“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” she said.
From The How to Write a Book Book: The Power of a Visual World

Why Are So Many Other Women More Successful Than Me?

More successful than me women

by Yvonne DiVita

The title of this post should read: Why are so many other women more successful than I? In other words, 'more successful than I am.' Not, 'more successful than me am.' Got it? 

I used colloquial language in the actual title, appealing to those of us who periodically stand in front of our bathroom mirror, after a shower, where we've rehashed every missed step, every wrong turn, every bad decision we ever made, to lament, "Why am I not more successful? Why is everyone else more successful than me?"

You know you've done it. I've done it. We all seem to think better in the shower. My husband, Tom - from Old Dog Learning and co-author of my new book, The How to Write a Book Book - says he does his best thinking in the shower. I can attest to the fact that he does a lot of thinking in the shower. A really lot, if you get my drift. 

We ladies, though, we're a little different in our thinking. We don't try to solve the world's problems in the shower. Unless we're Elizabeth Warren or Angela Merkel.

Maybe I should stick with "I don't try to solve the world's problems in the shower." I guess I don't really know about you.

For me, I admit that I somehow find my brain looking back to my childhood, when I shower. I remember a 'friend' who lived next door and tormented me. She once, when I was about 8 and five or six of us were sitting around in a circle talking, pulled my pants down to my ankles. I do not remember why I was even standing up, to allow her to do this. But she did it. And everyone laughed. And I was mortified. And I don't remember what happened next.

That was traumatic. It stays with me to this day. Perhaps because that friend did worse as time went on, and was my tormentor for many years. She may have had a hand in turning me into a serious introvert, pretty much wary of every other person on the planet.

I relive that memory often. For no good reason.

Helping someone else

When I'm not worried about why Diane was such a bully, and mostly to me, I move on to high school where a friend of mine was being bullied after school. I walked home with her one day, not on my regular route, and confronted the bullies on her behalf. As is often the wont of people who bully, they turned and fled when confronted, and turned their attention elsewhere after that.

I felt good. I felt strong. I think I realized, really realized, that day, that I could do something useful and not be afraid, as long as it was for someone else.

Those are the key words - too often women are ready, able, and willing to stand up and defend or protest or promote others, but not themselves.

This is key in my work with women in business. I'm blessed that not all women are like this, we have thousands we are strong, capable, and confident, and they are to be applauded with a standing ovation, every day! But we also have the women, like me, who are able to do for others what they cannot do for themselves.

Mind you, I grew out of that - I'm pretty good at tooting my own horn these days. But, yes, even I could do better.

If you're wondering why so many other women are more successful than you - stop and take stock. One way to do this is to go on a retreat, all by yourself. Take a weekend and disappear. Go to a favorite haunt, a hotel, a B&B, somewhere you have happy memories. Bring a notebook. Bring all the baggage you unpack, every time you shower.

Sit on the bed at the hotel, or on the grass at a favorite park, or wherever it is you chose to go, and take out your notebook. Create two columns. Now, write down what's wrong with you on the left. On the right, write down your strengths.

Let's explore, a moment. 

Here's what your two columns might look like:

Weaknesses                                     Strengths

Too old                                        Still got it!

Overweight                                 Working on it for my health

No masters degree                    Pretty smart cookie without all that education

Worried all the time                 Able to talk things out with friends

Not successful                             Working on it all the time

I kept this list rather generic. You need to go deep and write down all the worries and fears and negative thoughts that have been holding you back all these years. Then, right next to them, praise yourself for what you've accomplished so far.

Once you have your list, begin to create a new you. Create a you that recognizes those weaknesses but who also celebrates those strengths.

Goddess given talents

Learn to celebrate who you are and the Goddess-given talents you posses! You've heard all the platitudes, think and grow rich, you are what you eat, think and believe, etc, etc. They're great quotes to hang on a wall, but I want you to reach deep, deep, deep down, into your soul and see yourself as you truly are - worthy of success. Just as worthy as any other woman, many of whom you've helped succeed.

Other women may be more successful than you are at this moment. For reasons you or I will never know. Maybe they were given the confidence to succeed early on. Maybe they were strong enough to push forward, a bit harder than you or I. Maybe they had backing, with money and encouragement, that you and I didn't have. Maybe they just learned faster. 

It doesn't matter.

I am not them. You are not them. They are to be admired for their success.

The key is to admire but not harbor resentment. Instead, learn from their successes. What did they do differently? What can we emulate? Who's to say we can be just as successful, going forward?

Success is a journey. Often it's a longer journey for some, a shorter one for others. Often, what's perceived as having been 'easy' for others, turns out to be a different story entirely. One they might write about in a book - for us to read and learn from.

Along the way, accept the blessings. Keep your eyes open for guides, mentors, teachers, and fans. These are the people who will make sure you keep on the right path. Until you, too, become one of the 'other women' so many ladies lament about, in the shower.

I have eBooks written to help you over the rocks and through the gullies on that path to success. No matter where you are at this moment, just getting started, or fully established, my eBooks have content worth reading. 

Once again, to help you as you decide on writing your next (or first) book, get our BOGO offer!

Don't forget to visit the links in this post. They aren't window dressing. They are added for a purpose - to help you learn something. 


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Kathleen Gage

Outstanding post. And great points about comparing ourselves with others.

Yvonne DiVita

Kathleen, you are one of my people. I don't have the kind of "envy" I wrote about, just admiration. For your energy. your enthusiasm, your talent, and the way you embrace everyone with openness and acceptance. I love sharing you because of that. You are one of those people I want to share with everyone. Makes ME proud to know you.

Perhaps this post, and your visit here, can show one person, one woman who is still nervous about following her dreams, that when you decide to make things happen, they do happen.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

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