Female competitiveness is an affliction affecting almost every woman in our society and, sadly, is beginning to show itself in younger and younger girls. Female competitiveness is occurring anytime you open a magazine, or watch a tv show, and think that you are inadequate because you don’t look like the models and actresses, or you beat yourself up because you haven’t achieved the same success as a friend, or coworker. Women are conditioned to believe that if one woman possesses a certain commodity then she is a threat, and thereby a sworn enemy. The scarcity mindset that we have bought into tells us that there are not enough resources for all women to be able to have success and gain accomplishments; that for one woman to “win” another must “lose.” The impact of this mindset has devastating implications on the self-esteem of many women, influencing both how they treat themselves and how they treat others. The constant comparison of what others have, and thereby what you don’t have, can leave you feeling resentful, alone, and angry. It’s easy to lose sight of your own success and happiness when you have defined your worth by the success, accomplishments, and perceived happiness of others. In actuality we have no control over another person’s accomplishments, so we need to stop defining ourselves by competing with them.
By constantly comparing yourself to others you waste a tremendous amount of energy and separate yourself from others, which can leave you alone and deeply unhappy, as you may be isolating yourself from the love and support of the women in your life. It is also hard to imagine that you would be able to receive and take in success and positivity when you are preoccupied with negative thoughts and destructive behaviors, either towards yourself or someone else. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are closely connected and often times if we can change one the others might follow suit. How might your life be different if your thoughts were filled with compassion and self-love rather than preoccupation with comparing yourself to someone else? Imagine if you were able to view the world as abundant, with ample opportunity for everyone to achieve their dreams and receive love. Shortly before returning to work after the birth of my son, I received a very powerful message from a girlfriend who was also a new mother returning to work. I was expressing my concern about leaving Oliver with someone else and she reminded me that the more opportunity and exposure he has to others loving him and the various types of love, the more able he will be to take in love and to love in return. The same is true for all of us. If we can recognize our own value and self-worth, learning to love ourselves, and take in the love of others, women no longer need to be a source of conflict but a valuable resource of support, encouragement, and love.