Why Women Need to Connect Instead of Compete

I’ve finally got my life together after an amazing weekend in BC and am contemplating some feminist highs and lows I’ve experienced over the past couple of weeks. The opportunity to be with my friend and her new family filled me a love and happiness that only comes when you are doing something honest and true. Seeing my friend and meeting her babies (yes plural, because she had TWINS) was certainly one of the highs. But I also want to share a story about one of the lows.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting with an old colleague enjoying a glass of wine and catching up, when he informed me that a mutual acquaintance of ours had just made “Director” at the ripe age of 28. Now, this wasn’t a small company, we’re talking a large multi-million dollar company in the Construction sector. I grit my teeth immediately while somehow mumbling the words “that’s amazing” in what probably came across as the most inauthentic statement ever made. Because it was. Because I was jealous.

When I returned home that evening I wondered why I had such strong feelings about this woman’s success. Was it because I didn’t think that I was successful? No. Was it because she was young and worked her way up in a company? Maybe. Was it because she had a title that I hadn’t had in a large corporation before? Perhaps. Was it because she had accomplished something I hadn’t, and did it at a younger age? Probably. But why? Why did that matter to me? As someone who coaches some very successful people and is constantly encouraging my clients to reach for the stars, clearly even I have some jealous tendencies that I need to overcome.

Then I got to thinking about my girlfriend with twins and how incredibly proud and humbled I am that I get to be part of some of life’s greatest milestones with some amazing women, and vice versa. What a difference in perspectives only a couple weeks can make.

Anyway, after some intense self-reflection I had to smack myself upside the head and remind myself that we are at our best when we connect instead of compete. We thrive when we support instead of stop each other from flourishing. In the end, there is room for all of us to be successful, and the last thing we need to do is beat down each other’s triumphs because of jealously or assuming there is a ceiling to what women can achieve. We are lucky to live in a world, and a time, where barriers are being broken down daily and women have the opportunity to achieve just as much greatness as our male counterparts. Is it perfect, no, but are we living in a world of progress that we all need to contribute to? Definitely.

So go out there, celebrate each other, and add fuel to someone’s fire!

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