One of the main shadows women have in their relationships with one another is competition. You’ve experienced it countless times with your friends, coworkers, and relatives. You’ve been on both sides – feeling better than and feeling less than. You’ve seen the games, manipulations, gossip, jealousy, triangulation, misunderstandings, striving, and harsh treatment that can arise. And you’ve felt the separation, isolation, and loneliness that’s an inevitable byproduct of all of this.
The first domino in competing with other women stems from identifying with a sense of internal lack. We all have insecure parts of ourselves but they’re just that – parts of us, not the whole. We sell ourselves short when we zoom into the insecure parts and make them our identity because we are each SO MUCH MORE than this.
When we choose to identify as our insecure lack-oriented selves, we experience life through a filter of less/more than. We assess each person we come into contact with to see if we measure up while trying to figure out who’s the top and who’s the bottom dog. And whether we see ourselves as better than or less than the other person, we lose… because connection is not possible when we are operating from this place.
The shift starts by going to the first domino that starts the whole process of comparison and competition – how we feel about ourselves.
So allow me to ask you:
Do you like yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Do you encourage yourself? Do you say nice things to yourself? Are you loving to the scared, small parts of yourself? Do you advocate for yourself? Do you put your foot down when negative self talk starts? Do you devote yourself to practices that strengthen your relationship to your wisdom and heart? Do you engage in courageous self-inquiry, delving deeper into the truth of who you are? Do you believe you are worthy of success? Are you genuinely committed to enjoying your life?
How you feel about yourself is as much a byproduct of what you choose to believe about yourself as the dedication you put into elevating and being kind to yourself. It’s deep, soul-level work. It’s powerful, broad sweeping proclamations from the heart to the wild skies of life claiming what we truly want for ourselves. It’s little every day efforts. It’s regular reminders that call us back to the moment when we forget and get caught up in the spell. It’s seeing a therapist, counselor, or coach and peeling back the layers. It’s going against the grain of habit and carving new life-affirming paths.
When we make caring for and loving ourselves a top priority, we cultivate our connection to ourselves. The more we do this, the more centered, clear, and empowered we feel. This opens us and completely alters the filter we experience our lives through making it much easier to connect with other women (and men) and enjoy their gifts, successes, power, beauty, and unique qualities, as opposed to feeling threatened by them when we’re identified as feeling insecure.
Perhaps you recognize this from a yoga class you’ve attended? Every time I hear it, I’m struck by the simplicity, depth, and truth of it. If we spent our days cultivating this awareness, just imagine the wildly positive change it would make in the quality of our connections.