Her Success Is Not My Failure
I love that we are empowering our young girls and teaching them to be strong, brave, and confident. It’s so very heartening to think that my mother and her league of feminist friends fought a good fight and paved the way for a whole new generation of women, myself included, to be and do whatever we set our minds to. Gone are the days when our role as females involved being “seen and not heard” and the right to vote was not ours.
We have a voice and it is an incredibly powerful one when unified. You just have to look at recent events like the Women’s March, which became a global protest that collectively drew 4.6 million people worldwide to see that women’s rights are upheld and supported by a vast and varied global community of woke individuals.
We still have a ways to go and issues like workplace discrimination and pay inequality are still very real problems.
Here’s the thing though, women have spent so long fighting for workplace gender equality and to be treated the same as our male counterparts that we’ve lost sight of something important. How we value and see ourselves and other women.
Trying to meet our self imposed high expectations to do and be everything that we think everyone around us needs from us, like some sort of superwoman, has created this unhealthy amount of pressure we put on ourselves and the women around us.
As a result we have subconsciously developed this habit of judging and comparing ourselves to one another. We as women are already our own harshest critics but nowadays we’re dealing with the added pressures that come with the digital age we live in. We are able to access information at the click of a button and are exposed to mass media marketing that only perpetuates the already warped perception that as women we must look, feel, and act a certain way in order to be happy, successful and feel accepted.
Social media is this amazing tool that can be used to network and connect with others and the world around us but it can also negatively impact our daily lives in ways that we may not even be aware of.
It is so easy to forget that on social media we only see what others want us to see which is often referred to as a “highlights reel” only sharing photos and videos of the good bits and skipping over all the parts we don’t want others to see. I am guilty of doing this and have to constantly remind myself that in order for me to continue to connect with others via social media in a meaningful way I have to maintain a balance between the “highlights reel” and my everyday life stuff. For example I recently posted a picture of myself in a flowing red dress swinging over a lush tropical Balinese jungle, – yes this really happened and it was definitely a moment of bliss where I was living my so called “best life” but this isn’t what my life looks like all the time! So to counterbalance my flashback post I did a series of IG stories a few days after moving my life (in several suitcases) back to Japan. This was an unexpected move that all happened very last minute. Quite literally as we were flying back from our holiday in Bali together Adam got the call saying he got a new rugby contract to play in Japan and he had 5 days to get organised and move.
So naturally I helped him get organised and on a plane as I stayed behind sorting out all the admin before joining him. I hadn’t washed my hair in over a week and a half, had no makeup on, and I was sitting on a beanbag on the floor because we had no furniture in our new teeny tiny Tokyo apartment. This is my reality, and in between the shiny glossy travel adventures the packing, moving, unpacking and finding my feet in new places has been a huge part of my life. Whilst Adam jumps straight into working with a new rugby team and having an entire team of new mates I am left to organise our apartment and navigate our home life which can be a pretty isolating experience when you’re in a new country or city where you don’t know anyone.
It’s in these moments that I find myself most vulnerable to falling into this pattern of scrolling through my instagram feed and looking at pictures of other women looking gorgeous, eating somewhere fabulous, at an amazing party or just having a great time with their girlfriends – this is when I’d compare myself to others and base my sense of self worth off of the notion that these women are happier, prettier, more successful and fulfilled than me. The whole “grass is greener” scenario is such an easy trap to fall into if you allow yourself to entertain the negative thoughts that can be so self destructive. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others and that can be perfectly ok to a certain extent but now more than ever we live in an incredibly connected society and that can be a love/hate situation. Thanks to social media we can over indulge our voyeuristic tendencies in ways that our parents generation never could and subsequently it’s much easier to see how others are supposedly living. Instead of focusing on our own success and what we have it’s now so easier to be distracted by what other people are doing and comparing what we have or don’t have to those around us.
Allowing myself to fall into a negative mindset like this completely robs me and prevents me from being present in my own life and being able to focus on all the good things that I create and surround myself with. When I catch myself comparing my life to someone else’s and allowing myself to feel inadequate, it’s a choice. As women we are faced with so many choices on the daily and there are already enough factors working against us that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to fall into the destructive habit of self comparison. I recently did an overhaul of my social media accounts where I made a conscious decision to spring clean my follow backs and unfollowed a bunch of accounts. I decided that if they didn’t meet the following criteria I shouldn’t follow them. So here is what I asked myself:
Does this account/person make me feel…..
Good about myself
If the answer was no I unfollowed. By doing this it allowed me to take some ownership over my negative thoughts and feelings and my constant struggle with comparing myself to other women that perpetuated unhealthy feelings of jealousy, inadequacy and straight up ugly self destructive behaviour. I can’t control everything I see and hear in the media but I can control what I personally choose to expose myself to in terms of who I follow and interact with via social media. My mindset completely shifted as a result and instead of entertaining negative thoughts of self loathing I look forward to seeing what other women I follow on social media are up to. My timeline is full of posts from strong women who make me laugh, cry, feel inspired, and motivate me to lead a healthier more fulfilled life of my own. I feel good about this. Instead of seeing their successes as my failures I celebrate these women, and feel proud that there are so many females absolutely dominating as social influencers. These are the women who are trailblazers, choosing to use their voice and platforms to help empower and inspire other women. They say that you are the company you keep and I like to think this also applies to the company you keep on social media too. So choose wisely and make a conscious effort to only follow other accounts and women who project positivity and good vibes. I love following my social media tribe of fierce females who choose to be authentic in the way they interact and connect with other women. Empowered women empower women. It’s true! So with that in mind I thought I would share some of my favourite kiwi females on instagram. Each of them unique and repping the sisterhood in ways that make me feel proud to be a woman. The future is female! Get on board and realise that when we as women support one another, incredible things happen.
Click the arrows for slideshow 🙂