This is something that’s been on my mind for a very long time now. I’ve known I wanted to write about it for equally as long, but I was never really sure exactly what I wanted to say. I struggled with taking this emotion, this feeling I had deep within me and translating it into words. Not just words, but words that could be felt (not just understood). I’ve waited some time now and the words still feel scattered in my head but I can’t wait any longer.
Women are an unstoppable force, but only if we get out of our own way and stop wasting our precious and fierce energy on petty, negative, limiting talk.
I know this issue doesn’t just arise within my sports, although it may be amplified because of the skewed male to female ratio amongst it’s participants, but I see it everywhere. Women competing against women. And I don’t mean in the professional sense. I see and hear women breaking other women down, scrutinizing them for ridiculous details, Spreading rumors, making false assumptions and allowing jealousy to fuel their hatred. It is a horrible thing to see and even worse to experience. When put like that it seems so vicious… It is, and although it seems like an exaggeration I know first hand and I know you’ve experienced it as well.
See we as women are taught, through the media, magazines, TV, advertisements and from our piers to compare our selves to one another. To reach to attain a thing that others possess, How to get Jennifer Anniston’s arms, Angelina Jolie’s lips, were told we aren’t motivated enough. We are taught that our confidence comes from perfect (and CGI) hair, from flawless (and photoshopped) skin. All of the images of “perfect beauty” that surround us every day subconsciously instill with in us this constant need to compare ourselves to one another. As we do this more and more it switches from an inner dialog of “ Oh I wish I could have that” to the destructive “Why does she have that, she doesn’t deserve that” and this is where it all goes to shit. It is a heart breaking reality. So how do we avoid this negativity that only breaks us down? The first thing is to understand where this negativity stems from. Why the need to break others down to lift ourselves up? The number one thing I have seen is Jealousy. A lot of jealousy I have witnessed stems from someone feeling more deserving than others. But I can attest, not everyone knows your journey and you most certainly don’t know theirs. You don’t know how many long and hard hours someone has put towards accomplishing something. You don’t know all the struggles and road blocks they faced and had to navigate, you don’t know the blood and sweat and tears they experienced. And they don’t know that about you. So instead of looking at others success with jealousy, look at it with admiration. But even in doing this there is a lot more to be done on our way to supporting other women and ourselves.
Decide That You are Good Enough
Because lets face it you are. When we decide that we are good enough our confidence raises. Yes you might not be where you want to be, but thats ok. Because you are good enough to get there. Others are very rarely handed success. To get to where you want to be, it’s going to take hard work and dedication and you are good enough to get there!
Have a Zero Tolerance Policy
Refuse to engage or be engaged in conversations that break others down. You will be amazed at how much additional energy you will have for the positive things in life
Have Compassion for Yourself and Others
It is so easy to be hard on yourself. It’s ok to be self critical but only if it is constructive and it supports you and helps you find a way to move past the blocks, not creates them. There are times in everyones life when you feel like other people just don’t know the struggle, they don’t know or understand you or how hard you are working. This is so true, but if this is true for you then it’s true for the person you are comparing yourself to as well. Each person has to work hard and figure it out. This path is yours and yours alone! Knowing this should give you a deeper sense of compassion for them as they navigate their path just as you navigate yours.
Women supporting other women is such a powerful thing. When a woman supports another women not only is it an indication of personal and professional confidence, but it shows an outward desire to make a positive impact. To change the narrative, that we always need more to that of, I can and do have it all. When women support other women it shows love and compassion and a deep desire to better the world.
I’m not saying to drop your ethical standards to support those who you don’t agree with or those who don’t meet your standard. There will always be people we don’t agree with, we don’t get along with and we just don’t like and that is fine. This isn’t about cupcakes and rainbows and getting along with everyone. This is about developing with in ourselves a deep sense of confidence so we don’t want to or need to break other women down to feel good about ourselves. in doing this we free up so much emotional time (you know the time spent worrying, stressing or criticizing others that some times makes you exhausted? ) we can take that newly acquired free time and use it instead to support other women. To lift them up instead of break them down. To talk about them in a positive light. Being proud of their accomplishments and learning from them! I am so inspired by so many amazing women in the world, From Sophia Amoruso who with her brand #girlboss is inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs to other incredible and amazing athletes that I have the pleasure of knowing who show women that anything is attainable if you focus on it and work for it.
One of the most beautiful things to me is when I see a woman, so happy and confident of herself that she walks around, smile on her face, head held high. Not ignoring the problems that surround her but taking them on with grace. For so many years I looked at these women with a deep desire to possess the same energy they had, but didn’t know where it came from. That energy comes from Love. Love for yourself and love for others. It also comes from an undying belief in yourself and your ability to overcome what ever steps in your way!
Women need women! Now is the best time to drop the shackles of criticism and petty banter that hold us back and charge forward as the fiercely capable women we are!