There is one thing that I have learned to be absolutely critical to success. It’s not only helpful, it’s non-negotiable: Community.
Last week, I wrote this post on le Facebook:
woman doing her thing, does it make you
shrink, criticize or celebrate?
Too often, I used to find myself shrinking
(“I wish I were as ____ as her”) or criticizing
her (“Wow, she’s really full of herself.”).
We need to stop this robotic reaction
to our sisters’ shine.This way of relating to other women causes
us to feel disconnected and alone. Women
are creatures that thrive in community with
other women. It’s our soul food, setting us
up to have healthy relationships everywhere
in our lives, including with ourselves.
Can you see how deeply unhealthy it is?
Can you see that we are teaching our
daughters to do the same?
Our liberation starts with celebration.
Next time you see another woman radiating,
bask in her glow; let it remind you that
you are made of the same stuff and that
her glow is reflecting the glow inside you.
Don’t put her on a pedestal or knock her down
– appreciate her for the sister she is, and
for the courage it takes to shine.
Women everywhere got fairly excited and supportive of this message. We know it.
But what does relating to women have to do with being successful?
I hang with ambitious women. My clients are ambitious; my friends are ambitious; my colleagues are ambitious. We want to save the world and have great lives in the process. Oh, and we want it now.
What I’ve noticed, culturally, with ambitious and “successful” women is that we celebrate each other. When one wins, we all win.
When she rocks the stage, we’re inspired.
When she falls in love, we want the story.
When she has that “win”, we congratulate.
And when she struggles, our hearts hurt.
As a woman, you will only be (feel) as successful as you want other women to be.
When we shrink or criticize, the message is “Hey, you’re supposed to stay small with me.”
As I learned to celebrate more and more, I became more successful and happy, the women around me became more successful and happy, and I felt like I “belonged” with women who were putting their voices out into the world, too.
The only way we’ll make a difference is by stepping up and speaking up. A woman who’s courageous enough to do that is worth celebrating.
1. Celebrate a sister today.
Find a woman who’s doing something brilliant and bold in the world, and thank her. Tell her what it means to you.
2. Celebrate yourself today.
There are ways that you have probably been too harsh with yourself, whether it’s criticizing your thighs or assuming
you “should be farther along”. Stop. Women shine when we’re celebrated, and that means you too. Acknowledge something you appreciate about you.
3. Apologize where you’ve criticized.
Find a woman who you’ve criticized and apologize. Let her know where it was really coming from inside of you, and honor her for being courageous enough to speak up and make a difference in the world. Make it right.
4. Hang with women who are going for it.
When my last relationship was suffering, I spent more time with people who were in happy relationships. When my business was way more work than reward, I spent more time with people who had great businesses and lifestyles. It worked! Who do you need to hang with more?
5. Do these things now.
Don’t wait to celebrate.