As we move into a new decade and a new era, really, it’s become critical that women helping women is at the forefront of an emerging new paradigm. Given social, political and environmental polarities, discord, division and destruction of recent decades, it’s due time that we draw from feminine energies, balancing out the masculine and patriarchal constructs that for far too long have attempted to define who we are as women, how we feel about ourselves and how we show up in the world.
In my last blog, Breaking Free Of The Paradigm Part One: Empowering Yourself And Being Seen, I discussed the need for women to support each other, but that’s not how our culture has been designed. Rather than support, respect and celebrate each other in the spirit of sisterhood, from a young age we’ve been taught to compete. Media and cultural messages enforce ideas that there’s not enough for us all and that within our “scarcity culture,” something Brené Brown discusses often, we’re conditioned to believe that we must fight for what should and could be “ours.” The paradigm is shifting, though, and rather than compete, sisters are uniting more and more.
Women Helping Women To Change The World
The time has come for us to unite as women, tapping into and drawing from feminine energy, in order to change what is happening in the world today. And, it’s with so much excitement and gratitude that I’m seeing and feeling a beautiful shift in how my female friends and colleagues are relating to and with each other. We’re doing things differently—and maybe we have been for some time—but there’s now demonstrated traction in this movement from competition to collaboration. Although we still have many miles to go, I believe that so many of us have journeyed from possible cattiness in our youth to comradeship as more mature, connected women. This fills me with joy. And, one of the best parts is that we get to serve as healthy, effective models for younger generations of women.
Breaking Free: Sisters Supporting Sisters
Although there is a shift happening, I believe that there’s still more that most of us can do to better connect with, celebrate and support each other. I’m calling on all of you beautiful ladies (and awesome men!) to join us in breaking free of the current, ineffective paradigm. It’s time to break free of the status quo and create something new that is more sustainable and comes from the heart. Here are a few ways that we can connect with and celebrate each other.
Support, Connect And Collaborate
As we move out of competition mode, we get to move toward supporting each other, connecting the fabulous women we know with other fabulous women, and moving into a space of collaboration. There is such value in the sharing of ideas and opportunities, and doing so helps us build stronger networks and creates a ripple effect out into the world. Collaboration—whether that happens in the workspace or in aspects of our personal lives and communities—promotes increased productivity, group cohesiveness and creativity. But, according to some research, it can also get a little messy…
I recently read an article in the Huffington Post entitled Collaboration vs. Cooperation. There Is a Difference. In it, author Lynn Powers explains that the nature of collaboration necessitates that we give up some control to others—acknowledging that all parties have something valuable to contribute—which is inherently messy, at least at first. It also requires vulnerability and trust and is like a muscle that needs to be worked regularly to become stronger. But, when practiced regularly, it makes us all stronger and better collective problem-solvers.
And, women are inherently fabulous collaborators!
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Simply, this comes down to attribution. Throughout my career I’ve noticed some women taking credit for other women’s ideas and work. I’ve dealt with this personally once or twice, and it felt really bad. Let’s face it, there really are no totally new ideas and we’re all constantly learning from our experiences and each other. Maybe you’re drawing from someone else’s work, expanding on it and making it your own. This is great and leads to collective growth, but make sure that you’re constantly giving credit where credit is due whether that’s on a project at work, as you create a new curriculum or theory, or at a PTA meeting. We all grow when we acknowledge each other’s brilliance and hard work.
There are so many ways that women are helping women and one of them is through group connection. If you’re feeling disconnected from other women or want to meet, learn from and support more women, join a group. There are a ton of ways to connect. Join a women’s networking group that’s inline with your professional field. Or an online forum that’s geared toward women. Or a sisterhood circle if you want to connect with other women in more emotional and spiritual ways. There are a lot of women getting out there, and we’re stronger together. Join us!
Celebrate Each Other’s Success
This might be the simplest, yet most important, thing we can do in supporting other women. When a friend or colleague achieves something wonderful, sing her praises—and mean it! We get to encourage each other to reach our potential and share our greatness with the world. And, we all know that when we feel supported and celebrated, we’re more apt to make bigger, bolder moves and share our gifts. By celebrating each other, we raise the vibration of all of womankind and the paradigm shifts more and more.
Fall In Love With Women Helping Women
I have been blessed and honored to spend my career as a social worker and empowerment and leadership coach helping to support women step into their authenticity, feel empowered and continuously move toward their personal and professional potential. If you—or a woman you know and love—feels ready to take a profession, organization or personal life to the next level, perhaps by helping other women reach theirs, I’d love to connect. I offer empowerment and leadership coaching in Denver for local women and online for women all over the country. Let’s connect today!
Here’s to women helping women!