At my Real Women: Bold Leadership breakfast event on Friday a courageous and inspiring woman shared how, in the past, she'd judged other women who had confidently put themselves forward for opportunities, knowing she could've done just as well. It was a vulnerable and powerful share that rippled across the room as women related, knowing they'd silently done the same.
We've all done it, judged another for succeeding, compared ourselves to them, even put them down with our harsh comments, triggered by jealousy.
I've been jealous of other women before. Quietly screwed up my nose at their success thinking I deserve it just as much as them, said under my breath "I could do that", and wished I was in their place being awarded or celebrated.
It can be uncomfortable to see these things in ourselves, and many women's empowerment groups diminish these kind of feelings, implying we are less of a woman if we feel them. But everyone feels them, whether we admit it or not, and being brave enough to own our whole story, the bits we love and the bits we feel embarrassed by or ashamed of, allows us to deepen our self-acceptance and inner confidence. The foundational qualities that enable us to expand our ability to connect, build trust and influence.
When we aren't willing to own our whole selves, we waste energy chasing pretense and perfectionism while self-trust and true self-respect remains elusive.
The pang of jealousy still hits me once in a while. The difference now is that when it comes I know it's a reflection of my own lack of self-responsibility in that moment.
And by responsibility I mean doing the work to...
- be clear about and stay focused on my own vision
- love and accept myself for all that I am and all that I'm not
- express myself creatively and powerfully
- live by my inner guidance rather than seek affirmation from others
- take chances, speak my truth and be willing to try and fail.
When I consistently invest in myself, I soar and I have much to give. When I'm caught up in getting things right, meeting expectations and being enough, I doubt myself, play small, get distracted and try to survive from an empty cup.
Who we are is creators, but we've lost touch with the power we have to create, living more from our heads than we do our hearts.
When we live from our hearts we have no interest in comparing ourselves to what anyone else is doing or what we think we should be doing. We let go our expectations and judgments of ourselves and others, and get on with creating in a way that inspires us from the inside out. It requires a conscious daily practice.
For me, being a creator is about being Bold. Bold enough to...
- go first instead of waiting for someone else to make a path
- trust ourselves and listen to the voice within our souls rather than the noise in our heads
- consistently strip back the inauthentic layers of criticism and find gratitude and appreciation for ourselves and others
- take 100% responsibility for our state of being and align our thoughts to our inspired futures.
Being Bold is fueled by gratitude and appreciation, not determination and force. It's about surrendering to our hearts and being brave enough to lead and influence from love, connection and trust rather than trying to manipulate from authority.
It requires courage and being real with ourselves and others - 'on the field getting our arses kicked' as Brene Brown would say.
If we've been living in survival for a while, and we're in that state most of our day, then we may not feel deep gratitude or appreciation easily, but with practice and time, the heart will bloom back into it's natural state.
From this innate state of clarity and abundance, we have no desire to look sideways at what anyone else is doing, except to encourage, uplift and contribute. X