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Last weekend the New York Times published this piece about Why Women Compete with Each Other. It’s a long one, but worth the time. Here’s a little excerpt:
“We aren’t competing with other women, ultimately, but with ourselves — with how we think of ourselves. For many of us, we look at other women and see, instead, a version of ourselves that is better, prettier, smarter, something more. We don’t see the other woman at all. It’s a fun-house mirror that reflects an inaccurate version of who we are, but we turn on her anyway, because it’s easier. But we don’t need to lower the stock of other women, either for the future of the species or for our own psyches. When we each focus on being the dominant force in our own universe, rather than invading other universes, we all win.”
Our good old competitive nature is holding us all back. I think I’m pretty good at not getting hung up on what other people are doing. I try to keep my head down and keep moving forward on my own path, but it’s hard to avoid it completely, isn’t it? You’ll be plugging away and suddenly you’ll be stopped in your tracks by the horrifying fact that someone else is having a better day. It can feel like someone slugged you in the stomach and suddenly that perfectly plated bahn mi in front of you looks so pathetic.
In those moments I try to remember that shared joy is double joy, and this goes both ways. When you have successes in your own life, you should share them. Resist the temptation to keep the news to yourself, for fear of making someone else feel bad about it. Shout your promotion, big sale, or new boyfriend from the rooftops.
And when you’re on the other side of this, and you’re reading the update about your friend’s promotion or new house, hold that joy in your heart and be happy for her. Let the joy overcome your instincts to feel competitive. Share her joy, and the joy will double. Food for thought, friends.
The design above was done by me as part of my #TIHinspiration series. Please provide a link to this blog post if using the image above.
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