I was a little A-hole when I was young. In second grade, my friend Shradha accidentally stepped on my pet ladybug (who has a pet ladybug!). I made everyone shun her for a week. I don’t remember this at all, but when she and I reunited after college, she vividly reminded me of this event.
This kind of mean and petty behavior begins when we are young. In 4th grade I was cast out of my group of friends because I liked NKOTB, and they decided that band wasn’t cool anymore. (wow, that just showed my age!) In high school, my car was keyed because some boy I didn’t know liked me, and this girl liked him.
You’d think we’d grow out of this malicious and cheap behavior.
We talk sh#t, gossip, judge and can be so nasty to our fellow sisters. Bringing someone down may make us feel more important. Judging someone’s actions or beliefs may make us feel justified and validated. Your friend may fear your growth will change the relationship, so even though they love you, they may do or say things to hold you back. Your success may make another’s light feel dimmed. Gossip may make us feel significant like we are privileged to know something someone else doesn’t.
All of this vindictive behavior stems from fear and unworthiness. It keeps us stuck in a scarcity and fear-based mindset.
About 5 years ago when I first started dating Jake, now my husband, I met his best friend, Meli. I immediately hated her. She’s a pro kite boarder, entrepreneur and bikini model. I could literally wash my laundry on her abs! And, get this, she’s also an environmentalist, animal lover and all-around kind person. UGH! How can you compete with that!?
After a few months of dating, I went to the Bahamas with Jake and his friends. Meli was like a beautiful mermaid in water. I, on the other hand, looked like a drunk sea turtle swimming. To say I was jealous was an understatement. She represented what I was not. I felt deeply ashamed of these low feelings of insecurity. I was a terrible and small person.
Coming back from that trip, I got quiet and turned the mirror in on myself – to honestly look at my own insecurities.
Each person is a teacher. Although Meli doesn’t know it, she is one of my favorite teachers. These feelings, like jealousy, show us what we want.
Instead of seeing it as a competition, I chose to shift my perspective to one of celebration. Instead of comparing what I lacked, I shifted my perspective to one of inspiration.
Heck, if she could be this bad ass chick, so could I (in my own way). That summer, I took up activities that I never thought I could do – like surfing, spear fishing and running. I still can’t balance on a board, but I got into the best shape of my life and felt so good about myself. And BONUS! We are now good friends. She is an amazing soul, and to think that I would have missed out on this friendship because of my small-minded thinking would be really sad for me.
It’s totally normal to let thoughts of fear and unworthiness enter our consciousness. Our work, though, is to witness it and instead be the change we wish to see by turning the mirror inward on ourselves, rather than projecting these judgements onto another.
Next time fear and insecurity strike:
- Instead of judging or comparing, find something good about that person and be inspired.
- When we can look honestly at what is bothering us, this is like a compass pointing us in the right direction of our goals and dreams.
- We all have gifts. So, celebrate your uniqueness…as well as theirs.
- Coming from a mindset of inspiration automatically brings you from a small place of scarcity and lack to an expansive state of abundance. You reclaim your power instead of letting fear and unworthiness steal it.
I would love to hear about you making shiFt happen. Comment on my blog below.
Also, my non-profit, SHEinspires Tribe, is hosting our FREE monthly teen girl circle tomorrow, Sunday May 6th where we real-talk all about THIS subject. Please share with your friends who have teens or to your teens. We need girls to start supporting each other, and ultimately start supporting themselves. Join us tomorrow: 5.6.18 @ Bala Yoga Fremont (11-12) + Bala Yoga Kirkland (2-3)