I've wanted to write this blog post for a few months now. The theme has been ruminating in my head, but the words have escaped me. Till today that is.
So, let me put this bluntly, its time for us girls to start lifting each other up! If we want to succeed as women, as mothers, as wives, as daughters, in achieving our goals, in living our most fantastic lives imaginable, if we want our children, our daughters to succeed, then we need to start supporting each other.
Now obviously women supporting women happens often. We help watch each other's children. Meet up for coffee and a chat. Reach out with a phone call. We share struggles, challenges and successes. I see great examples of support every day at my Mommy Recess classes! And its encouraging, but I challenge you, are you doing all that you can to support the women in your life? Do you want the best for them, as you would hope they do for you?
It is tough to go through this life alone. It is tough to go after any goal, but especially a fitness, exercise, weight loss goal without the support of family and friends. Its one of the key issues I cover with my clients when they set goals for themselves. What is their support system? Who will they lean on? Who can then call on when they don't want to go for a workout or to offer them words of wisdom when a fudgy, chocolatey brownie is calling their name?
Often our spouses are there to support us and that is great! But as women, we're social and we turn to our social network to provide support, encouragement, and to lift our spirits. Often times we find those women who are there to do that. But sometimes, and far too often, we're not.
Think about it. Have you ever put down the thin, younger girl at the gym? Maybe not out loud, but in your thoughts. What about encouraged a friend who you know is trying to lose weight to eat a few french fries? Or talked negatively about someone else's success and achievements?
Those seemingly small acts, hurt. And often the woman hurt isn't going to say anything to you. But she may cry behind closed doors or driving home. Words often hurt more than deeds. That old saying of "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.", isn't really true. Words leave wounds, deeper than that of any deed. Things that cut us down. Making us feel inadequate, unworthy, unwanted, etc. Even if they are not said directly to the person they are said about. They influence how we feel and act toward that person. Words have power.
When all we want as women, is to be accepted. You don't have to want the same goals, but just encourage that friend, that neighbor, that stranger at the park to go after theirs. Your support and encouragement may be what they need that day, that moment, to push through.
You see its natural to be afraid of change. Its natural to want to surround yourself with people around you who are like you. To be jealous of others success and achievement. But how much better would things be if we supported each other? How much more could we achieve if we wanted to the best for those around us? Even if it meant facing our own fears. Even if it meant acknowledging that we have changes we need to accept and make to reach our goals. Even if it meant understanding that someone else making changes and achieving their goals is not a reflection of us. Afterall isn't that one of the purposes of life? To face our own shortcomings and therefore grow into the people God has meant for us to be.
Most dreams are not achieved alone. Olympic and professional athletes have coaches. Business leaders have mentors. Look to those you most admire. Often they have people surrounding them who are providing feedback and support.
Achieving a goal, any goal, is a difficult road to walk. As women we are incredible supports and our sisterly bond can lift and provide incredible change. Think Susan B. Anthony and the push for women's right to vote. Or Susan G. Koman and the push for women's cancer research. Katherine Switzer, the first female Boston marathon finisher, who proved that women can compete in long distance races. There are tons of examples of the power of what women can achieve when we bond together and support each other.
And here's the kicker, we all do better when we support each other. The woman being supported is more likely to achieve her goals and faster. And the woman doing the supported is uplifted that she helped another and encouraged to succeed at her own goals.
Its easy to get caught up in our own pettiness, that we put down the vibrancy of someone else. But there is no need. We can all shine as strong, confident, independant women. And through that, we can achieve so much!
So what woman in your life are you going to support today? How can you help them achieve their goals?