I enjoy listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Sessions. A few months ago, I listened to an episode with Tony Robbins. He said something that’s not necessarily always true. He said, “The beautiful thing about women is … you look out for each other and compliment … each other.” It struck me because I’ve experienced the crushing power of ridicule and comparisons, blogging a bit about it in the Lesson One post.
“By surrounding yourself with people who are positive, caring, intelligent, loving, and open-minded, you create a personal environment that is condusive to your emotional and personal growth. By surrounding yourself with the opposite, you create a personal environment that is conducive to the opposite. Choose accordingly.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
I do recognize, however, that in the past that I was so needy of reassurance that I think I pushed it away. I was an emotional martyr. When I saw others struggling, I thought I needed to feel the pain for them. Therapists talk about owning your feelings. I owned mine and those of everyone around me. In a way, it’s a lack of boundaries.
No female in my life could have looked out for me because I was too busy looking for more shame and pain to pile on myself. I wouldn’t have seen those girls. I wouldn’t have heard their compliments. It took a flip in me, like flipping a magnet around, to make anything positive stick.
However, I now know Robbins is right when you find the right tribe. Women (and men) can join together and be a beautiful force.
I know now, that womanhood isn’t about catty comparisons. I know that was a false lesson. I have a community where we talk about our bodies, like a lot, because we’re all on a fitness journey. We make a conscious effort to remind ourselves that we’re all different.
We can cheer one person’s success even if others have already conquered that battle. We can celebrate a goal crushed by another even if we still struggle with that exact thing. Because we’ve all flipped that switch that says, I’m just responsible for me. And when I’m just responsible for me, I’m not looking to other women to reflect my worth. When I’m just responsible for me, I have energy to deal with my emotions appropriately. When I’m just responsible for me, I encourage and lift up those around me, rather than tear them down to where I am. And that is the beautiful thing about women if we stay in that place of healthy boundaries.
Some things to keep in mind when selecting your tribe:
As Leon Logothetis reminds in this article, Keeping Good Company, no one is perfect. You don’t have to cut someone out of your life for being human. Additionally, he notes that the people who make good company for me, might not be the people that are good company for you. Everyone has different goals and likes. The “good company” we choose should reflect that. Logothetis suggests asking these questions about the people you are around the most:
- “Do they make you feel like you have what it takes to reach your goals?”
- “Do they support you?”
- “Do they make you feel attractive?”
- Do “you feel happy and energized after spending time with them?”
In Jen Taylor’s blog, 5 reasons to surround yourself with happy people, number 5 is king in my opinion: “We become like those we keep closest.” Her other reasons are:
- “Happiness is contageous.”
- “Laughter is a great way to bond with others.”
- “Less complaining is good for everyone.”
- “Learn coping strategies.”
Speaking of Tony Robbin, this article on his website, Surround Yourself with Quality People, goes a step beyond selecting the right people and encourages us to examine those we are currently around. Moreover, it points out that we can learn to have the success we want by being around those who have already achieved it.