I thought the other day, "What would the world look like if we as women decided to purposely cheer each other on?"
We cannot escape comparison. We are in a constant comparison and competitive culture. Women are pressured more than ever to compare themselves to others’ lives, by the image portrayed on social media. We want to be with the most beautiful, talented, etc. Just imagine if we had a society of women who cheered each other on? Women who make space in our lives for God and develop inner beauty with greater detail and attention than our exterior beauty?
1. This is Not a Competition
Please know this: you are gorgeously unique and irreplaceable without having to lift a finger. The fact is none of us are exactly alike – not just in appearance but in thought, personality and talent. A blogger asked me the other day, “Oh you’re ok with allowing another boutique to join your event?” and I said, “ABSOLUTELY. Why would I be threatened? They are not me, and I am not them. They could never be me and I would never want to be them.” When competition is nurtured, our confidence is challenged and we as a community of women become weaker. Set aside the competitive nature and think of how to nurture a collaboration with the women who are part of your work and personal life. There is more than enough space in any marketplace, neighborhood, organization or networking circle for each one to shine.
2. Keep Substantial Relationships
Yea, so go ahead and break up with that bad relationship. Break up with the “bestie” you’ve had for years that does nothing to help you grow. It’s definitely harder than breaking up with a guy, but SO WORTH IT! Seriously. Your relationships should reflect who you strive to become. I tweeted a link to an article I read from Khloe Kardash where she explained this importance. In her experience with an ex chic friend, she explained “I ultimately decided to end our friendship because I only believe in mutual friendships and this one was far from that. The main issue was that she was someone that could never be alone and yet wouldn’t be there for me when I needed her,” she says. (Follow the boutique Twitter for more).
3. Love and Pursue Humility
The most confident women I know are SO humble. Think about the areas in your life that you are TERRIBLE at, and humility comes very easily. LOL. Joking! But the thing about humility is that it allows others to share their gifting and talent with you more freely. Your touch of humility removes any pressure of false-confidence and further removes any intimidation among those in your circle. It allows others to approach you in a more authentic and sincere manner and you’ll see that people you never thought would look to you for advice will candidly share their flaws and short-comings because they know you are so comfortable with yours! Again kidding but kind of not.
4. Inspire, Compliment and Encourage
Genuinely, of course. I learned in my travels as a missionary that genuine compliments are key when wanting to connect with strangers. I was in a women’s prison at one point – with very hard hearted women who had probably been to hell and back in order to receive their sentence. I have learned that women, especially, desire words of affirmation and flattery. I don’t know that we would all admit to that but in my experience I’ve found it to be true. Words of encouragement could save your friend from giving up on her dream or help her find solutions to her problem. Many of us do not talk to each other when we are going through something very difficult. Why do we do that!? So as you read this, set a reminder to check up on those you love daily/weekly and see how they are doing. Set a lunch, coffee, dinner or break date with someone with the sole purpose of either inspiring, complimenting or encouraging them. GO.
Words of inspiration? I like to share quotes, scriptures, and advice. Yes, let’s use words to inspire (like now), but inspiration becomes contagious in the lives of others when they observe your behavior and are left in awe.
5. Make Peace
Ugh, why me right? Who likes to be the peace-maker after a disagreement – especially the times when you were not at fault. Men call us “catty” and “drama-queens” because there seems to always some type of disagreement or issue going on among women. Being a peacemaker is a beautiful quality to keep abreast of any wrong-doing among your group. We all fail at one point or another and it’s nice to have someone take that role and re-connect a divided group. Disagreements come and go. I believe most of the things we argue about are so insignificant, you need to just let it go and hit the NEXT button. Go ahead, NEXT.
Also, make peace with yourself. This is the hardest thing of all for some, if not most, of us. If there is absolutely anything that you are not at peace about with yourself, please take the time to address it and settle it. You will walk away for that settlement a better you for the world that desperately needs you at 100.
Want more? Join us at Brunch at Bishop – the annual Spring Women’s Book Club series hosted by me (Arisbet Cantu) and Monica Zepeda (Teacherpreneur and Professional Counselor).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration.
And stay motivated.