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Introduction While I understand the sentiment that taking care of ourselves allows us to better help others, this mindset could easily lead us to interpret the idea of lifting other women up as yet another thing we have to do for others while putting ourselves on the back burner.
Interests Maybe you’ve been encouraged to care for yourself because it will enable you to be a better wife, partner, mother, or friend. Sometimes this concept is positioned as “putting on your oxygen mask first, ” like when you’re on an airplane and you’re instructed to, in the event of an emergency, secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Many women use this concept as justification for working out, eating well, having hobbies, getting enough sleep, or engaging in self-care.
Favorite Movies When an idea feels normal, we accept it, often without question. We assume that spots for women are indeed limited and that anytime another woman claims one of those spots, fewer spots are left for us. As a result, instead of challenging the status quo and helping our sisters, we often turn against one another in an attempt to secure what we want and need. We compete with one another for scraps instead of demanding more for ourselves and others.
Favorite Music In my experience, this systemic lack of opportunity—and belief that some women are more likely to get those opportunities—breeds feelings of scarcity and can lead to things like comparison, jealousy, body image struggles, and feeling less than. It can even translate into catty and competitive relationships with other women.
Favorite Books We’re caught in The Comparison Trap when we compare ourselves to other women. We compare our bodies, our kids, our jobs, our relationships, our travel, our net worth, our clothing, our whole lives to other women, particularly those we see on social media.

Comparing ourselves to others is a natural impulse that’s part of the brain’s social-cognition network. Humans are social creatures who are adept at sizing one another up, seeing where we fit, and establishing hierarchy. And it’s not always a bad thing.