There's Enough to Go Around: Why Women Should Build Each Other Up

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Sometimes, more often than I would like to believe, I find myself living in a scarcity mindset. 

I don’t mean in a “not enough toilet paper” kind of way, but in a “if she’s doing something well, then I won’t be able to do it, too. “

I think this is true for many people, but especially women.

Why do we do this? Why do we think that our voices can’t be added to the discussion simply because another has already spoken?

Why do we sometimes feel a tiny tinge of jealousy or loss when we see another woman succeed at something?

I don’t know why, but I do it. And I don’t like it.

Maybe it’s how we were raised. Maybe it’s just how we’re wired. Or, maybe, it’s the representation that we (don’t) see. Did you know that just 5% of the world’s Fortune 500 CEOs are female? Or that women make up only 20% of the U.S. Congress?

Sure, we’re making strides. But by and large, women don’t hold nearly the amount of seats that men do at the table. I’d venture to guess that that’s one of the reasons why women tend to feel this scarcity mindset when it comes to other women’s triumphs.

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But friends, the reality is this: there is room for all of us at the table. Will we need to scoot in closer and add a few chairs? Maybe. But guess what? We can do that. We’re women. We solve problems all day long.

Ketchup on white pants? We’ve got it covered.

Blowout and no wipes? Ain’t no thang.

No room in the budget? Gimme a look.

So why do we discredit ourselves? Why do we allow ourselves to believe that we’ve somehow “missed the boat?”

Can you imagine if the world’s greatest writers, architects, or scientists didn’t continue their work simply because someone else had already written a book? Built a skyscraper? Cured a disease?

Where would we be?

Lately, I’ve found myself surrounded by some pretty incredible women. They are wiser than I am. They’re more successful than I am. They aren’t afraid to stand up and cheer for their friends. They don’t hesitate to reach back and offer a hand to those who follow behind them. They’re much more generous with their accolades, I fear, than I might tend to be. 

They support one another fiercely, even if their line of work is the same.

They realize and recognize and strongly believe that there aren’t nearly enough voices to go around. That there never will be. That another woman’s success doesn’t equate to their failure or a missed opportunity. Simply, it means that their friends have succeeded. 

They see that there’s room for all of our ideas, our unique perspectives. That it isn’t a burden to share a space, but a gift. We learn from each other. We inspire each other with open minds. We contribute to each other’s work with open hands, and never clenched fists. We are in this together. We are better together.

So, I’m learning. I’m learning that there isn’t a finite amount of success. That there’s plenty of room at that table.

It’s like when my kids fight to the death over a handful of veggie straws, even though I just stocked up on 6 bags at Sam’s Club.

So I’m learning. And I’m grateful. And you better believe that I’ll keep cheering.