Let me ask you something, how many times has another woman torn you down for something you were excited about? If this has never happened to you, please take a moment to be grateful for how lucky you are to have such supportive people in your life. For most of us women, it has probably been too many times to count.
I want to share a bit of my story with you. I am from a small town in Central New York. In June, I graduated from high school with 48 kids in my graduating class. It was so small that everyone knew everyone and you knew everyone’s business even when you didn’t want to. Have you ever heard of the small town mindset? It is absolutely a thing and I lived my life inside of it. For some reason people in a small town tend to be very close minded. They expect you to live life the “traditional” way and anything different is frowned upon. I think most of this is from lack of understanding of anything different than going to college, getting a job, getting married, having kids, and retiring at 55, in that specific order. Even the teenagers seem to have this mindset and we grew up in a world of technology that created new, unique opportunities for us.
I struggled with getting a lot of hate from the people in my high school. Anytime I tried to do something different, people picked on me horribly for it. Some said it to my face, but most said it behind my back. I even had a couple of particularly mean girls make rude posts about me on social media and that hurt me a lot. In the past year I have met a lot more people and realized that not everyone is as mean as the girls in my high school were. It was hard for me to see it at the time, but their opinions do not mean anything. If you want to do something different than what is considered normal, go for it and do it so well that they wish they were you. The only thing that matters is that you are happy!
I now believe that those girls were just especially mean and nasty. I am not sure why they are like this, but it was not pleasant for anybody. Nobody enjoys when people are mean to them, so why do people do it? It can feel really hard to continue pursuing something that makes you happy when mean girls are making you feel stupid for loving it. I wish I could say this only happens with teenagers, but sadly many women never grow out of it.
For some reason, we as women feel threatened by the success of other women. When another person is becoming more successful, the reaction of a lot of people is to tear her down and make her feel bad because of jealousy. The sad thing is that what that person is doing to thrive is not something the person tearing her down would ever want to do. The mean person has no desire to work hard or pursue what the other one did to achieve their success, but for some reason they feel threatened by them.
What we as women need to realize is that another person's success does not take away from our own. Even if you are on a similar path, in the same career, or even going for the same job. The success of one woman does not take away from the success of another. If she got a job over you, congratulate her and be grateful. If you did not get that job, then it wasn’t meant for you and I guarantee you something better is going to come along. But if you focus on the fact that she took the job you wanted, you may miss the next amazing opportunity that comes along and is even better for you. Stop hating that person for living their own best life and keep finding new ways to achieve yours.
Women already get so much hate from so many other people in the world, why are we adding to it? We all know how horrible it feels to have someone make us feel bad about something we love doing, so why do we keep doing it to others? Why do we as women choose to use their energy to judge and tear down other women, instead of encouraging them and lifting them up?
If you try to do something different than what the crowd is doing what happened to me probably happened to you in a similar way too. I hope you know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. I want to apologize to you if you have ever felt like you are not worthy or you are not good enough. You are amazing. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are more than enough. You are a bright, shining star. Please never let anyone make you feel like you are shining too bright. You are on the right path for you. Nobody else is living your life and they do not have to live with the consequences of the choices you make. Do what is right for you, not what somebody else thinks is right for you. If someone is trying to tear you down for chasing your dreams it is only because they are jealous of you. They see you thriving and they wish they could be that way too. Continue to dream big and never stop chasing those dreams. Your potential is endless and you can do anything you set your mind to. If you want it bad enough, never let anything get in your way of achieving those dreams. Do what will make you happy, not what is going to make other people happy. At the end of the day you are the one who has to live with the choices you make so do what makes you happy!
If you are a woman who has torn others down before or you continue to do it now, I hope you know you are beautiful too. Do you know how many amazing things you could do and how many lives you could change if you put all that negative energy from hating people into lifting them up? Imagine all the good you could do if you loved other women with the same amount of power that you chose to hate them. You are not stuck in your ways. You can make the choice to change and become a better version of yourself. Isn’t it exhausting hating people all the time? Imagine how much happier and more free you would feel if you didn’t have that hatred in your heart weighing you down anymore. I hope you love yourself enough to make the changes necessary to help you fall in love with life again. I hope you feel like you are good enough and you know that the success of others does not take away from your own. You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are strong. You are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. Remember, just because someone is different does not make them any better/worse than you. We are all on our own journey and our paths in life are going to be different. Start celebrating those differences and cheering others on as they chase their goals. There is incredible beauty in the differences and life is a lot more beautiful when you can see that.
Make sure to check out her blog Living With Laney and follow her journey on Insta @living.with.laney!