choosing not to take risks?

If you covet someone else’s confidence, voice or popularity — where are you choosing to hide and be invisible instead?

If you covet someone else’s relationships — where are you choosing not to open your heart, give or love?

If you covet someone else’s house, car, or lifestyle — where are you choosing not to permit yourself to have what you really want, or to invest your energy into creating what you want?

In other words, envy points to the very things that you want for yourself, but just choose to not do anything about.

You don’t do anything about it because you don’t want to risk it and fail it. You’d rather it be handed to you without effort on a silver platter, right to your lap. You want the world to prove to you that you deserve it.

Because if you ‘deserve’ it, that must be evidence you are worthy.

In that sense, it means you’re asking the Universe to prove to you that you’re worthy enough, by giving you things to prop you up.

And when it doesn’t fall on your lap, you measure yourself against others and feel victimized, neglected, forgotten and unimportant, all the while forgetting that you chose not to do something about it.

Do you want to live like this?

I don’t.

Understand that it’s not about deserving or undeserving. It’s about taking ownership over what you want and doing something about it.

Envy is a decision

Here’s how you manage envy: There is no long–drawn process to it. There is no analyzing or looking at it from a dozen different angles.

The way you stop this envy addiction is to just say no. One decision is all that it takes.

Does that mean you’ll never feel envious of another again? No. It just means that you recognize when the addiction pings you and you know not to reach for another envy cigarette.

Rather than feeding your envy addiction, tap into your inner power and dreams. Think this instead:

“Whatever s/he can do, I can do too. If I want to.

Of course! You just have to decide if you want it badly enough to take action on it.

When you feel the envy addiction coming on, you bathe in self–love, baby, and nurture your desire to grow beyond this fear.

Love soothes old wounds and lifts the veil for us to see right through to the highest truth.

Love is self–compassion, the exact medicine we need to remedy that despair. Love helps us to appreciate ourselves and also understand that no one is perfect. No matter how gorgeous or successful someone else is, there’s a whole path of inner healing before it, ahead of it, or underneath it that often comes with having a really good looking external life.

In other words, there’s more to it than meets the eye and there’s lots of spiritual, life–lesson data that you don’t get to know.

Love will also teach you to see that if we are indeed all One, what another person has is also what you have, too. You just need to see it and own that desire.

Tap into your inner addiction counselor and listen to the wisdom it has for you. Don’t bring envy into your business — it’s not only toxic to you, but it will also stunt your sales and business growth.

That much I know is true.

Hi, I’m Ana Coeur

I teach entrepreneurs how to create their business straight from their soul. I offer a complete Intuitive Business Suite to help you create, design, write and sell all from your intuition. Here’s the services you can take advantage of to empower your business: Intuitive Web & Brand Design, Intuitive Copywriting and Intuitive Selling. If there’s anything I can help you with, I would love to hear about it! You may email me at

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  • February 10, 2014

    This is a great post. There was a time where I experienced A LOT of envy (mostly in college). It’s not that I don’t experience it that much anymore, it’s just that I don’t meet very many people who have what I want. Hah. This has been an interesting problem because in the past, I’ve looked at my envy and jealousy to figure out what it was that I wanted. So to be a freelancer, and not be jealous of people’s business – it makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me. Why don’t I want what they have?!

    That’s probably really weird sounding. And it’s not as if I’m really secure in what I’m doing (I kinda have no idea what I’m doing) but my vision for my life isn’t being reflected in the people I’ve met or know. There are bits and pieces (people who are entrepreneurs and live abroad. American expats married to foreign nationals and are living in that country. Creative and spiritual types doing their own thing).

    The lack of envy has made me feel kind of directionless because it means I don’t know how to look to to get where I want to be. So I have to create it from scratch, which has been difficult, but also somewhat freeing since I’m allowed to do whatever I want. I just need to pick the “whatever” part.

    (Or maybe, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at not feeling feelings, so even if I’m envious all the time, it’s not as apparent to me as it was when I was younger – and potentially more emotional/hormonal. At nearly 26, I’m done developing physically and my brain development is pretty much done).

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