We have all heard the saying “When life gives you lemons - make lemonade!” right? To me, the simple point is to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. What they don’t tell you is that often times it's not life that throws the lemons, it's the people closest to you - those in your inner circle.
Since I began blogging, it's been such an eye opening experience for me. As my blog gained a little success, I realized my days in high school dealing with girls who behaved like bullies who were catty, insensitive, and envious haven't really gone away. It amazes me the number of women who claimed to be "friends" were the biggest offenders of lemon tossing. Perhaps they never developed other social tools beyond their high school days. Or perhaps, because their envy is indicative of the way they feel about themselves... I'd like to think it's more of a knee-jerk reaction based on societal norms these days.
In a world where news headlines are dominated by a negative narrative, now more than ever, it is imperative we as a human race work together to build each other up. Together, we can all succeed.
Lately, I seem to notice more of a common theme in conversations amongst women, and no, I'm not talking about the #metoo movement, although I support this movement wholeheartedly. The exchanges I myself have been coming across are more often about women disparaging other women and going out of their way to target another woman’s success.
Social media has inadvertently given strength to many by allowing people to hide behind a screen and covertly put others down. Instead of supporting one another, women are spreading rumors, blocking, unfriending, and unfollowing one another hoping to "hurt" the one(s) they feel wronged by. Tell me, what has that accomplished? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I take that back - all it accomplishes is making the blocking and unfriending perpetrator look desperate, weak, jealous, and cowardly.
The comedic part of this type of behavior and what may not be realized is those who breathlessly watch "seemingly protected" behind their screens, are easily identified every time they look at a Facebook or blog post, tune into an Instagram story or tweet, looking for evidence/opportunity to disparage.
Ladies, what the heck are we doing?! As women, we already face so many obstacles in life. We have to work twice as hard as our male counterparts to earn half the recognition and respect. We can have more education and experience, yet we earn far less than our male colleagues in the same positions.
Even though we face so many obstacles, I wouldn’t trade my female card in for anything - I mean, being a woman means each and every one of us has the ability to be #badass. The human race can not continue without us. We are capable of juggling a million things at once, we support and raise our families, run our households, have successful careers, make ground breaking changes and the person everyone comes to when they need a solution. Why? Because we are women - we have no limits to what we can achieve.
That is why this practice of women bringing other women down is so upsetting and disheartening to me. When I hear a woman talking poorly about another woman, I'm always so perplexed by it - shouldn’t we be using this opportunity to promote and build each other up? If you have the opportunity to help a woman build her business or further her career, wouldn’t you take it? Unfortunately, all too often the answer is no.
We know bullying is a problem for those who are younger and in school. What we rarely talk about is how it continues into our adulthood and how as women, we are the prime culprits in doing it to one another. We teach our younger generations that it is wrong, that it should not be done. I'm sure at some point your parent, teacher or someone told you “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”. Such simple advice, but one that is often overlooked. If you aren't taking every opportunity to build up, empower and talk positively about your fellow woman, then you may wish to exercise the opportunity to just not say anything at all.
Ladies, let’s all agree to put the lemons down, embrace one another, work together and change the world. We don't have to love each other or be best friends, but let's commit to ourselves and the future to stand and support one another.
Together, not only is our potential limitless, but also that of humanity.
I was excited to share this post from Neda, who is the gorgeous author and creative behind the blog, Life with Mama K. I wish that I could say that I remember how we sparked our little online friendship, but honestly she feels like she has always been there.
We met in a group of other female entrepreneurs and immediately hit it off. We've shared blogs on each other's websites, supported one another's ventures and causes, vented to each other...just like any other girlfriends would do. I think she is such an amazing business woman and mother. I admire how she seemingly balances it all.
I once worked with a staff that was probably 98% women, and honestly it was very rare to find solid genuine support from other women who legitimately wanted to see you succeed. I will never understand that. Ever.
I once had a manager who told me, "You should always be prepping someone else for your job." Wait what? Well trust me, that was not the overall mindset of most managers...but you want to know why? Because they were insecure of themselves. They knew in their hearts they may be where they are now...but that most likely they would never advance any further. If someone else knew how to do their job, and do it better, well...what would happen to them?
On the other hand, this abovementioned manager KNEW she would one day be doing something bigger and better. She wasn't afraid to share her knowledge with others and support her fellow females. Just like no one goes broke from helping and giving to others, you can still advance and be successful by sharing your knowledge and supporting your fellow Boss Babe!
Neda, despite her huge social media following and unbelievable influencing power, will always help her fellow girl boss! She is the epitome of community over competition.
Next time a co-worker, friend, fellow business owner or blogger, or whatever your situation looks like comes to you for support or maybe needs support, encouragement, or deserves a giant round of applause, then give it! Trust me...if won't affect your spotlight.