I recently watched the fascinating mini-series about the notorious rift between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Feud. What stayed with me more than anything was the feeling that these hugely talented women could have been friends… if it weren’t for the culture of Holywood ‘competition’. The Studios and the admiring public loved the idea that these two women were constantly at each other’s throats in a catfight that lasted for over 10 years!
It made me think about women in the business world, and whether this still happens today.
There’s a worrying trend for women in particular, to see other women as competition. They worry they’re vying for their clients, their position and even their share of the wealth in the world.
But just because someone is in a similar business to you, it doesn’t mean they’re competing with you. Just because someone is younger or older than you, it doesn’t mean they’re better suited to your job and when it comes to the wealth in the world – there really is enough to go around.
This mind-set around other women is actually highlighting your own flaws. The worries you have are there to highlight your own fears and insecurities. They show you what you need to be working on – and one of the first things you can do to overcome them, is to start lifting other women up, not holding them down.
So how can you start implementing that?
#1: Ask them what they need and how you can help them move forward
One of the simplest steps is to ask them how you can be of help to them. What do they need, in order to move forward? What skills, advice and expertise are they looking for? Do you have what they’re looking for of do you someone that does? Could you refer them to someone or initiate an introduction?
#2: Meet up with other business women regularly
This is where Athena networking events come into their own. They give you a perfect opportunity to regularly meet up with other business women and build on those relationships. Look to get together regularly, in order to share with each other your successes, your problems and ways you can help each other.
#3: Change your focus
One of the biggest reasons we worry about the ‘competition’ is we’re too focused on ourselves and our needs. This leads us to worry about the worst case scenarios we’ve created in our minds and the needs we have. Changing your focus to the other person enables you to get out of your own way and free your mind to think more creatively – which will help both them and you.
#4: Get out of the lack mind-set
When we’re focused on ourselves, we inevitably end up in a lack mentality. We worry there isn’t enough money, clients or need for our services and/or products – we’re convinced there isn’t enough to go around. This will just keep you stuck and you’ll end up creating the very thing you’re worrying about – lack. Why? Because you’ll come over as needy and desperate.
#5: Be charitable/giving
When you give freely you’re not only sharing your time, knowledge and experience etc., you’re also expanding on your gratitude AND illustrating that you have a mind-set of abundance. So give freely – share resources, give your expertise and make introductions and referrals etc.
Remember, when it comes to the decision to lift someone up or hold them down – it really says more about you, as opposed to the other person. It shines a light on your beliefs and values, as well as your thoughts around abundance and lack – so make sure you’re showing yourself in the bests possible light and look to always lift others up.
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