Room at the Table

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I recently had a conversation with a friend was really excited about an accomplishment. She was pumped and you could tell. We chatted about it, and she asked me questions about this accomplishment, which I genuinely didn’t know the answers to. After we hung up she immediately called me back to apologize and make sure my feelings weren’t hurt. She was afraid that while we talked about her potential successes, it might have hurt me. While this was very kind, and also totally unnecessary, it got me thinking about this interaction and the common theme it has in many peoples lives, and especially women. She downplayed her excitement to try reassure me on something, so I potentially wouldn’t feel insecure.

How often do women find themselves doing this type of thing. Down-playing our excitement and achievements, because we don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable. In many ways we have been conditioned to not talk about or get too excited about something, as it may seem boastful or like bragging. Almost a year ago I even wrote about the self-deprecation we use to try to disseminate our discomfort about accomplishments; we do this to negate our own discomfort and to diminish the potential discomfort of those around us. And although this example isn’t huge in the big picture, these small interactions start to add up.

Do you think women like Glennon Doyle, Mel Robbins and Rachel Hollis discount their success in order to make other women feel successful too? NO! They lift other people, other women up; and I bet they don’t apologize for their success and achievements. In Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel says “Don’t make yourself feel small to make others feel more comfortable.” Why as women are we so concerned about making sure we don’t hurt someone else’s feelings that we discredit our own? Do you think men like Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss think about how their success would hurt others? No! They lift people up and help encourage them to also be their best selves; to strive for greatness as well.

We need to be lifting each other up, and celebrating successes of those around us, because I’m sure we all want the same in return. Its important to remember someone else’s accomplishments have nothing to do with your own. Even if you were to feel as though you were in competition with someone, we all have different voices and experiences. And one of the beautiful aspects of different life experiences is that if you can’t reach someone, then possibly someone else can. Maybe you aren’t that person, maybe you are; maybe it’s someone else.

There is room at the table for everyone. There is room for someone else to be successful, and to also have your own success. If you are the person experiencing a win, it’s awesome to feel excited about your accomplishment; You worked hard and you should enjoy every minute of earned achievement. Be excited! If you are on the sidelines, help celebrate those around you. Be the type of person you would want to share your successes with. Celebrate the successes of those around you, as if they are your own. Keep lifting each other up, helping each other, and motivating those around you. There is room at the table, so pull up a chair.

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