Do NOT let negative opinions hold you back. Remember, those opinions usually arise from the insecurity lying within that person, that they are not as brilliant, talented, driven, (fill in the blank). Do not allow a moment of your time to consider their disdain or criticism. Instead, turn toward your destiny. Rise above. Fulfill the journey God has set for you! Your talents, brilliance, drive (fill in the blank) are just what this world needs!
I wrote the above on a FB status earlier this week after yet another peer slammed me directly to my sister via a phone call. She is a people pleaser. I am a Type A go getter. She is not a fan of my leadership. While she can’t deny I am able to lead well, she feels I need to spend more time helping my team achieve their goals WHILE blowing loads of rainbows and unicorns all around the room. Picture Bozo the Clown. Look, there is nothing wrong with accolades, and I serve them up well too, but the business of success on the road to the top takes grit and sometimes there is little room for rainbows and unicorns. I have been in similar circumstances more times than I can count. Every single time it amuses me how seemingly “over the top” female people pleasers have no trouble whatsoever putting the nail in the coffin of a strong woman. But, then….it also stings a little.
Why? Why do we do this to each other? Men don’t sit around analyzing each other’s behavior, what they are wearing, whether or not they got the latest promotion or deserved the latest promotion, if they are good enough dad’s, put on a few extra pounds, have their nails done, and they sure as heck don’t thwart each other for being strong in character and leadership. But woman? I can barely remember a time I wasn’t ridiculed. It’s part of where this blog began, elementary school. The irony is that back then I was tormented for being weak, ugly, wearing the wrong clothes, being too stupid, and having an insufficient residence. The crazy thing is I was TOO NICE to fight back. Ha! Talk about full circle! Now, I am tormented for being too strong/successful, too pretty/confident, wearing stylish clothing, being too smart, and having too nice of a home. And, when I have fought back, it only made it worse – the tormenting of course. It has always just validated that I am the B#*!^ they had presumed me to be.
We can’t win, at least I can’t! Just to be clear, in elementary school it was open bullying. In adulthood, it is groups of woman meeting for wine or huddling in a coffee clutch, and secretly ganging up on me about how awful my actions have been, like the time when I worked like a dog to become the top ten best agent in my county after having only lived there for 18 months. Do you know I actually had a veteran agent corner me in the copy room and tell me I had no right to do what I was doing? Say what? I have no right to work hard for my family? She nicely clarified the matter by telling me that I needed to earn that slot and that that should take years not months and who was I to think that I could replace those veterans that had worked for decades to attain said position. Wow! Where’s a mic when you need it!? I was floored. But, then again, I was only 28, a mere adolescent of adulthood. I had no idea at the time that my drive would be a constant threat to many, and that even though my heart is full of nothing but love for people, the strength I carry would isolate me, even without saying a word. Oftentimes, it was my mere actions. I guess this is why they say it’s lonely at the top!
But again, why? Has it always been this way? I thought we fought for woman’s rights so woman could have a voice. Now we have a voice and we use it to slay one another. And it is not just about my story. I have friends polar opposite of me with similar experiences and we all live with the sadness of wanting to be who we are without fear of ridicule that shames us into believing that who we are is somehow amiss. How did we convince ourselves that pitting against one another would work in our favor? In reality, it works in the favor of those who have always tried to hold us down. Now, instead of them doing the work to accomplish this goal, we are taking care of that matter ourselves! Instead of us locking arms and celebrating our differences and strengths, we shun each other out of jealousy and fear that our strengths may not be as admired as much as those around us.
Rejoice in your success!!!! Rejoice in your peers success! It’s OK to admit you admire your female counterpart. That doesn’t distinguish your flame! In fact, it makes it burn brighter. It’s your gift to lift others. We all need each others’ strengths. Where I am weak you are strong. Where I focus on training the mind, you can nurture the heart! Where you can combine any given event with your stunning beauty and energized personality, making it the night to remember, I can arrange the process of rolling out the party seamlessly from the theme to the time of arrival for all caterers. Don’t you see? Together we are better! Together we rise up farther than we can alone! Together we become a force of positive change for ourselves and the world! Together we create beauty as far as the eye can see. A sisterhood of strong woman empowering each other to be the best version of ourselves.
Ladies, we don’t need more insult. We have plenty of it staring us in the face daily from magazine covers to cat fights on glorified TV shows. We need more honor and grace toward ourselves and one another. Let’s embrace and respect the differences and feed each others souls as a means to creating truly legendary change in this world!!
My deepest respect to all of you fighting the fight to be who you were truly meant to be,