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How to handle competition and envy in female friendships

Confidence, Friendships

In the last few weeks, a friend of mine has completely shifted the way I think about the

subtle jealousy and competition that lurks around in the background of many female friendships.

My mate Em is a facilitator who runs her own mindfulness business as I do, yet for the last few years, she’s raved to people about me and my mindfulness programs, and given me so much helpful advice and support along the way.

Recently Em recommended me to the legends at A-Space, a thriving meditation & mindfulness studio in Melbourne which opened up the incredible opportunity for me to facilitate workshops for the Lululemon head offices in Australia.

Another legendary friend, Liv, also an incredible mindfulness facilitator, has also set up meetings that have led me to become a mindfulness facilitator with Smiling Mind, running corporate workshops and educational workshops at schools around Australia AND encouraged me to become a mindfulness tutor at Monash University for medical students at the end of last year.

All of these incredible opportunities that I’ve received over the last couple of years have been down to the support and encouragement of these two brilliant women,

as well as the support of many other other incredible women (and men!) in my life.

I have been blown away by Em and Liv’s generosity of spirit and encouragement –

instead of holding their cards to their chest and trying to compete with me, they’ve empowered me at every turn, and even just writing about it brings tears to my eyes.

As females, we very quickly become used to being in competition with other females. For my whole life I’ve tried to hide and downplay my successes to females

for fear that they’ll judge me or do that fake “Ohhhh that’s so great, I’m so HAPPY for you” when you can tell they’re barely disguising their envy.

Many times I’ve done the same – congratulated women on their successes while somehow feeling inside me that their success makes me a failure, or that they’ve taken an opportunity that I now won’t be able to have – and I’ve felt sick (and also angry at myself for not being happier for my friend).

In this day and age, more than ever,

I feel like we’re coming out of all the patriarchal bullshit that pit us against other women in a bid to prove ourselves worthy,

and instead we’re working to empower and uplift each other, rather and standing on each other to try to get to the top.

As a woman I’ve always felt that I have to work extra hard to get to the top and prove myself because I’m not a man,

and that has sometimes meant competing with other women to try to get there.

I don’t know where this notion came from that there can only be one winner in life, and that it’s a competition, rather than a mission to all rise while uplifting other women with us.

But it’s friends like Em and Liv, and in fact all the friends I now hold dear in my life, that are showing me that I can trust other females to truly want the best for each other and to empower rather than resent.

Jealousy and resentment will keep us all down together.

Bigging up our fellow women will lift us all together.

I know which feelings I prefer.

But I also know that jealousy and resentment happens without our desire for it to be there – and I honestly believe that

the only way out of feeling envy and resentment towards’ others’ success is to learn not to take the opinions of our mind so seriously.

Because if the mind is always telling us we’re not enough – we’ll feel like we need to find ways to feel superior to others to prove to ourselves that we are – and that’s a never ending downward spiral.

When we learn to tame our minds and be less judgemental of ourselves, we naturally start to become less judgemental, less jealous and less resentful of others.

And instead we all high five and help each other stay on track… on our way to the moon.

Pst — for more tips to help your mind calm the fuck down so you don't jitter through your day like an anxious hampster, download the free g-book here: How to Stop a Bad Day in its Tracks  It’s free, and brill.

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