As little girls and definitely as adolescent girls, I think that it’s safe to say that most of us struggled to try to find acceptance among our female peers. We spent a lot of time dressing a certain way, behaving a certain way and treating each other a certain way in the hopes of “fitting” in. While a majority of us got through unscathed, many of us were never made to feel quite good enough amongst the other girls in school. But we grow up, we glow-up and the world of acceptance is open to one another amongst women. Right? Wrong.
As I am embarking on my journey to full-time entrepreneurship, I often observe this same kind of behavior going on. Reminiscent to middle school sleepovers full of gossip, passive-aggressive compliments and clearly defined cliques often cloaked with the sisterly term “tribe,” many women in their 30s, ’40s 50’s and even ’60s are still trying to find their place in a circle. These beautiful women could be 7 figure top earners, with beautiful homes, families and physical grandeur, but still, somehow long for a sense of belonging and acceptance. Why is that? Why could we, as women, seem to have absolutely everything that we need for peace of mind, but still seek this approval for our peers?
I had a candid interview with Leslie Gaudet in which she shed some light on her perspective of these circumstances. Leslie, who was born in Patterson, New Jersey but raised in Toronto Canada is an Empowerment coach.
She explained what the driving force behind becoming one was. “It all started with my own experiences in life. I had been working in law as a Paralegal for 26 years and realized that there has to be more to life than killing myself with working so hard and not really getting paid what I felt that I was worth. A lot of employers these days are downsizing and expecting their employees to take on more without compensation. So fast forward ten years, and I was still trying to figure that out. My real journey as an empowerment coach began over a year ago in Las Vegas. I love helping others and providing them with tools to help them deal with their daily mental clutter, which allows them, in turn, to be able to focus on what’s ahead of them. Wow, being an Empowerment Coach gives me so much pleasure!”
Working with clients as an empowerment coach, I am sure that Leslie has seen her fair share of women that are always seeking validation from others. I asked her for her take on why this is still an occurrence long after we have grown up and matured into confident an successful women.
“I think we all look to others (men and women) for acceptance. We want to feel validated that we are good people and that we are doing great things in life. Here’s the deal. You can’t control how someone else perceives you because you want them to see you the way you want to be seen. The only thing that you can do is show up as your authentic self every single day, and you will receive the validation that you are needing, which is from you. You have the control to validate yourself. If you live your life with a service-based mindset (becoming obsessed with helping others) and you build your community around that principle, you will find people who resonate with you and understand you and when you provide them with real value, and they validate you by saying how amazing you are and how great they feel because of you, then you are able to give yourself the validation that you seek.” She explains.
On the other side of this spectrum, I have encountered many women on this journey that seem to get noticeably upset or jealous when others surpass their own accomplishments. Also, I have encountered women who seem to take pleasure in pointing flaws or short-comings of their peers and claim that it’s “tough love” and “friendly advice”; and I wonder what it is that causes this. What is going on with anyone that can’t cope with seeing someone else be successful?
Leslie explains. “I think that for the most part even the women who are negative that it’s really all about how they see themselves and wishing that they could have a piece of what their successful women friends are doing and experiencing. So, I don’t really think that women, in general, don’t want other women to succeed. I think that it just comes from a mindset of not wanting to be left behind.”
That is certainly a positive way of looking at it that you just have to admire. I was curious to know if someone as self-assured and confident as Leslie has every had this urge to seek validation from others as well, like so many of us have.
“I used to worry about what other people thought about me and was always looking for approval that I was doing something right. But I soon learned that I had to become that woman that I always have been and always strive to show up as every day of my life.” She continues ” So now, I show up as my authentic self (at least I try to), and I start my day every day with an Attitude of Gratitude for all of my blessings including being able to serve a community of men and women with my tools to help them combat mental clutter.”
I asked Leslie what some things that we can do as women to make sure we are feeling loved and appreciated for our endeavors in life that we are embarking on.
She says, “Always show up as your authentic self. Live your life with a service-based mindset-becoming obsessed with helping others.”
We were so grateful to have such a fantastic empowerment coach shed light on this prevalent problem. We are also pleased that Leslie left us with some good practices that we could use when we begin to feel like people are not accepting us for our authentic selves. Please read below!
• Number 1: SILENCE the outer critic.
• Number 2: FOCUS on just being – being in the moment of what your vision is. Accept Yourself for Who You Are!
• Number 3: REALIZE that most of the time, people don’t care one way or the other. When someone posts a negative post, it could just mean that they are not in a positive mindset right now and so they take it out on you (because they can hide on social media).
• Number 4: PRACTICE self-love. Learn to speak to yourself in such a way that you are uplifting yourself and encouraging yourself. Be grateful for what you have in your life. Journal it out. This will put you in a more positive mindset and help you stay focused on the positive rather than the negative.
• Number 5: Surround yourself with the right circle of friends.
• Number 6: Realize that your message is not for everyone, and that’s okay. You are not going to be able to reach everyone the way that you want. And You are not going to resonate with everyone, but again that’s okay.
• Number 7: Life is too short to worry all of the time. You only have one life, so stop wasting it on what others think about you