Chapter 4 of Strong Women Lift Each Other Up is all about comparison, both of other women and versions of yourself (past and future). Comparison itself is completely normal; it's when you let things spiral into feeling bad about yourself and disengaging from life that's a problem.
When you are comparing yourself to other women, what things about them are you comparing and feeling jealous of? I often find myself jealous of women with successful jobs they enjoy or a close circle of friends they can rely on for anything. I used to feel jealousy of other women's travel adventures but that essentially stopped when we bought timeshares for my 40th birthday.
I am guilty making fun of and judging coworkers behind their backs. This happens with those who have a history of creating problems (i.e. throwing people under the bus, constantly doing something wrong with pricing despite having written and verbal instructions, tying our hands as to what we can/can't do, etc.). This is done more as venting frustrations and commiseration.
Chapter 5 is about living live according to your wants and values. Do you know what your top values are, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, fulfillment, and flow?
Download this list of 100 values, adding any others you have that aren't included. Then choose one of the following options to find your top values. Be patient with yourself as it may take several days to pare down the list.
OPTION 1: Sort the values list into categories of importance as listed on the front page. Take your "Most Important to Me" category and pare it down several times until you have your top 3.
OPTION 2: Choose the 25 that resonate the most with you. From the 25, pare it down to 10. From 10, pare it down to 5. From 5, pare it down to your top 3.
Are you currently living according to these values? If not, are you ready, willing, and able to make the changes to make the changes in order for this to happen?
The values you selected should be those you're proud of and willing to stand behind, even if you are in the minority. They should make you feel good about yourself. You should be comfortable with sharing your values with those that you admire and respect. There are things that you regularly think, say, and do that aren't in alignment with your values. How can you change your thoughts and behaviors to make them more aligned?
Another important part of Chapter 5 involves adjusting the social media accounts you follow, shows and movies you watch, the books you read, or the podcasts you listen to. Which make you feel worse after consuming them? These would be ones to consider stopping. Which make you feel inspired and uplifted? These would be ones to continue consuming.
The theme of Chapter 6 is that we're better together. In this approach there are 4 key elements we must follow:
Believe in women's abilities.
Set and uphold your boundaries.
Forgive yourself and others.
What thoughts and feelings do you experience in your bouts of self-doubt? Whatever they are this is completely normal! Take those thoughts and write the opposites. If that's too difficult in the moment, record how you can start to shift this thought into something that better aligns with your values. What are some things you've accomplished lately? What are some compliments you've received? Jot them down in a journal that you carry with you or in a notes app on your phone. Whenever you're experiencing self-doubt, bring these out to remind you of what you can do.
"Train the Brave" is what I'm working on with teaching BollyX. I have been wanting to teach classes but my stage fright gets in the way. If I were brave I'd be participating in more than Jasmine's classes and (where I mostly just listen) and teaching myself monthly.