Why Successful Women Don't Compete With Their Friends
I have come a long way in my growth as a friend and sister. I can honestly say that I truly enjoy all the women I have in my life and the organic growth of many of my friendships. I have always been surrounded by women. I am one of three girls, I am in a sorority and I happen to manage a workplace where the staff is 95% female. But being surrounded by women wasn’t always easy for me. As a child it was instilled in me that I had to crush the competition, and I was constantly compared to other girls. It was mentally destructive, to always place my value on another girl’s worth. I cringe sometimes thinking of all the hurt I caused to the women in my life. I was overly competitive, verbally abusive and a down right mean girl. It is humbling to look back at my journey and see how far God has brought me. I want to examine why women compete with one another, and share a few ideas on how we can break this problematic cycle.
We believe the lie that there is not enough. It is either we are not enough, or the world around us is not enough and can not accommodate our hopes, dreams and desires. This mentality is so perverse, especially when it comes to how we view our relationships with the women in our lives. We think there are not enough good men, so we become envious of a sister who finds a good one. We believe there is only room for a few female leaders in our field, so we compete and become envious of the few that have risen to the top. We see moms who are fit and secretly resent them because we believe it is not attainable for ourselves.
Stop believing those lies! The mentality of scarcity manifests the reality of scarcity. That for which we think we become. There are no rules that say there are only a few good men or there can only be a few female leaders. The reality is that we have the ability to attract and attain whatever dream we have for our lives. The only scarcity that exists is the scarcity in which we believe. God has already made room for your dream to exist in the universe when he placed the dream within you.
You are magic, own your lane!
A few days ago I was driving down one of those highways flanked by retail stores. I had to make a right turn in the slow lane to get to my destination. My fuel tank was on E and I was on the hunt for a gas station. I was frustrated with the cars in front of me, so I pulled into the left lane to pass and keep up with the faster cars. About a minute later I see a gas station… all the way to the right! I am stuck in the fast lane, however, and can’t pull over.
God ministered to me in that moment. I was so busy in the fast lane trying to go faster (and fill up on my terms) while keeping up with the fast cars, that I missed my destination. That is often the case when we compete with our girlfriends. We become hellbent on too quickly having our lives all figured out. We want the right spouse to hurry up and get here, the right career and the right body to happen over night. We get in the left lane and rush to keep up with our friends, missing out on what we need and what we desire: a destination that would have come much sooner and with a lot less effort had we just owned our lane.
In order to learn how to own your lane, you must recognize the significance of your position. I had to realize that my journey was just that— my own. My experiences, my waiting, my talents and my trials all were uniquely preparing me for the destination for which God intended. Thus, it is pointless to hitch a ride and compare your life with someone not even en route to your destination.
It is of the utmost importance that we understand the position that we are giving up by getting out of our lane. We are magic! God has created us to do wondrous works on this planet, that we often do not understand. We so easily give up our post for a lie, believing that living someone else’s life will make us happier. Don’t sell yourself short! Own your lane and tap into the greatness God has placed in you.
Projecting our deepest fears
Have you ever been near a wounded animal? It covers the area that is vulnerable and scowls when anyone gets near, for fear of being hurt again. Well, humans are no different. We protect our deepest wounds, and project our fears onto those who try to get close. Maybe a girlfriend has stabbed you in the back, maybe the popular girl made you feel rejected or your best friend used you to get close to a guy and then blew you off when she got what she wanted. Whatever the case may be, we all have old wounds in our heart; when left untreated however, those wounds will turn into new wounds with current friends.
We have all been around the girlfriend we couldn’t trust. The one who never gives a compliment and is always quick to point out our shortcomings. We all know the friend who gets silent when you start talking about your dreams. Through her wounds she has cultivated an atmosphere of mistrust in her friendships. The lack of healing has created the projection of fear in all the friendships she so desperately needs.
We are much stronger together
One of the most destructive things about competing with our girlfriends is that we never truly find the peace and solace we are looking for in friendships we so desperately desire. We are so focused on scarcity, envy and being critical of our sisters’ shortcomings, we miss the beauty of teaming up with a partner to endure life’s trials and celebrating life’s achievements.
We can be the deepest sources of strength, healing and encouragement for our sisters if we work through and let go of these mindsets that prevent us from loving one another. The first step to healing is recognizing our pain.
To assist you along the way I have created a great journaling exercise to help you trust your girlfriends and build better relationships with the women in your life. Click here to download. Also leave your comment below; have you successfully navigated feminine competition in your life? Has your heart changed toward your girlfriends? Drop me a line!