The likes of Regina George and co. may be feared by women everywhere, but according to Powerful Steps founder Tory Archbold, who has interviewed and mentored hundreds of impressive women in business, a run-in with mean girls can be just the secret ammunition you need to take your success next-level.
Mean girl syndrome
So many women I interview on the Powerful Stories podcast and have the privilege to mentor on our Business Attraction Program were bullied in high school. I call it the ‘mean girl syndrome’. It’s a known fact that these women exist in real life and can deliver damage. At high school, you’re given a mixed bag in your year cohort and expected to swim and make it to the other side, where you graduate into the school of life.
A history of being bullied or targeted by mean girls can leave a dent in your self-esteem for years to come, and I see this often with women I mentor. But reframing your story around this experience can turn it into a superpower that gives you a competitive advantage, if you let it.
Learn to be ok
I saw a quote recently that stopped me mid-scroll. It simply said, ‘Learn to be OK with not being invited, included or considered’. It sounds a little harsh, and this sentiment can be hard to comprehend when you’re in your formative years, but as you step into your power years, it’s a potent truth.
Eventually, you come to learn that those who targeted you (like inviting everyone in the year to their party except you) were driven by their own low self-esteem. As we step into our power as women, we come to understand that the behaviour of other people is completely out of our hands, and all we can control is the story we tell ourselves about it. Instead of thinking, ‘Why me’, consider, ‘Why not me?’. Instead of railing against the injustice of how you were treated, use it as fuel to empower yourself from within, and show those mean girls who will come out on top in the end.
Handle it like Elle Woods
Remember that scene in Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon’s character turns up to the Harvard Law School party dressed as a pink bunny, because the mean girls had told her it was a costume party? It still makes me cringe to watch (right?) – but as this story shows, even the most impressive, intelligent, and brave among us can be the subject of means girls’ taunts. Why? Those who are ‘chosen’ by the mean girls often stand out – because they are different, and they don’t fit the status quo. And this is what eventually becomes your superpower if you allow it. These qualities that triggered the mean girls in the first place are exactly the qualities that will later fuel women like you to go on to be the thought leaders of your generation, while the mean girls are – almost always, in my experience – left behind in your wake.
Use it as your secret ammunition
Being challenged by experiences with real-life mean girls can make or break you. Personally, I see it as a secret form of ammunition. Use it to understand that your real power lies not in controlling what other people think of you – it lies in cultivating a happy heart. If you have a happy heart that is grounded in truly knowing and loving yourself, no matter what others think or say, no one can take that away from you.
And the best bit? A happy heart will truly serve you as a magnet for miracles. If you want abundance, be happy, because happiness breeds happiness and that is what creates the magic. Once you own your story and reframe your experience in a way that empowers you, you reclaim your narrative from the mean girls. Step into your own one-of-a-kind power and invest in what sets your heart on fire – because that is where true success emerges from the ashes.
Want to join Tory Archbold’s community of likeminded female entrepreneurs seeking to thrive in business and in life? Sign up to the #coffeechallenge today or take a powerful steps forward and join one of our programs www.powerful-steps.com