OPEN UP #1: On Women Competing and Comparing

The transition of today feels like the perfect time to get started on the Open Up Series, which I recently shared I needed help creating. Man. Did you girls help me! Clearly, this series, where we have open conversation on topics that are too “taboo” to talk about, is totally needed.

You girls sent in a TON of requests. Before we get started, I wanted to write a short personal note to catch you up, since I’ve been gone for the last week n’ a half.

Personal note:

Wow, girls. First of all, thank you so much for all of the love on my most recent blog post, When Life Hits You Hard. My family and I felt showered with love. Thank you for taking the time to comment, send an email, or share the post. 

I’ve been away from SLO for two weeks now in Ventura with my mom, and this past weekend I was in Ohio visiting my business partner and wonderful friend Simi with two of our friends, Jen & Ashten. 

We had a great trip. We ate wonderful food, walked around town, took a barre class, shopped in cute boutiques, put together baked potato bar and watched the Oscars (to only further proved that I am terrible knowing ANYTHING about celebrities), talked over coffee, and sometimes ice cream. 

Needless to say, it was a very filling girls weekend. Especially before the launch of our brand spankin’ new high end group program: Finally Free MASTERY. We’re so excited to start this program with you!

Make sure you check it out and join if you’ve been looking for a group program (don’t miss the BONUS: when you join today you’re automatically given free access to MASTERY every other year we run it – aka, a lifetime group program membership)!

Coming from a coach who has been coached herself, this is a crazy worthy investment and might be the only year we offer this lifetime bonus.

Open Up Series

Setting up the conversation:

Imagine this: we’re all friends, sitting around a big table at a coffee shop. We’re all different, and we’re compassionate toward one another, doing our best to make sense of each persons feelings and thoughts.

This blog post, is simply me, at the table, sharing my perspective. Keep in mind, there’s still an entire table of women with different perspectives, and none of them are wrong – we all have our own life experiences which create the lens we share through.

So, as you read this post, or any post through this series, know this: we are having a conversation. Nothing I share is the right way, or should be taken as advice. The purpose of this series is to create a space where we can all feel supported and have conversation about things that we often feel alone in.

It continually amazes me how often we women feel ALONE in our struggles. While I may not relate to every experience someone sends in, I’m confident that someone else out there will (this is where guest posts will come in!).

First Topic

Women and our competitive & comparative nature.

A reader wrote in an expressed that she has had a really hard time challenging herself to embrace other women and stop comparing herself and/or competing with them. She shared how she feels that a lot of us struggle with this, but don’t talk enough about it.

Women, how do we stop comparing ourselves to one another? How do we embrace each other, lift one another up, and stop competing? 

Isn’t it true? Don’t we all struggle with this?

Comparing our bodies with our best friends and the girl with the fashion blog. 

Competing with our colleagues/women in our field and trying to stay a step ahead of them.

Comparing our marriages. Our houses. Our fun. Our travel. Our photos. Our knowledge. 

Competing to be the best. The most popular. The most liked. The prettiest.  

For the most part, I find that we compete silently. I mean, it’s rare that I come across a woman who says: You’re doing well, but I’m doing better (or, I wish I was doing better).

Right? Not often.

Comparing on the other hand happens more openly: I felt like the fattest girl in class. 

You’re better than me. I can’t do it like you. 

From my perspective:

Comparing = putting ourselves down 

Competing = trying to feel better than 

My husband likes to joke that I go from 0-100. A friend’s husband tells her that they always get to the top of the mountain, she just takes a helicopter and he hikes. Another friend’s partner tells her to slow it down, while she tells him to speed it up, turtle. 

When we’re struggling with competing or comparing, we’re in the midst of this struggle: we’re going fast, 0-100, and we’re seeing in black and white. We’re not slowing down enough to embrace someone else while also loving ourselves.

It’s okay to embrace ourselves and someone else at the same time. There’s plenty of room.

So, what do we change?

I believe a big piece of the solution lies in the GREY area. For me, turning it up from 0 and down from 100 and meeting myself at a calm, steady, 50. For my friend, grabbing her hubby’s hand and getting up the mountain together. For my other friend, meeting her partner halfway.

GETTING TO NEUTRAL. CALM. STEADY. Stepping back, and looking at our lives from 1,000,000 miles away. Getting perspective. Distance. Realizing there is enough space for all of us.

I once took on a crazy challenge in a book, Soul Keeping, that changed my lens (and life) for good.

The challenge was this: Find yourself competing with someone else? Start praying that this person would have more success than you.

Dang. dang. dang. *hands shaking in the air, trying to fling this wisdom away.* Yuck! What?! Husbands reaction: Hell no! We’re supposed to be “team Paige!”

I mean, this challenge felt completely mind boggling. Counterintuitive. I want to be GOOD. Right? What will this mean for me? Will my business go down the drain? Will everyone think I suck? Will I lose credibility?

Well, I took the challenge anyway, because I felt convicted, and comparing wasn’t working for me.

I started praying for this person who’s also coach, that she would do EVEN BETTER than me. I started praying for her success, her clients, etc… That she would do well, get even bigger, and reach more women.

Here’s the truth: Praying this way, and even going as far as sending a card in the mail to say I am praying for your success and wishing you well gave me so much freedom.

Here’s what I learned: Wishing someone else all of the success in the world didn’t change my own success at all. And if it did, it only helped. It removed a stumbling block that was in my way. It set me free.

Reflect:

So, who are you comparing yourself to? Who are you competing with? How can you wish them well? Can you take the challenge of praying that they would do EVEN better than you? Because you’ll learn, the purpose of this is to turn that competitive fountain off. Nothing else changes (and if it does, it’s for the better, because you’re set free).

Your turn:

In the comments, I would so appreciate if you would each share a scenario in which you are currently, or have in the past, found yourself competing or comparing to another woman. Share how you will begin to wish the best for them. As I am vulnerable with you, I hope it gives you permission to be vulnerable with me and anyone else here reading.

Love, Paige
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