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Archive for October, 2011

Game On!

This post is dedicated to all the competitive women in the world. I can’t claim authorship to this article, but I find it very interesting and true. 

Women seem to have a reputation for being “catty” and competitive with other women, unlike how men behave with other men. This is a curious notion, especially since women are actually less competitive than men out in the world and less comfortable being competitive.
Because women learn that they are not supposed to be competitive and win at others’ expense, their natural competitive spirit cannot be shared openly, happily, or even jokingly with other women. In such situations, when aggression cannot be channeled into a healthy, positive edge, it becomes inhibited and goes underground. What could have been healthy competition becomes a secret feeling of envy and desire for the other to fail – laced with guilt and shame.

Thus, what looks like hostile competition between women may instead mask feelings of insecurity, fear of success, and healthy aggression. Women, often experts at being tuned in and sensitive to others’ feelings, may easily overidentify with other women’s insecurities, projecting how they would feel in the other’s shoes and then feeling bad about their own success. Women learn to feel guilty for feeling happy and successful – and with their female friends who may not be having such luck, they may experience their own success as hurtful to their friend. This can make it uncomfortable for a woman to share and enjoy her accomplishments with her female friends.

In a common example, women may feel uncomfortable or self-conscious discussing their dieting success or weight loss with certain friends. They may even eat high-calorie foods they don’t desire when with a friend who is struggling with her own weight but having trouble being disciplined with food. In such situations, women may succumb to what they experience as an instinctive pressure to protect their friend in this way, sabotaging themselves but insulated from becoming the object of envy and resentment.

Women often take care of people emotionally and rely on the approval of others to feel good about themselves. Women’s fear of triumph over others may lead to keeping themselves down and even (conscious or unconscious) subversion. Dependency on other people to maintain self-esteem creates a double bind, impeding women from embracing and using their own edge to achieve success. Constrained by internal conflict and over-focus on others’ reactions, many women endure the frustration of being unable to fulfill their true potential in terms of aggression, sexuality, and power.

Inspirational Tips for Women

  • Women who feel more confident within themselves are less vulnerable to feeling threatened by, or threatening to, their female friends in the face of success.
  • Good fortune, happiness and success can be used to help others and as a source of inspiration.
  • Women can allow themselves to be separate and autonomous and still maintain close connections. An example of this is giving oneself permission to be happy (or unhappy) even if someone else is not.
  • Feeling confident and whole involves allowing one self to know, accept and hold onto one’s own inner experience without being reactive to the anticipated, imagined or perceived feelings of others.
  • Taking responsibility for a friend’s feelings is different from being caring and empathic. When you have positive changes in your life, do not exclude your friends who still depend on you and enjoy your company.
  • Competition does not have to be dangerous or hurtful but can be motivating and allow for healthy sublimation of aggression. Sports works well for this.
  • A healthy balance of competition and compassion means allowing oneself to do well and embrace a positive feeling of empowerment and strength while at the same time caring about friends’ feelings and supporting them in their own growth.

 

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This evening on my way home from work, I passed by my favorite Chik-fil-a (in Pompano Beach)….you may be wondering why I am writing about a fast food joint. Well, as I worked another day at the office where fellow staff is overworked, stressed and overly busy, I thought to myself how great corporate America would be if workers and management had the Chik-fil-a mentality. The staff is genuinely friendly which is very refreshing to see, customer service is superb, consistently good food and most importantly pride in how they present themselves. Sometimes courtesy and basic manners can lead to success.

Check out this guy’s tribute video and love for Chik-fil-a: http://www.brandonacox.com/personal/im-in-love-with-chick-fil-a/

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***Just got around to finishing this blog – actual trip Sept. 16-18th***

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Big Apple.  I believe 1995 was the last time I went there, so it felt like the first time, and it is way better going there as an adult. I am very grateful for having a great travel partner who enjoys going to different attractions and packing in as much stuff as possible. Oh, and a big thank you goes out to Spirit Airlines for posting very affordable travel deals. I am not going to go into a novel about everything we did, but I will write about my favorite experiences.

Times Square
On our first night, we were very fortunate that our Friday hotel was a block or two away from Times Square. When we landed on Saturday, we took a shuttle to our hotel and then we walked for 5 to 10 minutes and we were at the center of it all…bright lights, street vendors hustling, rat man, naked cowboy, police officers…it was so fast paced.  We had a bite to eat at this pizza place called Rays…very yummy.

Double Decker (Deck-a) Tour Bus
I know they are very touristy, but I love double decker busses. It is truly the best way to see the city, especially when you have limited time.

Top of the Rock
Unbelievable views of the city: Central Park, Empire State Building, St. Patrick Cathedral, etc.  If you visit the NYC…it is a must see!

Ground Zero
When you see the coverage on TV it is sad, when you see ground zero in person it is humbling and overwhelming.  We first walked around St. Paul’s Church, which survived the attack, there were ribbons everywhere, family and friends wrote special messages to the victims. Inside there were memorials and memorial altar.  The week before was the 10 year anniversary of 9-11 and they opened the memorial fountains on that day. We didn’t know that you needed to pre-order tickets, so we were unable to see the fountains, but we did see a bit of them from a catwalk at the World Financial building nearby. We also walked by the fire station and they had a poster of the firefighters who lost their lives. So very sad.

Trump Tower
My friend is obsessed with Donald Trump, so we visited the building where they film The Apprentice.  The inside is Gold and Black, it’s over the top. There are display cases featuring everything Donald Trump….Trump Ties, Trump chocolate, Trump Books, Pens, Cuff Links…. Of course there was a restaurant/bar…can you guess the name? Trump Bar!

China Town
Saturday hotel rates are insane, the cheapest hotel we found was in ChinaTown.  Being from South Florida, you don’t see a huge Chinese population…everything and I mean everything was written in Chinese. There were fruit stands everywhere, dirty restaurants and a constant smell of fish. I have to say that I enjoyed it though.

Broadway
We had the intention of seeing Rock of Ages, but unfortunately they were only selling individual seats. In the center of Times Square you can by 1/2 price tickets to select shows. We opted to see Chicago with American Idol’s Kara Diaguardi.  It was fun and actually very good. When we left, we were on a quest to find food and we were walking by the Addams Family and we spotted a bunch of people waiting for the stars to come out….we just made it because we saw Brooke Shields!!! We did end up finding an awesome Scottish bar to eat…the food was so good.

Churches
I love churches…we stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral…which is amazing! A couple was getting married…that would be such a magical place to get hitched! I lit a candle in memory of the people I have lost…I felt very spiritual there. On our tour bus, I saw a multitude of beautiful churches with such great architectual character.

Central Park
We decided to take a bike ride around Central Park. I have to say that this probably the most enjoyable thing that we did! It was in the upper 50’s lower 60’s which was perfect. I had some issues with the uphill parts, but for the most part it was a peaceful ride. We saw so many people running and walking their dogs….that’s the life!  We were stuck riding alongside the Breast Cancer walk which made navigation hard. We were on a mission to find the fountain that the show Friends’ intro was filmed, we found a beautiful fountain but later learned that was the wrong fountain. We played frisbee and just enjoyed our surroundings.

 

In closing, I really had a great time! I wish I had more $$$ and time!

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