Each day you have a choice: support, silence or compete with other females.
You can look at the pie and think that if someone gets a bigger piece of it, it is less for you. Or you can look at the pie and see that there is enough for everyone. I choose the latter!
We live in an era of #MeToo, but in reality 44% of a woman’s personal friends and social networks cut her down. Women are still being pitted against one another: resulting in jealous and competitive actions towards each other, instead of supportive.
I openly admit that I tend to lean on self-reliance. In the past these types of situations made me feel like something was wrong with me. I felt shame and weakness. In recent years, I’ve found the confidence to address issues head on and to ask for help. Investing in myself has led me to an objective view of these situations instead of a personal view.
“If it’s not happening at work, it’s happening at home or with friends. Sadly, it is a silent epidemic and we do not address what is happening until we are at a breaking point,” says Dr. Rumeet Billan, a leadership expert and one of the foremost researchers into “Tallest Poppy Syndrome.”
There seems to be an almost disturbing need for the “appearance of perfection” amongst our generation of women and girls. Are we afraid of being perceived as weak or imperfect, or do we struggle to reach out?
Rumeet continues, “There are so many anecdotes of women being cut down by others, and the data shows that there is an impact on their self-confidence and their productivity. We bring these experiences to work with us, and we need to take the time to recover.”
The Tallest Poppy survey reveals that 70% of Canadian women have been privy to jealousy, sexism, gender stereotypes, bullying and manipulation at some point in their career and personal life.
It is 2019! We should be able to look to peers for a safe place to share, find guidance, or to ask for help when we’re ready. Sadly, only 1 in 10 women will stand up and say something when they know another woman is being treated in an appropriate manner. Why is that? Why do we stay silent?
“It starts with self, and our own day-to-day actions,” says Rumeet. “Someone’s negative actions towards you are a reflection of themselves, and they need to look inside and address these issues (prejudice, insecurity, racism …), or whatever they may be. If you see someone being bullied or treated inappropriately, say something!”
It is clear that no one deserves to be subjected to these behaviors and it needs to stop. Here are some of the ways I have incorporated #GIRLPOWER into my daily life and I hope you will too:
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES. Share! It’s cathartic. It’s how we learn about ourselves. You are most likely not the only woman to be going through what you’re experiencing. So be brave, share your experience, and be the person you wish you would’ve had supporting you.
TELL HER! If you see a woman looking beautiful one day, tell her! Every. Single. Time. It may seem trivial, but no one is immune to the power of flattery. One compliment can change someone’s entire day.
CELEBRATE THEM. If a friend or acquaintance has pulled off something that you know was a challenge, celebrate them! Inhale other’s accomplishments as inspiration for yourself, instead of as a means for self judgment.
ASK FOR HELP. We’re losing our sense of community in this digital world full of followers and likes. Invest in your tribe and be open to new tribes. As life happens, it is inevitable that you will need help. Be brave enough to ask.
What do you choose?