final-five-2016-usa-womens-gymnastics-team-picks-name-11Photo courtesy JustJared.com

These ladies just dominated the world and showed us how to dominate as women.

Imagine walking into the locker room at the gym before starting a workout. You pass all types of women – beautiful, extremely well-built and even just average. A few things usually happen.

1. You steal a sideways glance and quickly look away, comparing yourself to them.

2. You put your head down and walk through to put your things in the locker, feeling self-conscious.

3. You look at the other women with a disapproving look or a straight face, judging them internally.¬†You stow your things in the locker and head out to work out, hoping it’s not busy and there are not many people.

You don’t smile at other women. You don’t just own the fact that you are working on becoming better and stronger. You don’t acknowledge that the other women are there doing the same thing. Instead, you just feel insecure, projecting insecurities onto other women around. Simone Biles had us cheering with her recent quote after dominating her competition in Rio. Biles quickly squashed any comparison others were trying to project onto her when she said, “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.” While they were comparing her to men rather than other women, it’s still an attitude women need to adopt. There’s only one you in the whole world. Make sure you are the best version.

And let’s be honest. This situation does not just play out in the locker room at the gym. It plays out in the office, among moms, in sororities, you name it. It’s a constant cycle of comparison and judgment. Women can be miserably catty and mean. It is a horribly ugly cycle.

As if Biles isn’t already a rockstar, she also dropped an impressive line about teammate Aly Raisman during her ESPN interview saying, “I’m more happy for her than I am myself.” This girl just took home the gold and she is taking the time to build up another gal. Talk about inspiring. Why aren’t we happier for women when we see them succeeding and doing well? Instead of building them up, we pick them apart.

Another awesome bit of advice came from Gabby Douglas when she said, “You just have to be yourself and go full with confidence and be courageous.” Whatever it is you’re doing, no matter who is around, own what you’re doing. If you’re lifting weights at the gym or running a meeting at work, do it with confidence. It seems that too many women don’t realize, one woman’s progress isn’t equal to your decline. Be inspired and fueled by other women. Go about life confidently and build each other up.

Speaking of confidence. Did you happen to catch Laurie Hernandez wink at the judges before she started her floor routine? Let’s all take that lesson to heart. She was about to compete in the Olympics against the world’s best gymnasts and she marched out there and winked at the judges. Talk about classy and subtle girl power. Go out and wink at life, show them what you’re made of.

Each gal of the team showed us how to be confident, great teammates and empowering women. These young women just dominated the world and did it with class. Along the way, they showed us how to be awesome women. Let’s learn from them and be awesome women, too.

-by Bailey Martindale
The Odyssey Online
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