I wrote back in September about the challenges many of us women have in trusting other women and developing deeper relationships with one another (read it here: Crossing the Line in Direct Sales.) That post triggered so many comments from women stating that what is in that post is right on point and the content spoke to them personally and professionally. It seems so many of us are feeling this loneliness in our friendship area that we can’t seem overcome and I have to further ask why.
Women have advanced in so many areas of the world. We are leaders of multi-million dollar companies. We are highly educated. We are wives and mothers. We do incredible things every day and yet we struggle with deep, meaningful, soulful relationships with other women. We do all these incredible things in this list and yet while we have friends we keep other women mostly at an arm’s length. We hesitate because we are unsure we can trust each other. So while we can do these incredibly powerful things in our lives we are lonely.
- How many times have you not gone to do something because you lacked a girlfriend to do it with?
- How many times do you wish you had that one friend that you could talk to and not fear they would say something to someone else?
- How many times have you wished for that true female mentor to help you know the right path to take in your career or to move forward in your business?
There are many wonderful female leaders in our world. There is so much we could learn from these innovative, brilliant women and each other. These women worked incredibly hard to climb the corporate ladder or start their own business. Their success was hard earned and commendable. There are lessons they can share to help those still coming up to make the path less hard. Wouldn’t it be incredible to learn from them? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have one of these powerful women help you be successful?
I have not had a lot of women mentors in my career. As I now have an established career and growing small business I often look for ways I can help other women grow and be successful. However I have been burned and hurt both on the personal and professional level by other women either further up in their career than me or from those seeking my help. It took a great deal to overcome that pain to find my own success. Having lacked the support and guidance from female leaders in both my career and business I did not want to pass by the opportunity to change that scenario where I could. I hope in some small way I can provide that for someone else so their journey is not as hard as mine has been. Despite the desire to do this I often hesitate over it because of my own experience with it.
Without helping one another we will never heal our very foundation in relationships to one another. So many of us are lacking that quality female role model in our life to provide that in depth meaningful mentoring structure both personally and professionally. There are several reasons for this including insecurity and jealousy but I believe the root cause is much deeper than that. I believe the root cause of us individually and collectively being unwilling to help another woman is because of the misguided deep rooted belief we really don’t want each other to succeed because doing so would take something away from us.
We are highly insecure and there is an underlying fear that someone could be better than we are and that could impact us negatively. We protect what we know and how we got there. We protect our connections and success because sharing the spotlight doesn’t feel good when we worked so hard to get where we are without much help. That spotlight is warm and feels incredible but behind it in the shadows is a loneliness none of us can ignore. Women too often are the ones stating they feel lonely in life overall but also more depressed, anxious, worrying and just sad. A big reason for that is we have lost the ability to connect, collaborate, share and celebrate one another on the professional stage.
Certainly there are other women out there who would jump at the chance to steal your glory, take your position, claim your victories as their own and savor every little thing you worked for in your life. There are many who just want to “get rich” at any cost and think they can have it despite who they hurt along the way. There are simply a lot of not so nice people in the world and more than once each of us has been burned by that supposed friend who betrayed us in this way. There will always be someone who is trying to take advantage of a situation for their own gain and there is simply no denying that.
Whether it’s been about a man, other friends, a job, an opportunity, a connection or something else we have all experienced that hurt that comes when someone claims that as their own, taking it from us and not looking back to even say thank you or sorry. It is the stuff behind all the great country music songs written about stolen men. I certainly have experienced my man, career, money, and friendships being broken because of this type of greed. I thoroughly understand the hesitation before extending a hand to another women as a result and being incredibly careful about where you place your friendship trust.
However at the the end of the day I have come to realize a couple key ideas that not only feel counter-intuitive but also freeing in this incessant need to protect what I’ve worked for.
- First, yes there are some dishonest, mean and opportunistic people in the world who will screw you over given the chance. You sometimes only recognize these people in hindsight but they will always exist and you have to be careful. However, you can’t let those people stop you from being you. You can’t stop nurturing friendships and relationships that could lead to what you need in your life personally and professionally because of those people. So I encourage you to extend the hand if you are in a leadership role where you could offer help to someone just starting out. Do so in a loving, supportive way with appreciation of what they will face on that journey. Protect yourself where you need but don’t let it stop you from helping another where you can. If they are better at it than you, cheer them on and learn from them.
- Secondly, if you are the one who is just starting out please don’t expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter with decorative accents. Understand you need to do the work. You need to find your way and you need to put in the blood, sweat and tears to make it happen. The women you look to for guidance, encouragement and support are there to help you with their knowledge and experience. They provide you with lessons learned and if you’re lucky perhaps some connections, direction and support beyond that but it shouldn’t be expected. Build your connections based on the honest ask for guidance and not to take advantage of the situation.
If you an overcome it and extend the trust necessary to have this level of collaboration and relationship with another women just imagine where it could lead! Imagine if we could truly help one another and have the type of relationships that can only exist between women. We need to desperately stop seeing each other as competition and judging each other so harshly to make that happen.
There are so many women I know that are lonely and keep small circles because of this mistrust and betrayal that has happened. We are skeptical of women and friendships we form. It can take many years to form deep meaningful relationships as a result of the amount of pain and hurt we have felt in our life from other women.
As a woman I know we act well when we are among groups of women. We try to extend friendship, joy, and connection. We try to move with the group and find connection with others in these experiences. We form surface connections to have fun and yet inside we are judging and having thoughts that are entirely different than what we are portraying on the outside. We take in how the women around us look, talk, behave and express themselves. Despite our facial expressions of smiles and hugs we are internally judging one another all the time. We prevent ourselves from going into deep connections and friendships because of these judging thoughts. We limit our potential with this other woman because of our own internal thoughts about them.
For us to truly have these deep sisterhood connections personally and professionally we must stop the voice in our head that is telling us to judge this person. We must learn it’s ok to be different in our own way and see the possibilities of these diverse connections. We must stop looking at the surface of the person and instead look deeper at their heart. We must learn to be open to not only the experience but the connection. Doing so can open some intensely beautiful relationships many of us desire but few can find.
To achieve this connection we must also stop thinking we are independent warriors all the time. Yes we are all capable, strong and fiercely independent when we need to be but never putting down our shield and sword from the battles we fight to be successful in life prevents us from building connection to other women. Our armor is good at protecting us and seeing us through wars of life but it often protects us too from forming open relationships with other women. We see them as competition and enemies rather than members of our own tribe.
I say all of this and again reiterate there are some truly unkind people in this world who will betray you. There are those that you will never be able to trust and you should make the decisions that protect and preserve what you have in your life. Above all else it is important we set healthy relationships in our life and foster those connections that feed our soul above those that only bring hurt, gossip and betrayal.
Heal from Within
As women I call you to start within your own heart and look at your own loneliness. Look at what is deep and dark that has happened to prevent you from reaching out to other women to form bonds of friendship on an enriching level. Separate from those that only cause you pain and outreach to those truly interested in being your friend or mentor. Also, look at where you can actually lift up and connect with those who need it and start to form the buds of new connections. It is time we take these incredible accomplishments each of us has achieved and start to bridge the connection between us in a renewed space of trust with each other.
Oils that can help you form trust with yourself and other women include the doTERRA Forgive oil blend. Placing this oil on the back of your neck and over your heart starts that healing process. Using oils like Grapefruit, Melalueca and Frankincense can also start the process of cleansing and detoxing from hurtful relationships so we can move forward in a renewed openness. We can take with us the experiences of these pains and use it as a guide to find those relationships that are actually healthy for us. (You can shop for the beautiful doTERRA oils and products here: dragonspitapothecary.com/doterra)
If you are looking for true connection with real women interested in overcoming the loneliness we all feel from unfruitful relationships I invite you to the Member’s Forum on our website. (dragonspitapotheary.com/members) Here you will find women interested in living more naturally on their terms and truly learning and sharing from one another while celebrating how each of us is succeeding in our daily lives.
To begin your own journey of living more on your terms naturally please also explore the Learn section of the website for additional courses, books and of course the incredible power of the beautiful doTERRA products to support you. It’s time to start enjoying what feeling good physically, emotionally and spiritually actually feels like. (Shop here)