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I was listening to a podcast the other day while I was working out that was talking about Maria Shriver's Women's Conference, and the idea of women supporting each other. Basically they were talking about how lots of times when there is a women's conference or something of the like, the speakers and concepts presented are about women's issues around the world - sexual slavery, gender inequalities, etc. However, even though in the United States and most Western countries those things are not everyday issues, we still have "women's issues" that we need to address - and part of those issues is the practice of constantly bringing each other down.
I was talking to my father one day about the differences between men and women. He said that if you put a group of men in the same room, they will basically establish a hierarchy chain, and there will be an alpha male down to the non-alpha males. They have some more dominant males, and some less dominant ones, and don't normally question it or challenge the differences. Instead of jealousy, backstabbing, etc, they cheer each other on (for the most part) or at least recognize that some men are better at things than they are, or have better jobs, or whatever, and they move on.
Women on the other hand tend to be more jealous, and more threatened (or whatever you want to call it) by other women. Instead of being happy for a woman that has a better job or is more athletic or whatever, they tend to try and bring that person down. The biggest problem that I see with this is that by bringing each other down, we are bringing ourselves down too. Often times, the qualities that we are insulting or criticizing in others is the very ones that we are jealous of or want for ourselves. However, by constantly comparing ourselves to those around us, who may or may not have had completely different life circumstances that got them to where they are (good or bad), we disempower ourselves to be the best YOU you can be, and bring down everyone around you when you project your insecurities onto others.
My goal this week is to do my best to stop comparing myself to those around me. Maybe I won't ever be better than everyone else around me in every single facet of my life (how would that even be possible?) but you can rest assured that there isn't one person who is the best at everything anywhere. I know that I have positive characteristics, just like each individual in the world, and the most successful, happy, and fun to be around people are the ones that highlight (not verbally...that is obnoxious) their good qualities, and cut themselves some slack with their less good qualities. Everyone has drawbacks - that is what makes us human, but to accept yourself for what you are, and try to be the best you that you can possibly be, that is where you are really going to shine and have that sparkle in you that people adore. Coming to terms with your imperfections may be a life long journey, but it is never to early (or late) to start on that journey, and work toward a happier, emotionally healthier you.