Changing your mindset to community over competition
I’m not sure if it’s just something that us ladies suffer with, but there seems to be this built-in fear within us where we think there are limited possibilities or success available.
When we see another woman doing well, we feel as though it’s taking away from us being able to do the same.
In the workplace, it can create this ‘Queen Bee syndrome’, where women are heavily critical of other women because they’re afraid the other woman will steal their crown. I’ve been on the receiving end of this, and it’s not nice.
When I moved into a leadership role, I wanted to make sure I used my position to help other women; to support them and endorse them so they could grow and shine. I can’t tell you how rewarding it’s been to know I’ve helped other women in this way, especially working in such male-dominated environments.
The Shine Theory
At an Aspire conference, I went to a few years ago, I learned of the ‘Shine Theory’, which was introduced by the Obama administration. It’s where female colleagues are encouraged to stop competing and endorse each other’s comments in meetings, etc.
This paragraph from the article really resonates with me: “Success isn’t finite. It’s not a substance that can run out or a product that can be used up. One woman’s success doesn’t counteract your own. And when one of your friends is shining brightly, she doesn’t put you in the shadows. She lights you up, too. Success is limitless and contagious, and something to be celebrated – regardless of whether or not it’s your own.”
I love this idea. I thought about how I show up for my female colleagues in meetings, and I also noticed the women who were still afraid of their counterparts.
We’ve all been there. When that friend announces she’s engaged, having a baby or got an amazing promotion at work. For a split second you’re sad; thinking of how badly you wanted one of these things, and for some reason, you think that because she got it, you won’t.
A supportive community
Since I’ve started my own business, I’ve noticed the fear creeping in more often than I’d like. Especially when I’m scrolling through Instagram and see all these amazing ladies showing up and confidently pitching their services (which are the same as what I offer). A couple of times I’ve thought ‘I shouldn’t follow them’, maybe I should just give up as I’ll never be as good.
Thankfully, I can spot these thought patterns and see them for what they are – fear, and something that I’m sure society has ingrained in us somewhere along the way.
I’ve been blown away by how supportive the social community can be. And the more I start liking and commenting on the so-called competition’s content, the better it feels.
It feels good to support another human being who’s showing up and trying to do their best. It feels good to support the industry in which we’re both trying to grow. And it feels good to look fear in the face and say – “nah, not listening!”
Community over competition is my new mantra as I scroll through Instagram, and it’s also going to be a big part of my business ethos moving forward.