Last week I wrote a post entitled : ” The lies we believe as women.” I redrafted that post about a million times, as it started off as a “mini post”, then turned into a novel, then went back to simple quick easy read. But in true Cass style, I need to : elaborate more, confront, and discuss each “lie” that we believe to be true – until that lie dies, and together we move forward as empowered confident women. Hence, the series: “Killing the lie” will feature every Monday – as our #mondaymotivation YAY!
I am very excited to start the series off with a very touchy topic: “Other women are my competition” . I really believe that this is sensitive topic for some women to be open to hearing, as competition and comparing ourselves with others is a very real struggle for the majority of women out there! We (LJF community) are not here to: judge, point fingers, and start any online wars! We want to however, enlighten, encourage, and empower you to feel loved, secure and confident in who you are. That means bringing up uncomfortable things like said topic, and face it head on together, so that we can grow as a community of women who shine a light of love on one another.
LOST IDENTITY LEADS TO LIES & INSECURITIES
I remember from an early age, as a little girl feeling insecure around other girls. Especially, around girls who were confident, who were the leaders, and somehow always got: the attention, the awards, the lead parts in musicals, from getting an A plus on every test and project, through to being asked out on dates left-right-and centre. Then there was me: shy, awkward, yet very bubbly, imaginative, not very sportsy, clumbsy, distracted (always) hyper & crazy, and a little socialite… I always felt out of place, like I never really fitted a particular mold. And because I never understood who I was and what my purpose was growing up – I always saw myself as inferior, not special, which in turn made me feel insecure most of the time.
As I grew up I would look up to other women, and almost idolize them from the way they dressed, through to how they oozed with confidence so naturally, that I started comparing myself to them, and I always felt like I was coming in last. Then when I studied performing arts full time, it was the norm to go for castings and auditions, where time and time again you were either acknowledged or rejected by what you looked like (so much fun – said no one ever!). I would then look at the girls who did make lead parts, or “got the job”, and try to see how I could do what they did, and somehow make it work for me (Anyone else ever tried to copy someone else’s success strategy?) But that never really worked out either, it never does! WHY? Because we cannot mimic, and imitate somebody else’s life and lifestyle – when we’re called to live and lead ours.
COMPARISON & COMPETITION DISTRACTS & DIVIDES
I believe that sneaky lies creep in to torment us, and divide us as women. As women we are quick to talk about women’s rights, and what we deserve as women, but we are slow to talk about women standing united together supporting, believing, and cheering one another on. Why is it so difficult for us to truly, and sincerely mean well for another woman out there? When we see another lady succeed – we want to first examine it, see if it was well deserved, or maybe even question if they do deserve any success at all.We are quick to look for faults in others, when we should be quick to encourage and cheer others on.
“Her Success is not proof that you’re losing. Her success is just proof that its possible.”
I have been on the side of having other girls see me as some sort of threat and competition, due to their own insecurities. It was hard for me, as I am quite soft and sensitive towards other peoples words and actions. So being ignored deliberately for no reason, or being spoken down to, or being talked about behind my back – was so soul destroying you have NO IDEA!
BUT, thank goodness that I did not let any bitterness, or hurt consume my heart! Thank goodness that in those times of disappointment, and feeling betrayed by my fellow female tribe – God would show me kindness, grace and absolute love towards me and towards other women. He would remind me in those times where I would doubt myself due to other peoples mistreatment that I was called to: be unique, to be me and to celebrate it, and not cower and hide parts of myself due to other peoples insecurities or opinions.
It actually motivated me to show more; love, kindness, grace, and to encourage other women that felt insecure. Because feeling insecure in ones character is not fun (been there,done that!) , as it means you look down on yourself constantly, therefore, you don’t acknowledge or embrace your unique self, and see greatness in who you are and in who you have been called to be.
CHOOSE COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION
In order to “change the game”, we need to change “how we play it.” I do not believe for one second that it is Gods plan for women to treat one another poorly, or to have us feeling isolated and alien from one another. There is strength in community, lets be aware and intentional of nurturing sisterhood and community with one another <3
- As women we need to be intentional about growing an empowered community of women, who are in essence our sisters. Therefore, choose to encourage and empower one another – until it becomes our norm.
- We need to remember that every lady, including ourselves is unique, special, talented and gifted differently – and that should be celebrated.
- We need to remember that my fellow sisters success, does not mean that I am less or that I am failure. Our success looks different to the next, and it comes when it needs to.
- As women we need to show more: kindness, acceptance, love, grace, forgiveness.
- As women we need to stop: comparing, gossiping, ignoring others, acting passive aggressively towards one other.
- As women we need to cheer one another on knowing that our race (our journey) looks different to the next.
- As women we need to remember that there is no competition – there is no secret prize or medal waiting around.
- Just enjoy the journey (your journey) and cheer your fellow sisters on.
If you feel like you struggle in this area (like most of us do), where you are constantly doubting or comparing yourself to somebody else – may I encourage you to go on a “soulful journey”, where you press pause for a moment to remember who you are, and what your calling is. Acknowledge and embrace all of your flaws, strengths, talents and passion, and rediscover your purpose and identity. Then lastly, celebrate and own who you are, and share it with others – because who you are is a gift! When we realize that who we are is a unique and special gift to the world, we will stop seeing other women as a threat, and we will see her as a fellow ally.
Pictures sourced via Pinterest (will update as soon as I can source original content producers)