Growing up, I was taught that someone else's success somewhere took away from your own. That there were so many spaces available and that we were all fighting for the same space. And you can definitely see that mindset taking place in the workplace where there are a number of jobs listed on job boards and thousands of people applying for the same job. Often, it can feel like rejection after rejection. And in most cases, it actually is rejection after rejection.
But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if the journey didn't have to feel so lonely and isolating?
Also, what if those rejections are actually leading you to something bigger?
What if supporting other women helps everyone?
Because it does.
There are so many ways we can support each other, and I think we all need a little support from one another sometimes. I mean - it's nice to know someone's in our corner, cheering for us. I don't think this blog would still be running if it weren't for my tribe cheering me on, being there, listening, and reminding me to keep going.
Sometimes, just having someone listen to you while you get all your thoughts out is all it takes to turn things around.
What do you have to lose? Maybe your time, but how much time do you spend on Instagram and Facebook?
But what do you have to gain? So, so much. Someone to have an honest conversation with. Someone who's going to remind you of all the reason you're amazing when you're the one having a bad day. Someone who's going to share and celebrate your successes with you.
If you're wondering how you can support other women, I've got you covered.
12 Ways We Can Support Other Women
1. Share your story.
One of my moments is when someone thanks me for sharing my story. For just saying it like it is, even if it’s messy, imperfect, and all kinds of uncomfortable. But also for giving me that space to do so as I find my own footing. Because life is hard, but it doesn’t mean we have to do it alone. Find your soul tribe - people who will support you, inspire you, and encourage you to keep going.
2. Be open and honest.
It’s easy to pretend you have it all together or to just hide everything all together, but it takes courage to be open and honest about who you are and what you’re going through. The ironic part is … most women will understand when you share your story with them, but we often hesitate to because we’re scared others might judge you. Yes, you might be judged, or you might be loved. Sometimes, we have to love others first and show them the way.
3. Support small businesses.
I’m sure you know this, but starting your own business is hard and it takes all kinds of guts. You can help support them by buying from them or even giving them a shout out on social media. Let them know you love what they’re creating and putting out into the world. Trust me, there’s always more room for kind words. So the next time you’re buying a gift for a friend, look around to see who you can support.
4. Celebrate their victories.
Have you ever had a major win, but hesitated to tell others because you didn’t want to “rain on their parade”? And maybe you’ve also been on the other end of that equation. Trust me, I get it. But how awesome would it be if we all start rooting for one another and cheering each other on? Start celebrating their victories and also remember to celebrate your own.
5. Lean back and listen.
Most of the time, people just want to be seen, heard, acknowledged, and loved. They want to know that their presence and their voice matters. Let them know you’re there for them when you need you. Sometimes, people aren’t looking for advice. They’re hoping that someone cares enough to hold space for them while they figure it out themselves.
6. Start a movement.
Everyone has once struggled with something in their life, whether it’s mental health or self-love. Maybe you struggled with seeing yourself as a creative person because you believed artists had to be a certain way. Or maybe you struggled with how you felt about yourself. But you found your own way along the way. How can you help other women feel more confident about themselves? In their abilities, their bodies, their space? We all have the power to influence change.
7. Connect them with others.
Do you ever talk to someone and think about how awesome it would be if your friend collaborated with them? If so, make the introduction. One of my favorite says is that someone else’s success doesn’t take away from your own. We need to support each other, not tear each other down. As the Rising Tide Society goes: #communityovercompetition.
8. Start a mastermind.
While we have to do the work ourselves, we don't have to go through the journey alone. Someone invited me to join their mastermind last year and it's been so, so great getting to know the other ladies. Sometimes, it can be a bit hard talking about your ideas, projects, struggles, pain points, etc. with people in your life, but they get it, because they're going through the same things as well! I truly believe that we are stronger together and capable of accomplishing so much more. (Ex. someone's expertise could be SEO while someone else's is branding.)
9. Meet up for coffee or brunch.
Real talk: I do not go out for sunlight enough, and I probably have some vitamin D deficiency (working on it...). But seriously, you have the power of the Internet and there are so many ways to meet new people in your area. Instagram, Facebook groups, Twitter, etc. You all have the resources right in front of you at your fingertips, so there are no excuses.
Start a thread to see if anyone wants to grab a cup of coffee or find someone through the IG location feed. There's ought to be someone in your niche who have slightly similar interests, values, and goals as you. You'll be doing yourself and them a favor. Some people don't want to feel like they're bothering others or they're scared they won't make a first impression, but I'm sure there are a lot of people that wouldn't mind making a new friend. Working on your own projects all the time can be lonely, and what's better than making a new friend who gets you?
10. Ask how you can help.
If you're really stuck on ideas of how you can help or encourage someone else, ask them! Maybe they won't know the answer themselves either; I know I've had a few people ask me how they could support me and I couldn't come up with an answer, but it meant so much that they even offered and put that good energy out there. It felt like an invitation to friendship and sisterhood.
11. Check in to see how they’re doing.
Maybe someone is having a hard time right now, but you wouldn't know unless you ask them. Maybe someone is having a great time and doing really well, and again, you wouldn't know unless you ask them. Check in to see how people are doing and if there's anything you can do to help them out - maybe a shout out on Instagram or a virtual Skype date on Friday night is just what the doctor called for. We're human and we all want to feel like we're a part of something and that our voices matter, so let them know you're thinking of them and that they're a part of your life.
12. Invite them to the party.
Does anyone else feel super excited about invitations? Like, aren't that the best thing ever? Yes, the answer is yes. So the next time you're doing something whether it's a project or a blog series or a party, invite them. Again, this is letting them know that someone is thinking of them (but also only if you want them to be a part of it - remember to take care of yourself and well being too). If they're always trying to rain on your parade, feel free to not invite them to the party. We also want to be taking care of ourselves in the process too.
What do you do to support other women in your community? Want to add something to the list? Share with me in the comments below on how you support other women in your community below! There are so many that I didn't get to (like being a mentor, volunteering your time, starting a book club, donating to a cause, etc.)