Gals, I’m going straight in…
One of my clients was telling me about something her daughter is aiming for. She was feeling conflicted when her daughter’s competitive streak emerged- she described a reluctance to discuss tactics with others, because she wants to come out on top. My client wondered if that was in sync with the #womensupportwomen ethos.
What would you say?
This thing she’s after- it IS a competition of sorts, and so a winner takes it all situation.
Or is it?
Look, I am competitive. I’m a first born child. I’m an Aries. It’s real. I’m motivated by a goal, a challenge, a stretch- the more outrageous the better. In fact, you may have heard about me narrowly avoiding throwing up on the treadmill when I’ve pushed it too far.
Here’s the shiz- the treadmill is the perfect place to put that energy to work. Because I’m only competing with myself. I know that guy on the one next to me THINKS we are competing when he speeds up when I do, or stays on til just after I get off, but he’s wrong. All I’m interested in is competing against myself- either my previous performance, or what I think is possible for me that day. This is how to channel that competitive energy.
Every day, across our work, parenting, lifestyle choices, and the rest, we competing with our unhelpful beliefs, our physical limits, our deep rooted habits… why the bejeesus would we throw other people and their stuff into the mix? EXHAUSTING & irrelevant.
We know next to nothing about others- their experiences, needs, motives, struggles. Needing to come out on top of them in some socially constructed contest in order to feel worthy is crackers.
There are tonnes of reasons why we do- we are conditioned to compare, particularly as women as we are schooled throughout our lives to believe that there is only space for a tiny number of women to “win” and so we’d better watch our backs, bitches. We are the mistresses, the ones ogling each other’s cellulite in shitty magazines, we are catty and manipulative and forever “at war” (Kate and Meghan are the latest pairing to be characterised in this way).
Or ARE WE? Only if we comply! Only if we believe what we are told about ourselves in order to keep us under control. (This is something we go DEEP on in Thrive). This is NOT the true nature of women.
So back to this very young woman and her goals. Am I saying she should give away her tactics, share all her ideas and just hope for the best? OF COURSE NOT.
It’s totally ok to want to WIN (if it’s something that’s aligned with your values). What’s important is to note that, whilst winning something may be your preference, it doesn’t mean NOT winning says anything about you. It just means things didn’t come together for you in that moment in the way you’d hoped. Some of that might be stuff you could control or influence, stuff to learn from, and some of it is likely to be down to chance, stuff to surrender to.
It’s not, “may the best woman win”, it’s “may we all be the best of ourselves, and win or learn what we need to”. Not as catchy I know.
It’s about trusting that things are working out for you, and for her, and her, and her… and that there is enough growth and joy to go round, as we win and we learn together.
The winner NEVER takes it all. It’s not a pie to steal a slice from. ‘It’ comes from within.
If you wanna find a group of women where that sense of belonging is strong, click here. It’s almost time to thrive.
Big love, Keri x