HOW TO KEEP YOUR LIGHT BRIGHT (WHEN ANOTHER WOMAN SHINES)

I can still remember the first time I saw the new girl at school.

Ten years old, she was my first girl crush.

Pretty, stylish, fun and happy, she seemed to have it all.

When she didn’t know I was looking, I would gaze at her across the playground or during assembly and marvel at her cool clothes, that set her apart from all of us.

She wore raa raa skirts with sneakers and I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She also excelled at everything, being bright as a button and naturally sporty.

Everyone loved her and how could they not?

She really was something special. Someone wonderful to behold.

I totally understood their adoration for her because I was one of her adorers. And yet even though I idolised her and loved to be in her presence, being around her also bothered me.

I didn’t understand it at the time.

As a young girl at primary school, I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt so uneasy around her.

But now, as a woman, I do and can. Now as a woman I totally get it.

It was the feeling that when her light shone so bright, mine dimmed in comparison.

It was the feeling that I wasn’t as good as her, or special, or beautiful.

It was the feeling that whenever I was next to her, I paled into insignificance.

And although I didn’t know what it was at the time, I did know that whatever it was, it didn’t feel very nice. That it made me feel rubbish. That it made me feel uncomfortable.

And so as much as I adored her, I kept myself at a distance. We were friendly but never friends.

It was much easier to admire her light from afar than have her light outshine my own and so I stayed back, just close enough to watch her in full glory whilst maintaining my own feel good factor.

Make sense?

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that it’s impossible to ignore a woman who shines bright, even when we really want to.

Because we have to be around them. At work or social gatherings or within our families.

We can’t hang back or keep our distance. We have to be up close and personal and in the midst of their dazzling lights.

And it’s no easier is it?

It’s no easier when you’re around a woman who somehow makes you feel less than. Who makes your light feel dim.

It’s no easier when they seem to have it all, in comparison to you. No easier when you meet someone just so damn fabulous for words.

It can hurt, it can wound, it can make us feel totally rubbish.

Even if they’re the nicest woman in the world. Even if they’re not outshining us on purpose or because of an agenda.

So how do we deal with them? How do we deal with the fear of being outshone by another woman?

Well we can ignore them I guess. Gossip about them or just hate them with a passion as we seethe with jealousy and watch ourselves turn green.

But that doesn’t really appeal to me.

We could allow them to shine bright and let our lights take a hit, as we allow our self esteem to take a blow.

But that doesn’t seem fair.

We could watch them and wallow in our negativity.

But that doesn’t do anything for us.

Or?

Or, we can deal with it. As a grown up.

My Dad once wisely said to me, “it does’t matter how rich, how pretty, how clever or how bright you are, there will always always be someone bigger and better than you.”

It’s good to remember that when you’re around a shiner.

Because you see, for starters, it’s a great reminder that all of us suffer from the fear of being outshone.

That woman has more than likely had her fair share of times when she too has been knocked sidewards by some woman who just screams ‘fabulous’.

She too will have experienced occasions when she’s felt like a weak nightlight in a room full of neon.

Because none of us are immune to envy or a lack of self confidence, especially when we’re confronted by a wonder woman.

But maybe, just maybe – as I suspect – she deals with it better.

Perhaps she understands that her light is still strong, even if she feels it’s been weakened.

Perhaps she understands that some lights shine brighter than others at times.

Perhaps she understands that being with a wonder woman, can often make your own light shine brighter.

Perhaps she understands that hatred is a waste of energy.

Perhaps she understands that being jealous of another woman only damages ourselves.

And probably she realises that when you meet a wonder woman, the best thing to do is to be pleasant and connect.

Probably she realises that we can all learn much from these wonder women.

Probably she realises that if we allow them to inspire us, we do justice both to her and ourselves.

Probably she realises that any admiration is fine and healthy as long as we don’t allow it to lessen our own self worth.

And if it does?

If our admiration or envy of another woman is damaging us?

Well then it probably means that we need to spend more time looking inwards rather than outwards and put more effort into polishing our own sparkle.

That we need to stoke up our personal light, keep it going, nurture it and protect it.

That we need to stop being afraid of other woman dimming our light and help other women’s lights to shine not just bright but brighter.

And that we need to realise that the only person who can ever dim our lights isn’t ‘her’ but US.

Because I’ll let you into a secret that I’ve figured out being an adult.

You know that lovely girl whom I adored at primary school, my first girl crush?

Well, when I think back now, she actually wasn’t any more special than the rest of us. Not really.

She just loved herself in the best possible way.

She just knew that she was special.

Because THAT is the key to being a wonder woman. Knowing that you are special and bringing what you have got to the party.

And if you don’t feel the same?

Well then perhaps you’ve got some work to do on making your own light, shine as bright as hers.

 

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 Discussions on
“HOW TO KEEP YOUR LIGHT BRIGHT (WHEN ANOTHER WOMAN SHINES)”
  • I was thinking about this the other day, why women feel hurt when another woman shines. There has to be some biological reason behind it! I support women and celebrate women, but I do catch myself getting a tinge of insecurity sometimes. When that happens, I force myself to take a pause and smile for the other person and smile for myself. It sounds kind of cheesy – but it does help. I think we’re competitive by nature, and need to reason with ourselves that it’s not a big competition. Everyone’s running their own race :)

    xoxo – Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.com

  • It’s strange that we women do that, isn’t it? You’re right though, it’s all about our individual sparkle – and making that shine through. We should all be our best selves, not an imitation of someone else xxx

  • Love this so much darling, you are one wise lady. I feel so, so proud to have my life filled with beautiful over-achieving, kind women like yourself and all the girls, and so many friends I’ve known from childhood/the film industry from gifted bloggers to bafta winners and beyond.

    I grew up with such strong badass ladies starting with my Mum, it’s the norm and natural to me, and also to know we all have our times to shine and we can all glow together.

    I know with what I’m doing it can possibly seem to the outside world that it’s unrelentless success but there’s always failures along the way, projects I don’t get I’m up for and so, so much hard work and husslin’ behind the scenes. Like my Dad I just a big believer in chasing the big dreams and making that happen for you, reaching out and creating the opportunities and never letting failure hold you down.

    My biggest success, as cheesy as it sounds is doing a job that works for my kids so I can be there for them, something I would have struggled to do being a full time director.

    Envy is normal, for everyone, it’s human (Marie Forleo has a great video on this) but it’s not healthy when it turns to jealousy and becomes nasty, that as you say is something as adults we mustn’t let happen. My folks are big on drumming into my brother and I (even now) to let others’ achievements spur us on and inspire us. Keep shining on girl. Thanks for this xx

  • You are so fab do you know that? If we were at school and you were in my class I think you’d be my girl crush! You are one of my inspirations for sure. The thing about that girl at school, that people forget, is that she is busy looking at another girl too- wishing she was like her. Women always look outwards I think it is natural. But you are right, we all need to look at ourselves and love ourselves a bit more. Off out to buy some shoes for Britmums now, might just get some with a little bit of sparkle :-) xxx

  • You never know, she may have felt the same way about you! And, if she didn’t then somebody else definitely did.
    Different things ‘shine’ to different people too. I am always drawn to those who shine brightly, in fact thinking about it most of my friends are radiators.

  • Katie, thank you for saying the things that go on in our heads, the things that we think but perhaps put to one side, the things that you shine a spotlight on and make us take a long, hard look at and then forgive ourselves for! Your light shines so brightly lovely lady and I for one and more than happy to bask in it x

  • Love this post! I never had many female friends when I was young because I was such a tomboy and couldn’t stand a lot of the bitchiness that went on in the playground back then, but we all get older and wiser (hopefully) and as that’s happened I’ve connected with more and more women,
    I find so many women/people inspiring now and their ‘shine’ does rub off on you, especially when you can love and respect yourself in the first place ;)

  • I’m sure most if not all women can relate to this! There is always an occasion where someone else is shining brighter, but we need to feed off that positively. Jealousy is definitely not the way forward and we should respond without bitterness :) x

  • I’m a firm believe that everyone shines at different times and in different ways and definitely agree that we need to polish our own sparkles every now and then. There were definitely girls like that in my school too x #brilliantblogposts

  • Katie, this is such a great post. You are so right, many of us thinking exactly the same but you are saying it loud. There will always be someone better than me, but we need to deal with it the right way. It’s ok, I think we need to realise how amazing we are ourselves. By the way was lovely seeing you after Britmums, thanks for celebrating my bday with me xxx Wish i had more time to visit your fab blog more often, really love reading it!

    • Thank you so much Mirka! I’m always trying to say what I think we’re all thinking, but perhaps don’t voice it, so that means a lot. xxx

  • Thanks so much for posting this hun. I feel like this currently and am trying to hard to get my writing heard. I feel like I’m doing all the same things as those around me. My content is genuine and get some good feedback but don’t seem to get much footfall and it disheartens me. When I see established websites like yours, I know they take time and have had money spent on them but can’t help feeling deflated. I have my little WordPress blog that is using a free theme and a .wordpress domain so I know there’s work there. I have so much to talk about and love my little blog; I would love to be able to write for my career but it just doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment. I needed this post today, so thank you for writing. We all compare ourselves to someone we see as a shining light but we’re only human I suppose. :)

  • This post made me stop in my tracks, every word reached me. I love this post & now have it bookmarked xx

  • I feel this I think about 27 times a day, and then 27 times a day I pooh pooh it away. I love, love being around shining stars – not because I’m a masochist, but because I find it inspiring, and fun! I admire these shining stars and wish them all the sparkle in the world – and I include you in that, my lovely friend – while for myself, I continue to bat away those feelings of insecurity as they are my demons to manage, and how I feel should really not be dependent on how high or how low anyone else flies. I have my own wings to stretch out. Wonderful post xxx

  • Love this post. There’s a great comment by Taylor Swift about not shying away from women who shine, who burn bright like a fire but to stand next to them and feel their warmth, to not be afraid of their flame but to celebrate it.

    • Oh I love that Stephanie! So very, very true and something that I definitely experienced being at your home recently with all the lovely women and you. x

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