You don’t need to flatter other women

You don’t need to flatter other women – to fawn.

And, I understand why you think you do.

And, I understand why you do it too.

Let’s get into it…

I like to think I’m good at celebrating other women. 

I remember making the decision a few years back that I would actively celebrate the work of other women – their contributions, their successes, their achievements – that I would share, as far and as wide as I could, the wonderful things I noticed other women were up to.

“HEY! SPREAD THE WORD: THIS GIRL IS KILLING IT OVER HERE!” 

I wanted to be known as a woman who celebrates other women. And I was so dedicated to my decision that I once made ‘celebrate other women’ one of my content pillars in my marketing plan. Yes, seriously. 

Doesn’t that sound forced?

That’s because it is forced – but not in a way that felt painful or laborious – I enjoy celebrating other women, I think we’re amazing, and I didn’t even notice it was a thing I was doing, or that I was forcing anything – it just seems like a good thing to do – like the decent thing to do.

I guess there was a part of me that saw it as a rebellion, of sorts – a stand against the way women are often portrayed to be at war with one another – and an attempt to change this belief, this rumour, that if *she* has the thing you want then she’s beaten you in some way – as if there isn’t enough for all of us.

It was a belief I had to work through. And I still get triggered. And I think any of us who are continuously doing the work to grow and heal whenever we are triggered by another woman are truly trying to undo years – decades – of wiring (I love you).

Anyway, I realised a little while back that my ‘active’ commitment to celebrate other women was for another reason. A sneaky reason. Something I had never realised, and never would have realised, but thanks to my other commitment to myself to do this “inner work”, to uncover the reasons behind my patterns and behaviours it eventually slapped me in the face.

This is what happens when you commit to your growth and evolvement. You become increasingly self-aware.

And it was all thanks to my brain doing that thing that it does when I have these self-awareness-epiphanies of mine – it argues with me.

And that inner-argument went a little something like this:

Brain: You only celebrate other women because you think you *should*.

Me: What? Of course I think I should. For a whole host of reasons, but for one: the world is a much better place when women love, support and celebrate each other.

Brain:  Sure, but you can love and support other women without making it such a *thing* to celebrate them.

Me: ….TF?! What do you mean, make it a *thing*!?

Brain: You been told that “good girls” always play nicely with others. And you always do as you’re told because you’re such a “good girl”. 

Me: Ok…

Brain: “Isn’t she so lovely and well-behaved. And doesn’t she look after everyone so well?” [mimicking my preschool teacher]

Me: Uhuh…

Brain: Also…

Me: There’s more??

Brain: It’s your armour. And you’ve put on this armour for years. You believe flattering others – fawning to them – means you’re sweet and lovely and ultimately non-threatening. You believe it’ll protect you. You believe that as long as you’re nice to them, they won’t be mean in return. It’s a *thing*.

Me: [astounded silence]

I often have these internal “discussions” with myself – do you?

And often there is something to explore when I do. Something to “clean up”. 

Brain had a point.

I am a “good-girl”. This box I’d been put in, this identity I had adopted (that many of us adopt) served as a standard I abided by to ensure I lived my life in a way that would never disappoint. I also adopted this protective behaviour of flattering others – of fawning – to help me fit in.

I could probably end this post with saying: I went to an all-girls school.

But I’ll elaborate. Because I think I adopted this behaviour even earlier than 11.

If I could just show someone I deemed as “powerful” (usually they were far more popular than I) that I wasn’t a threat – if I could disarm them by being nice – flattering them – then I wouldn’t be picked on, bullied or cast aside. I participated in this behaviour a lot. I cared far more about being liked than being respected – I’m not sure I understood the difference. I believed being liked = being safe. And, if I’m really, really honest – I took this belief right through into adulthood. And it didn’t serve me well.

I fawned to bosses. To clients. To friends. To people I barely even knew. In the hope that I would be liked and therefore safe.

If this sounds like you too, give that version of yourself – that just wanted to keep you safe – the biggest hug.

Let her know that she’s safe now. You’ve got her.

She’s just as powerful, just as brilliant, just as magical as these other women. She’s up to equally expansive, impactful, important things. Her purpose, her mission, her path is hers, just as theirs is theirs. 

Most importantly, she’s enough, just as she is. 

There is no need to flatter other women, to fawn.

There is no need to flatter anyone.

I am a leader amongst leaders.

I choose to like myself. How can I expect others to like me if I don’t like myself?

More importantly, I choose to respect myself. First and foremost.

I genuinely celebrate other women because I desire to. Because when one of us rises we all rise. When one of us rises we show other women just what’s possible for us all.

I will continue to celebrate other women with clean energy, and with self-leadership, and with power and intent behind the action.

I let other women know how much they inspire me, how proud I am, how wonderful they are because it doesn’t take anything away from me to do so, it doesn’t make me lesser than them.

Here’s to us. 

I am woman. Hear me roar.

I love you.