Of late, I have given some serious thought to the way that we acknowledge the accomplishments and work of others. As human beings we have a bit of a competitive nature, and sometimes that can come out in some not-so-nice ways when others in our life accomplish things that perhaps we wish we did.
As you probably know, nursing is a primarily female dominated profession. And girls can be very catty and petty. Once upon a time I had a close mentor of mine tell me that “not everyone wants what is best for you” and I don’t think I had realized up until then that what he said is probably quite true.
Since starting my career in nursing, I have experienced a variety of challenges- and one thing that I have found really interesting is that people will twist and manipulate many of the “good” things that you do if they don’t feel like they benefit. When did humanity get so self centered? Honestly I am not sure and maybe it always was but I just didn’t see it that way. However, one thing that I think we can do a much better job of is building each other up.
If you’re friends with me, you know my motto in many aspects of my life has become that we need to be “better at building each other up instead of tearing each other down”. If that becomes my annoying catchphrase, I think I’m okay with it. Unfortunately, nursing is a notoriously difficult profession (for many reasons), but one of them being that nurses do eat their young. I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced. And now being out of school for a few years, I ask myself- how can we do better?
We are going to have this crazy influx of new graduate nurses in the next few years due to retirements of baby boomers which will leave a huge gap in knowledge and practice experience. What if we took this opportunity now and moulded those excited young eager nurses into the best nurses they could be? Nobody is ever perfect, but if we started from scratch and built a community that is supportive and celebratory of others’ achievements instead of complaining all the time that all the staff is so young and inexperienced.
I know I eluded to this in a previous post but when I went back to school to start my masters I didn’t tell my coworkers for a long time. Unfortunately there is a lot of stigma associated with this which really hurts me on a deep level because I am going back to school so I can blend the clinical and educational/ practice side of nursing together where I have noticed and experienced a huge gap. But people just assume you are trying to ‘escape” the bedside. There are so many things though that I LOVE about being a bedside nurse. SO many things. I genuinely wanted to pursue knowledge and carry out my passion and for that I have been extremely judged, stereotyped, and belittled.
I recently had a first hand experience in which I learned how nurses can be unkind and unsupportive. And without getting into the details, I will just say I was disappointed with how little empathy they had towards me or my situation. Lots of assumptions and false accusations were made completely out of context because of sheer gossip and rumours being indulged. Why do we allow this?
Why as women (or even just as human beings) do we enable this? Why do we have to belittle the accomplishments of others? Is it because it helps us to feel more secure about ourselves? Is it because when people feel oppressed by their leaders they often will lash out with horizontal violence? I don’t know or have all the answers but all I can say is this experience taught me a lot about who the people in my life were and who I wanted to stay in it.
We do this thing where we have to find negative qualities about other people (especially women) to justify why we don’t like them or why our behaviour is okay. Guess what- it never is. Being on the other side really opened my eyes to why it is important to consciously make an effort to be a positive force in all your interactions with others and emit the energy you want to receive. I am certainly guilty of engaging in these types of conversations in the past (or just not stopping them) but at the end of the day, what positivity does it really bring to your life to focus on someone else’s accomplishments in a negative light? Just redirect from the lack of your own? That’s blunt but probably true I think.
I think of relationships I have been in where the guy has gotten involved with someone else and you automatically feel some sort of disdain towards them.. like it’s out of principle? Guess WHAT they are probably in the exact same position you are in, so time to redirect that frustration and energy to the real culprit.
If we took an extra moment to celebrate the accomplishments of others, not only would we spread more love but we would feel it too. I am very much of the opinion that everyone needs a little validation and to feel important once in a while. The person who gives and gives and gives all of themselves and is chronically under appreciated will eventually snap and often times is unable to sustain those habit. But if we appreciated them more, we could really make a positive difference.
We are way too hard on each other and don’t focus enough on the accomplishments or strengths of one another. It’s not about out-doing someone or being more accomplished or more “liked”- it’s about existing in cohesion wth those in the world around us and fulfilling ourselves by surrounding ourselves with good people who radiate positivity and build us up, push us to be better, and support us when we achieve our goals.
Radiate a little positivity today everyone