Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Women’s History Month Presentation Series at USD. I had no expectations of this event and was pleasantly surprised by my takeaways from the evening. The presentation not only schooled me on women’s history but also shed light on the need for community within the competitive world of women.
My mind was turning as I thought of how to develop this idea into a blog post. This is one aspect that I love when finding content to write about. I am not sure of what I will talk about next until the idea hits me. That’s when a light bulb goes off and the next topic is born. I digress, but wanted to share how not searching for an idea is when the universe brings it right to you. We must open ourselves up to allow the possibilities that are waiting to reveal themselves to us, rather than forcing our future to fit inside of a pre-conceived box.
As I began to think about how women treat one another, my mind wanted to search for the source.
Why are we taught to be in constant competition with women instead of working together?
The presentations talked about how far women have come in regards to their rights, accomplishments, and ability to work together. I began to wonder how that has changed in our society today? Where did we lose these skills of collaboration and turn towards viewing each other as competition?
I think it all stems from the desire to be the best at anything, regardless of who gets in our way. The desire for things to, always, go our way and to be selfish instead of selfless. These actions have become normal in the way we operate.
We are taught at a young age that competition is necessary.
We are taught that there is always a winner and a loser.
We are taught that in order to be worthy of anything we have to be better than everyone. Even if that next person happens to be a woman.
I understand that competition isn’t always negative, but it is a trait that remains with us throughout our lifetime.
Competition can bring out the best or the worst in us. It makes us do anything to win or can help build up our confidence. It causes us to compare ourselves to others or see the beauty in what makes us different. It makes us find ways to break people down mentally and emotionally or can help us understand how things impact our psyche. So,
Why is it acceptable to bring others down in order to lift ourselves up?
It is acceptable because it is another way of winning. It allows us to feel good about ourselves, in the moment, and possibly regret our actions later. It’s getting a leg up and being one step ahead of the competition. But in the end we were able to accomplish our tasks by feeding into our insecurities to make ourselves feel better. When in reality the best way to heal ourselves of our insecurities is to face them head on, talk about them, get to the root of the issue, and to console the little girls or boys inside of us who are hurting. When we turn to bringing others down, we aren’t only hurting others but are really hurting ourselves.
So, how do we adjust our actions that may feel normal to us? How do we work together instead of against one another?
We begin by being secure in who we are. We embrace our own strengths and weaknesses. We change our outlook on always being in competition with everyone. We open up our minds to working collaboratively instead of independently. We get past the fear of asking for help.
These are all steps in the right direction to alter our way of thinking to see the beauty and strength in working together. We do not lose anything by collaborating with other women. We gain pertinent skills of teamwork, collaboration, and communication. We also gain confidence and get inspired by being surrounded by other women in power. Subconsciously, this reminds the little girls in each of us that we can achieve what we set our minds to and that we can be in powerful roles.