I find that as humans, we naturally gravitate towards the energies and personalities of those of whom we identify with the most–those of whom we see pieces of ourselves in.
Being a young woman in this modern world can be complicated. In the competitive job market or university culture, competition is inevitable. We’re taught from a young age to be better, faster, prettier, stronger, more talented, more skilled, more experienced… The list goes on! We’re always trying to one-up our peers, and I myself can admit to wanting to be just a little better than my fellow counterpart. For women, there is already an unerring amount of gender inequality present in all industries and workplaces.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled on an article on the “Shine Theory,” Ann Friedman’s theory and solution for helping stop female competition and explaining why having powerful women in your corner is important.
She explains how we’ve all been victim to having feelings of jealousy or resentment when faced with another woman’s success.
Let’s be honest: when we meet other women who seem happier, confident and more put together than we are, it becomes too easy for us to hate on them. But the real question is: Why do we waste so much valuable time and energy into putting each other down, instead of lifting each other up?
I’ve found that when you simply believe in your own “shine” (your talent, skill, beauty, thought, confidence, etc.), others will radiate towards you.
“Here’s my solution: When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.”
The world is already a messed up place and having a support system is incredibly invaluable. I’ve found that there can be so much to learn from other women–whether it’s career guidance, a new cooking recipe, how to file taxes or telling us we need to drop that guy who’s just making us feel bad about ourselves.
“I don’t shine if you don’t shine,” Friedman puts it simply. And when we women come together, magic can be made and the moves we make today can change our future.
Supporting and befriending other women who have made waves within the rock world with their incredible guitar playing and finger-style voicing (Nancy Wilson), shown little girls that you too can be in a band and write and play music (Meg & Dia), proved that not every woman in Hollywood is just a token trope but can be badass thinkers, philanthropists and director-women wanting to give voice and make change (Olivia Wilde), or even recognizing the strong, independent woman beside us who manages to be a wonderful mother, caretaker and mentor is powerful.
You ultimately become what you surround and absorb yourself with. So feed your mind well, support and encourage others to succeed, and you will too.
People are drawn to positivity. Embody it!
Happy International Women’s Day, my loves. ❤